Transform Care Delivery with Patient Engagement Technology

Patient Engagement

At CipherHealth’s June User Forum Webinar, John Dodd, Program Manager in the Office of Patient Experience and Engagement at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital, and Jeff Richard, Clinical Informatics Director at Baylor Scott & White Health – The Heart Hospital Plano/Denton, discussed how they are achieving the Quadruple Aim with patient engagement technology.

During this peer-to-peer learning session, both Dodd and Richard shared how they are implementing and evaluating patient-centered initiatives designed to improve clinical outcomes.

Key Success Factors for Any Patient Engagement Initiative
As Dodd and Richard shared, any new initiative will require multiple stakeholders to drive success. Richard elaborated by providing three best practices to other healthcare leaders:

  1. Form a multidisciplinary team. In addition to developing buy-in, this maximizes the diversity of experiences, perspectives, and talents needed to address challenges that impact all levels of the organization.
  2. Translate the vision to strategy. To create a culture of continuous improvement, the care team must be directly involved in developing solutions.
  3. Establish clear metrics of success from the start. As progress is measured, this ensures accountability; the team can course-correct if needed.

By following these steps, organizations are more likely to create meaningful and lasting programs that achieve desired results.

Putting these ideas into practice, Dodd highlighted how UAB Hospital leverages their digital rounding program to achieve Quadruple Aim goals – especially as it relates to their Transitions of Care (ToC) Rounds. Although UAB Hospital is currently performing dozens of rounding initiatives, the ToC rounds in particular leverage a multidisciplinary approach.

During the daily discharge planning meetings on inpatient units, leaders use their CipherHealth program to audit the quality of the ToC rounds and ensure that all necessary components of discharge planning are addressed. By partnering with CipherHealth to increase rounding compliance and improve rounding quality, UAB ensures that patient needs are met prior to discharge and length of stay is reduced.

Connecting Team Members to Coordinate Care
Both UAB Hospital and the Heart Hospital Plano/Denton are large organizations committed to transforming the patient experience. To achieve their respective goals, their leaders emphasize the need for strong communication and collaboration inside and outside of the hospital – both with patients and other team members.

Creating meaningful connections with patients inside the facility is the first step in creating a positive environment. Dodd shared three tips that staff should keep in mind during their interactions, especially during rounds.

  1. Sit near the patient. This lessens the physical distance between the rounder and the patient, ensuring that the patient feels heard.
  2. Ask open-ended questions. This allows the patient and/or family members to describe their concerns – leading to accurate, patient-centered information much faster than close-ended questions.
  3. Be prepared to take action on patient concerns. When patients articulate an issue, it is important to address the matter as soon as possible or follow up with service recovery.

To demonstrate the importance of identifying and acting upon patient issues and concerns, Richard shared how his team is engaging patients after undergoing CABG surgery. With post-op phone calls provided by CipherHealth, the hospital identifies common challenges that patients experienced upon discharge. After uncovering trends, providers at the Heart Hospital Plano/Denton developed tailored interventions to improve long-term recovery and reduce barriers to care among the CABG patient population – including the implementation of the Patient Advisory Nurse Line, an after-hours initiative that resulted in readmissions reduction.

Dodd showcases the importance of communication among team members in order to act upon patient feedback. During UAB Hospital’s Healing Environment Rounds, Arts in Medicine staff utilize CipherHealth’s alerts to streamline communication with Chaplains, Music Therapy, Pet Therapy, and other services. During the webinar, Dodd shared a touching story about a patient who loved creating artwork, but she didn’t have her glasses so she couldn’t see anything. After the patient shared this, the Arts in Medicine team were automatically alerted by alerts via the rounding technology and immediately delivered glasses, along with coloring supplies, to the patient. This demonstrating the role of real-time alerts in providing the highest quality and experience of care to patients.

As these leaders illustrate, patient engagement is an ongoing organizational priority that requires commitment from all stakeholders involved in how healthcare is delivered, experienced, and perceived. Empowered by technology, providers truly can meet patients where they are – across the entire continuum of care, foster effective communication, and deliver exceptional experiences for patients and their families.

To learn more about how leading healthcare organizations leverage CipherHealth’s patient engagement platform to transform the future of care delivery, check out the following articles:

  1. Henry Ford Health System Leverages Digital Rounding as a Patient Experience Driver
  2. Implementing Patient Engagement Strategy Into Practice

During CipherHealth’s quarterly User Forum Webinars, clients share best practices in enhancing patient engagement across the care continuum with the CipherHealth user community. Contact us here if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of joining our community.


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