Exploring the Patient and Family Engaged Care Framework: Using Digital Rounds to Align and Assess Behaviors Related to the Organizational Foundation

As we discussed in our last article, the Patient and Family Engaged Care Framework provides an immense opportunity for exploration and improvement within an organization. Foundational to this framework is organizational leadership and levers for change, as both are critical to the implementation and evolution of the PFEC framework.

Leadership’s Role in the PFEC Framework
Let’s begin by discussing the importance of leadership. In my experience, leadership is absolutely key in a successful strategy to implement patient and family engaged care. Leadership has lots of responsibilities in making sure the vision of PFEC is understood by all staff members and implemented successfully across teams and settings.

In addition to leadership buy-in, leaders must also find ways of evaluating and improving upon initiatives. To do this, leaders need to regularly interact with staff and patients. Without these interactions, a strategy may come to place, but there will be little reinforcement and accountability upon those efforts.

As a way of enacting, measuring, and improving upon leadership involvement, leadership rounding is first to come to mind. As demonstrated by providers using CipherRounds, the most successful initiatives come when leadership rounding is implemented and executed as a priority. With scripts customized to assess specific aspects of leadership, the organization’s leaders can ask others about the vision and behaviors to assess understanding and alignment. From there, staff members see first-hand the importance of these initiatives and can be held accountable for moving them forward.

Responding to Change to Drive improvements
Healthcare is nothing except change. Look at the potential changes coming from Washington, DC recently. For any of us who have gotten into healthcare, it has reshaped itself numerous times, and it will continue to adapt technology, respond to changes in national policy, and address the changing workforce needs.

Embracing change is hard to do and it requires effective communication, measurement, and reinforcement strategies. For organizations that see change as an opportunity to reinvent healthcare and make it more efficient and responsive to patient and family needs, we need a technology that will help us assess how change management is happening. Ask questions such as: Do the front line staff understand the need for the changes? What are they saying to the patients or families? Are they resisting changes? How would we know?

Using customizable scripts to measure staff engagement with your organizational change strategies can help in verifying the effectiveness of those strategies. This type of engagement is important to ensure your staff is effectively communicating with patients, translating the change management strategies into their daily actions, and reinforcing the changes with each other.

To implement and measure these processes, look for technology that is flexible, adaptable, and customizable to assess your staff’s understanding of organizational priorities. We know that a more engaged staff is key to patient and family engagement, as demonstrated by the evidence in the Patient and Family Engaged Care Framework. To learn more about how these ideas are put into action, we hope you will join us in Baltimore at Planetree’s International Conference on Patient-Centered Care.

Barb Davis

Barbara Davis has been involved in quality in healthcare for over 30 years, and currently serves as CipherHealth's SVP of client success. She has worked in complex health care environments, including a university health system, an HMO health plan, and multi-hospital system. Her areas of expertise include quality improvement and Lean, service excellence focusing on organizational culture and the patient experience, patient safety and reliability, regulatory issues and organizational strategic goal setting. Currently she sits on the Patient and Family Advisory Council at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver.