Linking Patient Satisfaction to Readmissions: Redefine the Patient Experience with Digital Rounding

This is part two in a series of articles highlighting new research that demonstrates the relationship between patient satisfaction and avoidable readmissions, as well as the role of technology in transforming the patient experience across the continuum of care.

To continue our discussion of the recent study linking higher patient satisfaction to lower readmissions, we explore how healthcare systems can deliver the best care experience for patients by implementing technology. More specifically, patient satisfaction can be greatly improved with the proper utilization of digital rounding solutions. By collecting and analyzing data in real-time, digital rounding can inform patient safety and quality improvement with actionable insights. Orchid, CipherHealth’s customizable digital rounding solution, streamlines processes to enhance the patient experience by proactively identifying and resolving patient concerns at the point of care.

Change Trajectory of Patient Experience

Enhance Service Recovery

Defined as the process of making things right after something has gone wrong with the healthcare experience, service recovery can transform the patient experience. Assessing communication quality, unmet needs, concerns, and the overall patient experience during the patient encounter can identify issues that may not be fully captured in standard post-discharge surveys, in which the opportunity to engage in quality improvement interventions has already passed. By leveraging a digital rounding solution, healthcare systems can change the trajectory of patient care in real time through proactive service recovery. When a service failure is addressed with immediate attention, organizations can build even greater customer loyalty than if there was no service failure to begin with. If communicated with sincerity and authenticity, effective service recovery shows that the organization cares about the individual needs and experiences of the patient. As a recognition of our shared humanity, empathy must extend beyond the diagnosis of the patient.

Shorten Issue Resolution Times

Digital rounding software provides the opportunity to automatically alert other members of the care team to quickly resolve issues. Streamlining nurse workflow improves patient satisfaction, as patient concerns are addressed more efficiently at the point of care.

In addition to immediate issue notification, organizations can leverage Orchid’s in-depth reports to track trends in issue resolution timeliness. By understanding insights and trends, organizations pinpoint areas for improvement and can quickly take action to rectify any issues.

Close Gaps in Care

Digital rounding software can be leveraged to conduct transition of care rounds so that any potential gaps in care are addressed and resolved before they escalate into adverse events. According to Dr. Jocelyn Carter, the research study’s lead author and internal medicine physician at Massachusetts General, “It is possible that asking one or two additional questions near or at the time of discharge might help us to identify care gaps, and actually help tailor care plans so patients can be more successful when they leave.” During discharge rounds, the patient and family members must be fully integrated as members of the healthcare team to ensure that the post-discharge plan of care is successful. Partnering with patients to identify and address gaps in care or care plan comprehension – and tailoring discharge planning accordingly – is an excellent opportunity to reduce the likelihood of future readmissions.

Identify Patients at Risk for Readmission

According to the research study, patients over the age of 45 were more likely to be readmitted relative to younger patients – a departure from previous studies showing greater likelihood of readmission for patients over age 65. In addition, patients with lower education levels have a greater likelihood of readmission, which underscores the role of the social determinants of health in impacting health outcomes. Due to these findings, healthcare organizations may consider developing targeted interventions to identify, triage and address issues for at-risk patient populations to optimize long-term health outcomes.

Provide Real-Time Staff Feedback

A digital rounding software can provide real-time, data-driven feedback to different members of the healthcare team. If the healthcare organization has implemented service behaviors or communication standards, the digital rounding solution can be utilized to create an observational assessment. This may be used as a coaching model to provide structured feedback for the healthcare team as part of ongoing efforts to redefine the patient experience.

With Orchid, organizations leverage recognition features to provide real-time feedback from staff members and patients. Through Orchid reports, leadership can identify top performers for additional recognition, feedback, and rewards.

As the quality of the patient experience is directly correlated with healthcare outcomes such as patient experience and avoidable readmissions, digital rounding can serve as the catalyst for creating a culture of quality improvement. Digital rounding can empower organizations to increase patient satisfaction as measured by HCAHPS scores, drive improvement decisions utilizing real-time data, measure patient impact initiatives, and conduct cross-unit analyses to implement successful initiatives. Learn more about how to choose the best digital rounding solution to meet organizational priorities.

Barb Davis

Barbara Davis, MA has been involved in quality in healthcare for over 30 years, and currently serves as CipherHealth's SVP of Clinical Services. 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.