On June 19-20, CipherHealth hosted its second Partners In Excellence User Conference, which brought together users, leaders, and change-makers from across the country to discuss best practices, innovative use cases, and the future of patient engagement technology. Day 1 of the conference ended with an engaging session around patient safety led by John Dodd MSHQS and Kristen Noles DNP MSN CNL of University of Alabama (UAB) Hospital. During the “Patients First: Ensuring Safe Care Transitions with CipherOutreach” panel, the UAB team reviewed challenges and opportunities associated with implementing a comprehensive discharge strategy.
A Challenging Discharge Process
Like most organizations, UAB Hospital faced challenges with its discharge process. Among these challenges were:
- Not having a standardized way to reach out to patients post discharge
- Discharge information from the EMR being excessive and difficult to understand
- EMR discharge forms not being customizable
Once the hospital identified barriers to a smooth and safe discharge, its next step was to determine an intervention that could overcome these barriers and support each patient once discharged home. Ultimately, UAB decided to test CipherOutreach and Care Recordings in two of its units, ATCU and M8, to see if technology could further support its discharge process.
Everyone Wins When You Meet Patients Where They’re At
Once CipherOutreach with Care Recordings were implemented, UAB reviewed the new technology’s effect on the ATCU’s readmission rate. Of the patients eligible to receive a care recording, about 50% had one recorded, and 36% of those listened to the recording once discharged home. As a result, UAB saw a significant reduction in readmissions and an improvement in 5 HCAHPS domains.
An Effective Workflow to Support New Technology
UAB’s CipherOutreach program is successful for several reasons, but one of the most important factors in its success is the team’s thoughtful approach to implementation and involving nurses early on in the planning process. Thus, this program is only as successful as the nursing team behind it. From implementation to go-live, nurses continue to be involved in the program. Today, nurses are trained on how to effectively record Care Recordings and educate patients on how to access the recording. If a patient listens to the Care Recording repeatedly, a nurse receives an alert so she or he can follow up and see if the patient has any questions.
UAB has implemented Care Recordings in a way that accommodates its staff’s workflow and provides patients information that they need most after discharge. Through its strategic implementation and continual improvement, they continue to see results and provide their patients with a safe transition home.