The importance of digital outreach in the ED

While the goal of any ED visit is to resolve patient issues promptly and efficiently, the care experience does not end when the doctor’s gloves come off. All episodes of care, particularly those warranting trips to the ED, leave longstanding impressions on patients. Post-discharge outreach is crucial to maintaining positive relationships and ensuring satisfaction with patients after they leave the ED. Below, we’ve outlined the importance of investing in digital follow-up solutions:

Patient Satisfaction
Although HCAHPS surveys provide periodic insight into patient experiences, digital follow-up solutions offer real-time visibility into strengths and opportunity areas for care teams. This data helps ensure positive patient outcomes and satisfaction that extend beyond the ED. With the recent development of EDCAHPS and connected CMS reimbursements, there is an even greater incentive for patient satisfaction both inside the ED and during the transition home.
Understand Negative Feedback to Drive Improvements
Because digital follow up allows care teams to contact ED patients shortly after their release, hospitals can quickly resolve the source of any negative patient feedback. Care teams have the chance not only to apologize for a shortcoming, but also to make appropriate service improvements.
Patient Loyalty
While delivering optimal inpatient care is a clear priority for any ED, post-discharge follow up is an important component in demonstrating a commitment to long term patient health. When patients feel confident that their care teams are committed to long term outcomes, they are likely to return to the hospital for future services and refer the facility to friends and family.
Hospital Reputation
In today’s world, patients are increasingly emailing, blogging, and tweeting about their hospital experiences. Unfortunately, a negative experience is likely to prompt this type of social media sharing. As Tom Scaletta, medical director of patient experience and the emergency department chair at Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare explains, post-discharge outreach helps limit the negative “echo” inherent in social networks.

Digital follow-up is a simple solution with substantial impacts on ED patients and care centers alike. Could your organization improve its process for post-discharge outreach?

CipherHealth empowers providers across the care continuum to deliver enhanced patient experiences and communications through a modular, comprehensive patient engagement technology platform.