Six years ago, our team was “enlightened” when entering the administrative offices of a Health System. We had been in healthcare since 2002 but focused on physician offices on the ambulatory care side, and had minimal involvement with hospitals. Speaking with hospital executives was new. Now, traversing the hallways, the red, green, and yellow metrics posted prominently within throughout executive suites immediately caught our eye. We quickly learned that these were patient satisfaction scores (aka HCAHPS), readmission scores, and other metrics that can have a significant influence on the profitability of a hospital.
Within a month, we learned the relevance and regulatory requirements of surveys and how Press Ganey is a "household name" within hospitals. Confusion and frustration set in when we realized the impact of these surveys, yet, the number of patients returning surveys is minimal and the information is typically received 30 (+/-) days after the visit. How do you “move the needle” and take corrective action using a small and latent dataset?
Our answer was to move to more of a real-time data exchange with clients, by contacting patients 24-48 hours after discharge. Unlike technology-driven companies, early on we developed a high-volume outreach capability through our call center and designed workflows to accommodate a wide range of use cases, from general follow up to diagnosis-specific follow up. And all of this involved people … connecting with people … in this situation, connecting with patients. Our system allowed us to “cast our nets widely” across many patients and “sift” through the conversations to locate “triggers” that include service recovery opportunities and clinical intervention opportunities. Working as an extension of our client teams, we immediately collaborate regarding patients who trigger and work these cases to resolution, whether it be clinical intervention or service recovery.
It’s eye opening to see how these patient engagements include many “leading indicators” for what may come through on the survey form. Without real-time communication and a system for follow up, the data is often lost and the opportunity for service recovery and clinical intervention goes unnoticed. More importantly, these “indicators” from personal interactions are never captured with a pure technology solution. It is rewarding to see the difference our follow up programs can have on these important metrics, and in particular, how the “human interaction” always performs better than a technology-only solution. It inspires us to continue our mission to “Improve the well-being of patients through excellence in communication and coordination of care!”
Learn more about our “people connecting with people” approach. Contact PREMEDEX today so we can learn more about your needs and give your program that “human touch”.