Discussing Tools for Patient-Centered Care - Cover

Discussing Tools for Patient-Centered Care

Patient-centered care may be the current buzzword in healthcare, but KLAS has seen both patient satisfaction and outcomes improve when organizations enable a patient-centered care approach. As part of the recent Arch Collaborative Learning Summit, we held a panel addressing this topic and the tools some organizations use as part of their patient-centered care strategies.

We were privileged to hear from three panelists, including Kirsten Davidson, the EMR lead nurse educator at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH); Danielle Sims, the provider efficiency program team lead at Ochsner Health; and Dr. Lacy A. Knight, the CHIO of Piedmont Healthcare. Jenifer Gordon, director of customer insights at KLAS, moderated.

Defining Patient-Centered Care

Each panelist took some time explaining what patient-centered care looks like for their organization. Davidson focused on how the RCH, as a pediatric organization, talks about patient-centered care as family-centered care because they don’t just care for a child; they care for the family as well. At the RCH, they know that by providing family-centered care, they have a bigger impact on the experience of their patients.

Sims first established that Ochsner’s core value is putting the patient first. In doing so, they empower their patients to play a more active role in their care. Sims stated that empowering patients leads to many positive outcomes, including patients spending fewer days in the hospital and having fewer unnecessary procedures.

At Piedmont, Dr. Knight said that their purpose is to make a positive difference in every life they touch, from coworkers to patients. More strategically, Piedmont has both “a plan on a page,” which is centered on the concepts of quality, safety, and service (or zero harm), and what they call the Piedmont Way. The Piedmont Way has three components: “One is a reputation in our communities for delivering exceptional quality and care. The second is providing access, and the third part is a hassle-free process for interacting with the health system.”

Technology Being Adopted to Help with Outreach to Patients

Panelists then shared the tools their organizations have adopted to help with patient outreach. All three are using an app, but their approaches differ.

Piedmont has a team that looks at the parts of a patient journey and maps out the technology or tools that go with the patient journey. Dr. Knight highlighted a few examples. The first is an app that patients use to engage. Other tools include a physician finder with physician ratings and a wayfinding component in the app that can show patients how to find specific locations, such as physician offices. Another two components address patient access, the ability to self-schedule, and online scheduling. The third component is virtual care. In Piedmont’s approach, they have tried to make it easy for patients to interact with physicians and for physicians to support patients through the virtual solution. They see the virtual healthcare platform as a way to meet patients where they are geographically.

At Ochsner, Sims brought up that in their inpatient setting, they have an Optimal Hospital initiative where they keep iPads with the MyChart Bedside app to better involve patients in their care. Using this app, patients can look at their labs, schedules, and educational materials. The initiative has had a few great outcomes. For example, the initiative has freed up time for staff to do other things that they need to do for patients. Ochsner’s hospital stay and readmission rates have also gone down. Ochsner also takes a different approach to continuous monitoring by having patients wear wristlets that automatically put the patients’ data into their charts. Sims said, “[This technology] gives clinicians back time so they can spend time with the patient. . . . That way, they're also not waking the patient up . . . every four hours getting vitals and pieces like that.”

Davidson had a different perspective in that the RCH is just about to start a pilot version of Epic’s MyChart. She said, “We're having our consumers and our parents take part in the design. . . . They've been involved from the start and engaged. I'm a parent, but I'm not a parent of a patient in the hospital. For us, making MyChart useful for the patients and their parents is really important.” Davidson pointed out that the RCH might save time in other ways, but their main goal is to make sure the app is valuable for their patients.

Learn More

Other topics discussed at the panel included the current barriers that healthcare organizations still need to conquer to achieve a patient-centered care model and advice for organizations with patients who may not be technologically savvy or have access to technology. Panelists then addressed how to measure progress on the journey to patient-centered care and answered additional questions from the audience.

So if you missed this panel and are working on patient-centered care strategies at your organization, it is worth taking some time to watch it here.

Photo credit: Rido, Adobe Stock