Improving Patient Experience with Communication Information Technologies

July 20, 2013
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Around the world, hospitals are changing the way they do business. While in the past most hospitals organized services around the convenience of medical staff, today’s progressive organizations are turning that model upside down. The patient is rightfully assuming a position at the center of everything the healthcare organization does. And increasingly the payers of care.

Around the world, hospitals are changing the way they do business. While in the past most hospitals organized services around the convenience of medical staff, today’s progressive organizations are turning that model upside down. The patient is rightfully assuming a position at the center of everything the healthcare organization does. And increasingly the payers of care. be they government entities, employers, private insurance or the individuals themselves are demanding a better experience during hospital stays and requiring healthcare organizations to report on how they are achieving this.

health ITIn today’s on-line edition of Hospitals and Health Networks Daily, Dr. Michael McKenna, CMO of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois,discusses the importance of improving clinician-to-clinician communications in our hospitals. He rightfully points out that the majority of patient safety events in hospitals, including his own, are caused by communication issues.  Communication breakdown, according to the 2012 Joint Commission Sentinel Event Data, is one of the causes of delays in treatment that result in sentinel events. In his H&HN Daily article, Dr. McKenna reviews some of the ways his organization is using unified communications technologies, including secure texting and messaging, to improve clinical workflow and communications.

patient accessAnother example of a progressive healthcare organization and its focus on putting patients first is New York Presbyterian. NYP has been leading the pack for some time. They were among early adopters of health recordsportal technologies to improve community and patient access to services and information. Their myNYP.org portal not only allows patients to do things like find a doctor, register for services and receive patient education materials, it can also connect patients to their personal health information, lab data and other information. The service gives patients control over their health information and the ability to securely share it with whomever needs to see it.

NYP also wants to upgrade the patient experience not only before and after a patient’s stay, but during it. Just as Advocate Lutheran is focusing on improving clinical communication and collaboration, NYP is also focusing on tools to improve patient communication with staff as well as other enhancements to the patient experience. Work is getting underway on a project that will test an application using tablet computers and Windows 8 to provide patients with a wide array of ways to access information, participate in surveys, communicate with nursing staff and other clinicians, receive patient education and entertainment services, and even communicate with friends and family members.

Putting patients first is the way forward in healthcare. I’m pleased to see so many of our best customers and partners leading the way by example: using today’s most compelling information communication technologies to better serve their communities and the patients under their care.