My first child was a whirlwind of excitement, anticipation and preparation. Classes, clothes, paraphernalia, furniture, house modifications, you name it we did it. That nine months flew by and we went to the hospital with a suitcase stuffed full of recommended items including at least a pound of hard candy in case mouths became dry. It was an exciting time!
Then, within 24 hours, we were politely informed it was time to go home and, by the way, don’t forget the baby. What a letdown. What an adjustment! The anticipation and preparation, the labor process, all of it was over. The real work, raising a human being (a good human being), was just beginning. Over the months and years of changes, evolving demands, shifting priorities, and a lot of work, we accomplished this. We raised three decent human beings. Continue reading
It may seem like conversations around HCAHPS has become a broken record. The importance of these scores and other patient satisfaction results has not faded. Unfortunately, some hospitals don’t understand or acknowledge the impact these scores can have on their bottom line. This is yet another reason that hospitals need to think about what’s next. And what is next, is patients looking up hospitals and checking out reviews – just like they do now with restaurants, hotels, salons, car repair shops and mechanics, smart phones, and more.
Hospitals are well-positioned to think about and plan for this future today. Patients are reporting their experiences and the results are easily available on the Internet. Hospitals that have ignored the inevitable or are still waiting to see what was going to happen in the courts, now need to play catch-up in order to be competitive and sustain operations. This is especially important for hospitals in highly competitive markets. Continue reading
As 2013 quickly winds down to a close, aside from wondering where the time went, those of us working in healthcare can look at this year as one of significant changes — some that seemed surprising at the time. For me, there were some big “aha” moments in 2013 and I thought I would share several of them with you.
- I watched a debate among top ranking Republican and Democratic speakers on the Affordable Care Act. The entire discussion was around the tactics of the roll out, much like the coverage on major news networks. The big “Aha” moment for me was at the same meeting when the CEO of a major IDN was answering questions about clinicians’ acceptance of the major — read unprecedented — changes he was making in operations around efficiency and rationalization. His response was the following: “At first the reaction was that this would go away. Then the Supreme Court reaffirmed it, multiple votes to repeal it were unsuccessful and Obama was re-elected. Our people now believe it is here to stay and we have to change.” Continue reading
This is a time of great change and challenge for hospitals and clinicians. When major change happens in industries, particularly industries like healthcare that have been stable for many years, each day, week, and month can leave you feeling claustrophobic as the restrictions, the budgets, and the rules get tighter leaving you less and less room to maneuver.
It can be difficult to understand what to do to break into the clear and start to operate in a different mode.
Patient engagement is one path leading to the clear. How to make it happen and what to use to facilitate patient engagement can be daunting questions to address while undergoing major shifts. It can be easy, and tempting, to ignore it and work on other programs. But getting the patient and the patient’s family on the side of the healthcare provider—getting their attention and help—leverages a whole new set of players to get and keep patients healthy. Continue reading
There has been a lot of talk about mobile devices, such as iPads and other tablets, as a tool to help increase productivity and enhance the patient experience. The idea is that with tablets, clinicians and physicians can have instant access to electronic health records and other necessary information to make the best use of time spent with patients. Some hospitals are considering using tablets as a part of the workflow to enter information into EMRs, or document and deliver patient education. And some hospitals have considered offering tablets to patients for personal use while in waiting rooms or during their stay. Continue reading
The move to increase rounding at hospitals is a trend in the right direction. More direct nurse time with the patient and family is helpful in healing and education. It can also be a great patient satisfier. It is important though that nurse-patient time is quality time. This generally means three things:
- The nurse has sufficient time to spend in the patient room answering questions and really interacting in a personal manner. In order for this to occur, nurses must be free from repetitive low value-add tasks to spend more meaningful time in the patient room.
- The nurse can be forewarned of patient issues and should come prepared to address them in a well thought out manner. This means that they should have access to patient information and concerns that will enable them to make the time they have with each patient of the highest value. This isn’t necessarily EHR records or medical information. This is more patient questions about what is going on in the hospital and about their concerns.
- The nurse is not overwhelmed with schedule-driven, low-quality “touching base” interactions. Think of the repetitive “Goodbye” you get from the flight attendant when leaving a plane. That is impersonal, repetitive and low quality. Continue reading
By: Tom Klopack, CEO
Several months ago I commented on three of the ten issues called out by PwC’s “Health Research Institute the Top Ten Health Industry Issues to Watch in 2013”. The three issues called out in January’s blog were:
6. Goodbye Cost Reduction, Hello Transformation
7. Customer Ratings Hit the Pocketbooks of Healthcare Companies
10. The Building Blocks of Population Health Management
Now that we are half way through 2013 I wanted to provide a quick update on what we see on these same three important issues being addressed, more or less aggressively, by health care providers. Continue reading
The basic axiom of Continuous Quality Improvement is that you can’t improve what you can’t measure. And measurement must be at a level to support individual accountability. How does that apply to improving HCAHPS scores at a hospital? It means collecting enough patient responses on a monthly basis down to the individual nursing unit level to provide actionable data. Now without getting into statistical minutia, the statisticians will tell you that in order to be reasonably confident that the scores you obtain from a sample of patients accurately reflect the scores of the entire population of patients you are tracking, you should have responses from a minimum of 30 patients (commonly referred to as “minimum n”). Continue reading
Skylight is pleased to welcome the newest member of our executive team, Lisa Romano. Lisa officially joined Skylight on Monday, April 22. As chief clinical officer she will help guide our product development efforts and work closely with our clients to ensure effective patient engagement and quality care across the continuum. Continue reading
As a senior leader, I have to admit that even I am guilty of expressing the importance of an initiative and then stepping aside. After all, I believe that my staff want to do their best and will do their best for the betterment of our hospital. And I know they do. What we often forget as leaders though is that our staff is just like us. We are busy. We get sidetracked sometimes. Everyone does. And the same can happen for our staff. They will take the directive, make some adjustments, and then sometimes it gets set aside. And, of course it will stay like this until, for some reason it gets back on our radar and we realize that we didn’t make as much movement toward our goal as we liked. As senior leaders, we need to hold ourselves just as accountable as we hold our employees. Skylight Healthcare reminded me of that when we needed to improve our HCAHPS scores. I had to make the initiative important and that meant not just saying that it was important, but to show every day how important it is. I had to change the culture and the way we think and work. And I needed to start it and keep it going. At Mission Trail, we changed the hospital culture to focus on the patient experience and we have significantly improved our HCAHPS scores. Continue reading