Posts Tagged ‘patient self-services’
If your hospital is like most, your IT department is busy. If you were to take the elevator down to the basement and ask your IT Director to schedule a project, you probably would not get a commitment for resources until Q2 of 2013.
Admissions system (ADT) upgrade, standardization of clinic operations, implementation of a new financial system…their projects calendar is, and always will be, full. What answer did you receive the last time you made a request to the IT department? An immediate no?
As a vendor, we are constantly on the road meeting with hospitals. Our engagements are typically with Patient Access Managers, CFOs and CEOs – and each time the IT constraint issue comes up. Making self-services available to patients makes sense, but the unavailability of IT resources is the first objection to be raised (well that and privacy, but I will address the issue of web forms and kiosks vs Post-it notes and fax machines in a separate post).
Patient satisfaction has become more important than ever, as it is now directly tied to reimbursement. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires hospitals to report patient satisfaction of (HCAHPS) results.
In light of this growing priority, Disney has introduced its new program, that incorporates the five most powerful Disney philosophies – leadership excellence, people management, quality service, brand loyalty and creativity/innovation – to help healthcare organizations exceed the expectations of patients.
“Our program helps hospitals and healthcare organizations focus more on the overall patient experience, rather than just clinical outcomes” says Disney Institute consultant Patrick Jordan, a former healthcare executive. “This is incredibly important for building a culture of excellence.“
Results to date have been positive. For example, Fierce Healthcare reports that:
“Florida Hospital for Children has seen patient satisfaction scores increase after their time with Disney Institute. After measuring patient and family satisfaction scores two years in a row, administrators were shocked to find their facility ranked in the bottom ten percent of hospitals nationwide.
FHC began embracing change through Disney Institute seminars, site visits and subsequent training sessions at the hospital. As a result, Press Ganey patient/family satisfaction scores jumped from the bottom 10 percent in the nation to the top 10 percent, employee morale soared, employee retention rates improved and the hospital’s pediatric emergency room is now ranked top in the nation.”
So beyond Disney’s ability to capture the imagination (and wallets) of millions with their theme parks, what other industries should hospitals look to for ideas?
How about the airline industry? I know, I know, we all have nightmare stories from the airline industry…but hear me out.
The last time that I took a flight, I registered online and added my preferences. The airline provided some valuable instructions and offered the option to pick my own seat. Once I arrived at the airport, I checked-in at a kiosk, got my boarding pass, and made my way to security. From a customer perspective, the experience was convenient because it saved time and gave me more control over my flying experience (I got a window seat!).
From the airline’s perspective, they captured more complete and accurate data from me before I left home. In addition, as soon as I checked-in from a kiosk it updated their system automatically and I was told exactly where to go next. By having even a small number of customers using the self-service option it significantly reduces line-ups and streamlines the flow of travelers from the front door of the airport to the correct seats in the plane.
Hospitals using self-service technology are seeing measurable benefits and improved patient and staff satisfaction within months of implementation. Southlake Regional Health Centre, a 365 bed hospital, is already getting a 78% uptake by patients who have a scheduled appointment. As a result of the high adoption rate from patients, they achieved in the first year:
-$400,000 operational savings;
-30% reduction in registration staff (redistributed 10 FTEs to other functions within the hospital);
-50% reduction in registration data errors.
Kemptville District Hospital, a small 30 bed rural hospital, has been piloting the same model for three months with day surgery, and they are already forecasting a potential $100,000 in savings.
Specialty clinics such as the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre are also looking to self-service options to enhance the patient experience. In this case, cancer patients enter a record of their symptoms at the same time as they check-in at a kiosk for their scheduled appointment.
In closing, if Disney can help hospitals to skyrocket their satisfaction scores, and the airline model can help streamline the flow of patients, what other lessons are out there that could benefit our hospitals? We would love your thoughts.
Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) has launched a pilot project using the PatientWay Suite of self-service technologies, which will contribute to the hospital’s registration efficiencies and improve patient satisfaction with an online pre-registration portal and touchscreen kiosks.
“We are thrilled to see the KDH pilot project go live. It’s the type of progressive and innovative hospital that has shown that it can take rapid growth in stride.” Says PatientWay CEO Jay Lawrence, “Working with a hospital the size of KDH helps us to better understand the value proposition for our products in smaller Canadian healthcare facilities.“
In the future, when the project moves to the outpatient clinics, a patient who has an appointment will have the option of visiting the KDH website and pre-register from the comfort of their own home up to 48 hours before an appointment. The kiosk will let patients bypass the registration desk upon arrival and check-in by swiping their health card at the touch-screen.
Dr. Steven Oliver, from the KDH’s orthopaedics clinic, was impressed with the smooth transition at his clinic, which was the first at KDH to use the new system. “It has not increased the workload on my office staff, and we have not received one complaint from patients. It was a very smooth transition moving towards pre-registration”.
KDH serves an area south of Ottawa that has seen dramatic population growth in recent years. The area is popular with both retirees and commuters from Ottawa and is one of the fastest growing communities in the region. Striving to meet a heavier demand for healthcare services, KHD has enlarged its facilities, including the ER and OR. The PatientWay Suite fits in perfectly with the hospital’s expansion and modernization.
KDH CEO, Colin Goodfellow says “In keeping with our commitment to provide patient focused care to our community, we will be offering our patients choice through an innovative self service option. Most people are already used to online banking, booking their vacations online, and checking-in for their flight at a kiosk in the airport. Now those same conveniences will be available to our patients when they come to the hospital.”
KDH joins several other health organizations using PatientWay technology, including Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Southlake Regional Health Centre and the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre in Newmarket.
About Kemptville District Hospital:
Kemptville District Hospital is a fully accredited healthcare facility committed to building healthy communities. We offer a range of services based on advanced expertise, technologies and patient care practices. Our emergency department is open around the clock and provides prompt medical attention. Our use of new medical applications such as Tele-health and remote diagnostic imaging has made us a service leader in Eastern Ontario. Further, our surgical program provides timely access to high demand specialists, while our staff’s dedication to patients has earned us a reputation for excellence in caring. Kemptville District Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in Ontario for patient satisfaction.
The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, one of Canada’s largest hospitals, has entered into an agreement with PatientWay to introduce self-service kiosks across the hospital. The touchscreen kiosks will feature PatientWay’s Wayfinding solution, which will make it easy for visitor’s to navigate through the hospital.
“We are excited to be working with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. As a recognized leader in patient care, it’s an ideal site for showcasing PatientWay technology and expertise in hospital process improvement”, says PatientWay CEO, Jay Lawrence. “Our Kiosks will help Sunnybrook to further position itself as the premier centre of excellence for patient care in Canada.“
With the PatientWay Kiosk Wayfinding solution, patients will be able to navigate through a list of pre-determined destinations, while having the route displayed on the touchscreen in real time. Kiosks will be displayed at different stations around the hospital and patients will have the ability to view their route at any of these stations. In addition, directions to services outside of the hospital such as parking and restaurants will also be available.
Sarina Cheng, Director Health Data Resources & Information and Telecommunication Services at Sunnybrook, comments “Today, Consumers are accustomed to online access as a convenient way to look up information when completing day to day tasks. The trend towards self service options in health care is on the rise. With Patient Way’s self service technology and kiosks for wayfinding, self check in and self registration Sunnybrook will enhance and continue to support the patient and visitor experience to provide the best possible service and satisfaction when visiting our hospital”.
PatientWay Kiosks, which have been installed in several hospitals including Southlake Regional Health Centre, the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre, the Kemptville District Hospital and the Campbellford Memorial Hospital to deliver services from patient self check-in to satisfaction surveys, will be installed at Sunnybrook this Fall, making wayfinding maps available to its visitors as a starter. A key feature of the product is that Sunnybrook will be able to easily change their wayfinding routes on their own when necessary.