How Maintaining Patient Focus Improves Outcomes

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Patient focus is an integral part of improving health outcomes. That’s why health systems dedicated to improvement seek new, innovative ways to provide the best care. Ultimately, providers want to ensure patients not only leave in better shape than they arrived, but are empowered to maintain their health.

Lafayette General Health (LGH) recognized that maintaining patient focus through follow-up communications was an effective method to reduce unnecessary readmissions, as well as provider and emergency department visits. But to keep up with patient volume and busy workflows, there wasn’t enough time in the day to make individual contact with every single patient. With this in mind, LGH sought a digital solution that could streamline follow-up communications and decrease unnecessary visits as a result.

Following their search for a solution, LGH chose a cloud-based patient engagement platform. The consumer-centric tool now enables automated outreach to all discharged patients so that staff can maintain patient focus on the most urgent follow-up needs first. The automated, customized care loops in the platform provide daily touchpoints to patients with the right information at the right time.

Putting the Patient Engagement Platform to Work

LGH first rolled out the implementation of the platform’s care plans to the health system’s orthopedic service line at their main campus, as well as their ambulatory campus. This specialty was selected for the launch because of its high level of physician engagement, clearly defined pre-surgery processes and aligned post-acute follow-up protocols, as well as readmission avoidance opportunities.

Over the summer the platform launched, care plans were created and finalized. Patient enrollment in the platform care loops began that fall. Following a few cycles of learning within the orthopedic care loops, LGH implemented care loops for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery patients as well as congestive heart failure patients.

Laura Cooley, PhD, with Academy of Communication with Healthcare and Journal of Patient Experience, discusses with HIMSS TV the importance of communication between patients and providers.

As a result, LGH was able to improve patient engagement rates, decrease readmissions and improve satisfaction by maintaining patient focus. These efforts led to a 50% reduction in CABG readmissions alone, which equates to a $500,000 penalty reduction for Lafayette General Medical Center for one year.

HIMSS Analytics EMRAM Stage 7 Validation

HIMSS Analytics EMRAM

HIMSS is pleased to recognize LGH for their Stage 7 validation, as tracked by HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM).

“We began using a cloud-based patient engagement platform to become more efficient in reaching patients in a timely manner, while allowing them to respond when it’s convenient for them,” said Marisa Alack, chief engagement officer, Lafayette General Health. “All the telephonic outreach in the world doesn’t matter if people we’re trying to reach don’t answer their phones.”

“Lafayette recognized the importance of patient engagement and successfully leveraged digital health solutions for demonstrated improvement, such as a 50% reduction in CABG readmissions,” said Philip Bradley, regional director of North America for HIMSS Analytics. “Their Stage 7 validation is just one testament to their success.”

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