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In a pay-for-performance world, patient experience excellence isn't optional

May 26th, 2016

by Michelle Rathman

Of all the quality and performance measures hospitals must tackle, patient experience (satisfaction) is one of the most challenging. While process and outcome measures have dramatically improved in recent years, there is no fix yet for creating a fail-proof excellent patient experience. Consider that during a typical three-to-four-day hospital stay, a patient may interact with 50 to 60 employees, and it’s easy to see the many opportunities for situations to go wrong.

Pay-for-performance, which entails measuring patient satisfaction, won’t be going away anytime soon, and so it behooves hospital leaders to understand and address the roadblocks to achieving excellence in the patient experience. Whether it’s outdated or unenforced policies, a poor culture or bad attitudes or behaviors, hospitals must get to the heart of these matters to build a solid service excellence-oriented organizational culture.

For hospitals struggling to maintain market share, patient satisfaction is not only the key to their success but to their survival.

=> Read more!

Hospital leaders: To transform care, simplify your team's priorities

May 26th, 2016

by Scott Kashman

How would you simplify your organization's priorities?

These priorities go beyond your patients--they need to resonate with your whole team. Your patients and families will be the benefactors.

A couple of years ago, our hospital started to rally around three operational priorities. Even our definitions had to be simplified so all employees, physicians and volunteers could understand their part. After some back and forth with my colleagues, Wendy Piascik, Dr. Michael Schultz and Roger Chen, we decided on the following:

=> Read more!

Telemedicine industry must embrace scrutiny to ensure quality

May 26th, 2016

by Dan Bowman

Research published earlier this week in JAMA Dermatology examining the accuracy and quality of services delivered by direct-to-consumer telemedicine companies caused quite a stir in the healthcare industry.

In the study, researchers posed as dermatological patients for 62 clinical encounters. The authors found clinicians repeatedly missed major diagnoses, including syphilis, herpes and skin cancer, and did not ask relevant questions. Treatments sometimes were at odds with existing guidelines.

At a panel discussion Monday at the American Telemedicine Association's annual conference in Minneapolis, John Jesser, president of Anthem's LiveHealth Online, took issue with the use of "simulated patients," which he called "devious," according to both MedCity News and Politico Pro's Morning eHealth that in-person care can be subpar, as well.

>>Read the full commentary at FierceHealthIT

How a shift in care delivery changed one health system's mission, vision and values

May 19th, 2016

by Barry Ronan

It is interesting to see how our mission, vision and core values at Western Maryland Health System have been applied over the last few years as we transitioned to our value-based care delivery model. As we transitioned from volume to value, we felt that it was essential to re-examine our mission statement, our vision statement and our values.

As we embraced the Triple Aim of healthcare reform, our board decided to bring our mission statement more in line with our new commitment to value-based care delivery. It was changed from “superior care for all we serve” to “we are dedicated to providing patient-centered care and improving the health and well-being of people in the communities we serve.” The board felt that our previous mission statement focused more on care delivery within the hospital while the new mission statement introduced a much-needed community health perspective.

=> Read more!

Post-discharge patient safety lessons from the field

May 19th, 2016

by Andrea J. Simon

Ensuring the safety of patients after they’ve been discharged from the hospital is a huge concern for healthcare providers. While everyone agrees that the best place for patients to heal is in their homes, not every patient has the support team and ability to manage their post-hospital care satisfactorily.

Depending on the diagnosis, between 17 percent and 23 percent of Medicare patients have to be readmitted within 30 days post-discharge, according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Of course, sometimes readmission is necessary. But in many cases, say the experts, the problems could have been prevented.

So what is being done to help patients stay safe and get well at home?

=> Read more!

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