Under the Affordable Care Act, patient satisfaction has become even more important. And, having a low patient satisfaction or HCAHPS scores can directly impact the financial operations of a healthcare organization as well as its reputation in the community.
Ask any person who has ever been hospitalized or stayed at the bedside of a loved one, and they will agree that hospitals are busy, noisy places. Alarms clang. Pages blare overhead. Doors open and close. TVs drone. And, of course, people talk. This takes away from the overall healing and patient experience.
Due to the high volume of overhead pages, patients complained that Inspira Health Network (IHN) hospitals were too noisy and even gave the hospitals low patient satisfaction scores. So, IHN launched an initiative with mobile communications app Practice Unite to lower the noise level in its hospitals and it was able to take the overhead pages down from 150 a day to less than three a day and increase its patient sat scores.
Over the last year, Inspira Health Network’s Vineland Hospital has also been able to increase HCAHPS Scores by 26% as part of the Quiet Hospital Initiative compared to the prior twelve months at this one hospital (there are 60 in the INH network) and the solution is being deployed at other locations and initial scores are also trending upwards.
“We always strive to provide a great patient experience at Inspira,” said Tom Pacek, chief information officer, Inspira Health Network. “It was clear that we needed to reduce the number of overhead pages in our three main facilities. The problem was that our nurses had become dependent on this system to reach physicians. Practice Unite, Futura Mobility and Pursuit Healthcare worked with our IT team to design an innovative solution that has allowed us to all but eliminate overhead paging. This made an immediate impact that is already showing up as increased HCAHPS scores.”
The Practice Unite solution makes it easy for nurses to reach physicians. They send a secure text from their desktop to a secure mobile app on the physician’s phone. The physicians call the nurses back directly by clicking on the message which routes automatically to the nurses at their assigned extension. These extensions can change on a daily basis. The Practice Unite app makes it simple for the nurse to change this daily.