Partnering With Our Customers to Accelerate Speed to Care

Covid Year in Review

The past 12 months have been difficult in more ways than we can count. But, while we lament the struggles and mourn the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the United States, we can also take stock of the victories, accomplishments, innovations, and breakthroughs achieved in the age of COVID-19. We can even appreciate some of the ways healthcare has changed for the better.

To quote our Chief Clinical Officer Kelly Conklin, who spent 20 years as a trauma and ER nurse, “These ‘unprecedented times,’ challenging and sad though they’ve been, are the impetus for a lot of promising change in the world of healthcare, and I’m optimistic that the ‘new normal’ is going to be a friendlier, more convenient, and more modern experience.”

COVID-19 Demanded a Flexible Response

At PerfectServe, our COVID experience has been focused on supporting the hundreds of healthcare organizations that use our technology every day. Infectious disease doesn’t ask permission to spread, so deploying PerfectServe’s technology quickly and effectively has been key to our efforts. We started with an offer of free software and services for customers. As time went on, use cases became more varied.

Initial Wave in March 2020

  • Supported curbside testing coordination.
  • Built a new platform to enable hospitals on lockdown to communicate with patients’ family members from the core PerfectServe system.
  • Facilitated news, announcements, and other mass communication for employee and clinician alignment on treatments, procedures, and protocols. (Core communication traffic increased by 400%.)

Mid-Pandemic

  • Reduced infection risk for clinicians by allowing them to use their mobile devices to round on less acute COVID patients.
  • Enabled quick and app-less telehealth visits as clinics remained closed.
  • Offered a Rapid Surge Scheduling solution to help organizations easily build and update provider schedules as available staff, patient load, and even hospital facilities changed rapidly.

Reopening

  • Enabled a virtual waiting room capability to help clinics adhere to safety protocols as certain facilities reopened

Vaccine Rollout

  • Facilitated the communication of vaccine procedures and distribution of information within clinical care teams.
  • Currently leveraging Lightning Bolt’s Access Optimization capability to build optimized provider schedules based on time taken to vaccinate patients—using average vaccination throughput as a driver for provider schedule creation.

The growing list of new use cases reflects how PerfectServe has embraced the agility required to be an effective technology partner for healthcare organizations. To echo Sachin Jain’s recent column for Forbes, Change does not have to be slow, plodding, and hyper-rational. At the height of the COVID-19 crisis, healthcare organizations showed remarkable agility because the situation demanded it.”

We know how important communication and coordination are for care delivery, and we’ve delivered solutions that meet the needs of a once-in-a-century moment.

  • Pull together a team to launch a new patient communication platform in a few weeks?
    We can do that.
  • Rethink our implementation protocols to execute a virtual multi-site go-live for a large health system?
    We can do that too.
  • Launch an easy-to-use, fast-to-deploy video visit platform that enables providers to reach more of their patient population while in-person visits are discouraged?
    We’re on it—and we’ll do it quickly.

A couple of customers shared some thoughts about the support PerfectServe provided as their organizations ramped up COVID-19 response efforts:

“When COVID hit, we had to look for alternative virtual solutions in an attempt to connect with all of our patients. PerfectServe was able to quickly help us stand up their video platform to assist in certain situations. They were able to understand and meet our patients’ needs.”

– Andrew Bradford, Director of Virtual Health, St. Elizabeth Physicians

“As far as COVID support from PerfectServe, implementing the Lightning Bolt Rapid Surge Scheduling solution was a very simple process. I was able to add and change assignments as needed, which I have always been able to do, but the most helpful was when we had to add more support personnel on the fly. Having that flexible scheduling capability was critical during such an uncertain time, and the whole PerfectServe team was a huge help.”

– Sandee Leslie, Practice Program Coordinator, St. Luke’s Health System (Nampa and Meridian Medical Centers)

Amplifying Diverse Voices

2020 challenged companies to think differently in many ways. We’ve been reminded time and time again that recognizing and amplifying diverse voices makes a business stronger, wiser, and more inclusive. PerfectServe’s Diversity & Inclusion (DE&I) Advisory Council led the charge to adopt a revamped diversity charter for the company, and a simple but powerful new motto permeates all DE&I efforts:

“Different is Perfect.”

PerfectServe works with hospitals and practices in every corner of the country, and we want our team members to reflect the diversity of thought, background, and experience that we see in our customers—and our customers’ patients—every single day. This work never ends, and our CEO, Guillaume Castel, constantly emphasizes the egalitarian nature of healthcare:

“No matter who you are, where you come from, what you believe, or what you look like, we all need care at some point in our lives.”

– Guillaume Castel, Chief Executive Officer, PerfectServe

Healthcare affects everyone, and that means everyone should have a seat at the table.

To recap, a lot has been learned in the last year:

  • We listened closely to customers so we could address their most pressing needs with our solutions—and we created new solutions along the way.
  • We tweaked, reworked, and updated processes to get work done more efficiently than ever in a virtual environment.
  • We found new ways to reinforce a company culture that starts with inclusivity and committed to growing on that momentum.
  • We saw real life in stark relief as Zoom calls were graced with—not interrupted by—pets, family members, friends, and everything in between.

More than 100 million COVID vaccine doses have now been administered in the United States, and as a glimmer of normalcy looms on the horizon, rest assured that PerfectServe will emerge from the pandemic with clarity of purpose and a steadfast commitment to customers: With our technology and the talented employees who make our company tick, we will continue to accelerate speed to care by making collaboration more intuitive, scheduling more optimized, and communication more effective.

Would you like to learn more about how we can help your organization thrive with better communication, scheduling, and/or collaboration?

Comprehensive Clinical Communication to Support Mother-Baby Care Delivery

Nearly four million babies are born per year in the United States.1 Obstetricians, pediatricians, nurses, case managers, discharge coordinators, and various other providers and care teams work to ensure that mothers and babies have optimal solutions for pregnancy, labor, delivery, and child healthcare.

From preconception to parenthood, PerfectServe’s comprehensive communication solutions can help your practice provide top-notch care at every touchpoint of mother and baby’s healthcare journey. Click the image below to download the infographic.

1Births and Natality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/births.htm

To learn more about how PerfectServe can support your organization in mother-baby care delivery, contact one of our Clinical Communication Specialists.

PerfectServe Stands in the Fight Against Racism and Injustice

The murder of George Floyd on May 25—and the events that have transpired since then—requires deliberate introspection about the state of affairs in our country and beyond. These events are of deep concern to me, our employees, our families, our friends, and our communities.

The Black community is in pain, and positive change is a necessity. PerfectServe stands in the fight against racism and injustice. We stand to overcome the challenges that we face and use our voices to demand that ignorance and inequity come to an end.

It’s important for me to reassert that PerfectServe has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. We pride ourselves on creating a work environment that is equally welcoming to people of all races, genders, religions, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and nationalities.

In this moment, actions speak louder than words. We’re committed to evaluating our processes and standards—with help and input from people inside and outside the company—to ensure that diversity and inclusion play a larger role in PerfectServe’s culture moving forward. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but these initiatives will make us a stronger company and a better member of the community in the end.

This is only the beginning. We are confronted with daunting social challenges, and there isn’t a silver bullet. We can all do better, and PerfectServe is committed to being part of the solution.


Guillaume Castel
CEO, PerfectServe

National Nurses Week 2020

Annual celebration of nurses takes on special meaning during COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, businesses around the country, from Dunkin’ to Adidas to Chipotle to H&R Block, are clamoring to offer freebies and discounts for nurses to celebrate National Nurses Week 2020. Though it’s never a bad time to highlight the incredible work nurses do as vital members of care teams in healthcare organizations across the country, this year’s celebration feels especially poignant as the country (and much of the world) is still reeling from the effects of COVID-19.

PerfectServe is fortunate to have nurses on staff, including team members who still practice part-time today and others who transitioned into information technology full-time after spending years in nursing careers. With this valuable perspective in-house, we asked a few of these current and former nurses to share their thoughts about how COVID-19 has changed the role of a nurse, and which we’ll share throughout the rest of the week.

Julie Mills, RN, BSN, MBA

Julie-Mills-Photo

With 18 years of experience as a nurse, Julie has worked in many capacities sharing her clinical expertise, including in the US Air Force as a Unit Coordinator. Currently, Julie is a Senior Clinical Solutions Executive at PerfectServe, where she serves as a clinical advisor to teams across the company. She also practices at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and is pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Healthcare Administration degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Nurses are the listening ear, the conversationalist, and the hand holder.

“I’ve been a nurse for 18 years and currently practice a few days every month at an academic medical center that also serves as the region’s only Level I Trauma Center. COVID-19 brings a heightened sense of awareness to all that we do—checking temps when you walk in the door, wearing masks, and being mindful of supplies. Families aren’t allowed to visit, so they’re calling us more for updates about their loved ones, and the emotional support we provide becomes more critical to the patient.

Nurses have always been the primary patient caregiver at the bedside, but in a crisis, their role is expanded. Without families at the bedside, the nurse is the all day, everyday support system. Beyond providing care, nurses also step up to be the listening ear, the conversationalist and the hand holder. In rapidly changing clinical situations, the nurse’s clinical acumen and intuition are essential to managing care and communications with other team members.”

Mary Piepenbrink, RN, BSN, MBA

Mary-Piepenbrink-Photo

With more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Mary has served both as a nurse and a leader in information technology software and service solutions. Currently, she is the Vice President of Sales, Lightning Bolt, where she supports caregivers and helps hospitals and health systems improve their operations, reduce costs, and counteract provider burnout.

COVID-19: An Unprecedented Situation for Nurses

“This is unprecedented for most nurses; most do not have experience beyond routine infection prevention standards and practices. Some specialists mask, gown, and glove up when they care for known infectious patients, but typically that is a careful, thoughtful, measured approach. With COVID-19, nurses are doing this in long stretches and seeing patients rapid-fire. Nurses aren’t just concerned about the hard mental and physical work caring for patients they they normally do—they are fearful about transmission to other patients, concerned about the health of their coworkers, and of course have enormous stress about bringing the virus home to their families. As they do what they do best—triage, adapt, multitask, worry—I can’t but help wonder what effect this will have on our profession long term. I check in on my clinician friends—nurses, doctors, pharmacists—not just where I live, but in other more affected cities, to try and support them by listening and providing encouragement. Many of us feel helpless to do more.”

Mark Denny, BSN

Mark-Denny-Photo

Currently a Clinical Consultant at PerfectServe, Mark assists healthcare organizations as they implement PerfectServe’s Clinical Communication & Collaboration solutions. Mark worked in clinical informatics before transitioning to healthcare IT consulting.

Much-Needed Recognition for Nurses

“The presence of a nurse has a critical impact in any clinical setting, but even more so at this time. Right now, nurses are truly practicing the emergency alert responses they are taught and hope to never use. Nurses in general are frequently exposed to pathogens, bugs, volatile patient situations, staff shortages, and endless documentation, all the while going unnoticed for their work on a day to day basis. This crisis has brought to light many of the dangerous situations nurses willingly walk into every day, and they are now receiving the recognition they deserve. My work doesn’t take me to the bedside anymore, but my contributions make it easier for nursing staff to communicate with their co-workers and on-call physicians while making a positive impact on patient care.”

Celebrating National Nurses Week

For over 20 years, PerfectServe has worked hand-in-hand with nurses to improve care delivery workflows at hospitals and practices across the country. In fact, PerfectServe might not exist if it hadn’t been for the wife of founder Terry Edwards. Penny Edwards was a nurse handling inbound communication for a private practice, and her frustrations with the antiquated process for fielding patient messages and coordinating responses with the physician are what led Terry to devise a more modern after-hours answering service solution.

From those beginnings, PerfectServe has grown to serve healthcare delivery organizations of all shapes and sizes, and one thing that has never changed is the courage and dedication we witness every day from the nurses we serve. Happy National Nurses Week, and thank you for being the backbone of care delivery in communities throughout the United States, especially in times of crisis.

3 Ways to Save Nurses’ Time With Better Communication

nurse-time-perfectserve

Nurses play a central role in providing patient-centered, cost-effective care. They are responsible for care coordination and communication with each patient’s family members, as well as a growing care team of physicians and specialists, ancillary staff, and care coordinators. In addition to nurses’ growing list of daily nonclinical tasks, inefficient care coordination workflows prevent them from working to the top of their licensure.

A 2018 time and motion study revealed that in four hours, nurses spent around 32 minutes communicating with patients and family and 51 minutes communicating and coordinating care with members of the care team1—fully 34.6% of nurses’ time each day. Technology aimed at improving nurse workflows has often contributed to their frustration by adding siloed, task-specific “solutions” to their workload.

Let’s talk about the alternative. Keep reading to learn three ways clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) technology can help healthcare organizations empower their nurses to work at the top of their license to drive patient-centered care for optimal outcomes.

Reduce Communication Cycle Times

Communication workflows are often cumbersome, requiring nurses to reference several systems and/or paper on-call schedules to page, call, and relay information through office staff … and then wait for the intended recipient to call back. This error-prone process causes care delays and requires a full restart when a provider is unavailable for any reason.

An improved communication strategy built around an integrated solution like PerfectServe can reduce average response times from 45 minutes to 20 minutes or less.2 Here are some key capabilities that can make it easy for nurses to find the right physician at the right time:

  • One unified directory to find and contact clinicians by name, role, and/or on-call status (e.g. “cardiologist on call”), or to send messages to the whole patient care team at the touch of a button.
  • Built in physician contact preferences to ensure communication is delivered via the preferred/frequently checked method.
  • Read receipts and smart escalation to ensure messages are read, acknowledged, and acted upon in a timely manner.
  • Message history and EHR integration for quick context.

Faster communication leads to safer, quicker, and higher quality care.

Integrate Alerts and Critical Result Notifications

Alarms, alerts, and other notifications continue to be named among the top 10 health technology hazards for 2020,impacting patient satisfaction and contributing to alarm fatigue.

In a 2015 study, nurses reported that only 52% of bed calls required nursing care, while others could be answered by support staff.4 Constant interruptions reduce care efficiency and require nurses to make multiple unnecessary trips to patient rooms. While nurses are inundated with too many alerts, they are not adequately alerted of critical results and orders, requiring them to repeatedly check the EHR for updates.

Centralizing alerts and communication across multiple systems, including the EHR and nurse call system, can eliminate noise, add context to alert notifications, and call attention to critical alerts by allowing:

  • Delivery of alerts to mobile devices, where nurses can accept, escalate, or call back to speak with the patient.
  • Push notification of critical results (lab or radiology) or physician orders to speed up time to care.
  • Routing of nonclinical alerts to patient care techs or nursing assistants.
  • Workflow rules to help ensure that only critical alarms disrupt normal workflows and are differentiated with a distinct alert tone.
  • Clinical surveillance to send push alerts for sepsis, respiratory deterioration, organ failure, etc.
  • Routing of “leads off” alarms to only alert the nurse assigned to that specific patient, set to escalate to the charge nurse if the assigned nurse does not respond within a predetermined time frame, eliminating an audible, ward-wide alert.

Simplify Patient Engagement

Nurses are tasked with keeping family members up to date on patient status, sharing care instructions, arranging discharge, and following up with patients and their families after discharge. As nurses invest increasing amounts of time in patient and family engagement activities, they become more confined to the nurses’ station and less available at the patient bedside.

Post-discharge patient engagement often relies heavily on phone communication, with declining impact due to phone tag and low voicemail retrieval rates. On the other hand, secure texting with patients and families allows health systems to automate more effective outreach in order to:

  • Share care instructions, arrange discharge, and answer questions.
  • Route inbound messages to the call center, rather than the nurse, for triage.
  • Automate patient outreach, such as surveys, post-discharge instructions (tailored to the patient profile), and referrals.
  • Support two-way communication and allow individuals to respond to patients as needed, leveraging the expertise of nurse assistants, call agents, and more.

Start Saving Nurses’ Time

PerfectServe’s CC&C solution with patient engagement capabilities helps streamline nurse workflows, reduce care delays, improve patient safety, and boost patient satisfaction. To learn more, contact us or click below.

PerfectServe’s Solution for Nurses

 

References:

  1. Nurses’ Time Allocation and Multitasking of Nursing Activities: A Time Motion Study, AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings, 2018: 1137-1146, Yen, P. et al., 2018: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371290/#r34-2975707
  2. Secure Clinical Communications Makes Real Patient Impact, Health IT Outcomes, Griffith, A., 2015: healthitoutcomes.com/doc/secure-clinical-communications-makes-real-patient-impact-0001
  3. 2020 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards Executive Brief, 2020: org/landing-2020-top-ten-health-technology-hazards
  4. Interruptions of nurses’ activities and patient safety: an integrative literature review, Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, Monteiro Cintia et al., 2015: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4376046

Prevent Patient Leakage With In-Network Referrals

Healthcare leaders must reduce patient leakage by improving clinical communication throughout the referral process to support value-based care and drive better patient and population health outcomes.

Large healthcare networks were created to broaden patient access to connected providers and facilities. In-network referrals are a key aspect of maintaining continuity of care across hospitals, primary care facilities, outpatient facilities, and ancillary services to support better patient outcomes.

What is patient leakage?

Patient leakage, also known as referral leakage and patient referral leakage, describes when a patient seeks or obtains healthcare services outside the hospital network. Unfortunately, when patients go outside the network for care, significant problems can occur.

Problems Caused by Patient Leakage

  1. The patient loses care continuity, often resulting in a frustrating patient experience and suboptimal patient health outcomes.
  2. The health system loses revenue and visibility into the patient’s healthcare journey, which is essential for tracking patient progress and administering future treatment.
  3. The out-of-network specialist may not have full access to the patient’s medical records and history to support proper treatment.
  4. With out-of-network referrals, inefficiencies in the referral process can result in denied referrals, delays in patient diagnosis or care, duplicate testing, and reduced continuity of care.1

One study found that approximately 70% of primary care providers (PCPs) report sending patient history and reason for referral, but less than 35% of specialists report receiving that information.2

The Cost of Patient Leakage

Every year, more than a third of patients in the US are referred to a specialist. Healthcare executives report the following:

  • 43% are losing 10% or more of annual revenue to patient leakage.
  • 19% are losing up to 20% of annual revenue.
  • 20% don’t understand where or why patient leakage occurs.3

20% percent of malpractice claims for missed or delayed diagnoses involved communication deficits in handoffs.3

What causes patient leakage?

Patient leakage occurs for a variety of reasons, but it happens most frequently when physicians issue out-of-network referrals. A survey of 200 physicians across the US revealed that a significant contributor to out-of-network referrals is the lack of access to detailed information about in-network providers.

91-96% of physicians say details including a provider’s general specialty, subspecialty, specific area of clinical focus, and availability to see a patient in a timely manner are highly important to inform referrals. But only 57-63% of respondents report having access to these details.4

Healthcare organizations can reduce business losses from out-of-network referrals and improve care outcomes by making it easier to find and hand off care to in-network care providers.

Patient Satisfaction Contributes to Patient Leakage

Another cause of patient leakage is a patient’s choice to go outside the healthcare network, which could be caused by a lack of information about in-network options or problems with the patient experience. A patient may leave with an in-network referral, but choose a competing facility instead.

Why? Sometimes, the patient is dissatisfied with their care. Other times, patients conduct their own research and choose a competing facility without knowing how the choice might impact the coordination of their care.

How to Reduce Patient Leakage

To reduce patient leakage, healthcare organizations need to support in-network referrals by enhancing transparency and simplifying the referral process. Make sure the right information is accessible to physicians looking for an in-network specialist for a patient referral. Use a system that delivers the referral to the right provider at the right time, with built-in escalation to ensure a timely response.

A clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) solution can help if it offers:

Clinician Collaboration

  • Unified Directory: Referring physicians can easily look up any in-network clinician by name, role, or specialty. Search “cardiologist” to see a list of in-network cardiologists and further refine the list by hospital or healthcare facility to best support patients.
  • Safe Patient Handoff: Referring PCPs or hospital physicians can perform a safe handoff to seamlessly share patient history and clinical notes with the specialist.
  • Care Coordination: Support ongoing communication among the complete care team—including the referring physician and the specialist—with HIPAA-compliant messaging to foster team-based decision making and close the loop on patient care.

Patient Communication

  • Patient Education: Ongoing communication with patients and their family members can be automated and delivered via text message to boost engagement and help patients understand the importance of in-network referrals.
  • Patient Referral Follow-Up: Help increase the completion rate of referrals by sending a text to the patient after treatment or discharge to connect them with an in-network provider so they can schedule an appointment.
  • Patient Satisfaction Surveys: Sending links to satisfaction surveys after each healthcare encounter can help you spot and potentially resolve issues that would otherwise impact patient loyalty and HCAHPS scores.

Streamline Patient Referrals to Reduce Patient Leakage

Healthcare networks can propel value-based care and reduce patient leakage with effective clinical collaboration and patient engagement solutions. To learn more about how patient and family engagement supports value-based care initiatives, read the white paper.

Get the White Paper

 

Sources:

  1. Dropping the Baton: Specialty Referrals in the United States, The Milbank Quarterly, Mehrotra et al., 2011: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3160594/
  2. Referral and Consultation Communication Between Primary Care and Specialist Physicians, Finding Common Ground, JAMA Network, O’Malley, Reschovsky, Jan. 10, 2011: jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/226367
  3. Patient Leakage: A new survey highlights high costs, limited control, Fibroblast, Oct. 2018: fibroblast.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Patient-Leakage-A-new-survey-highlights-high-costs-limited-control-October-2018-1.pdf
  4. Docs Could Avoid 34% of Out-of-Network Patient Referrals with Data, Xtelligent Healthcare Media, LaPointe, J., Aug.31, 2018: revcycleintelligence.com/news/docs-could-avoid-34-of-out-of-network-patient-referrals-with-data

 

The Role of Patient Engagement in Remote Patient Monitoring

remote patient monitoring

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) allows healthcare providers to monitor patients outside of the clinical setting. Particularly important for the management of chronic diseases, RPM is helping improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare delivery costs.

Why Patient Monitoring is Critical

It is important to remember that patient monitoring is essential, especially when it comes to combating chronic diseases. By 2020, it is estimated that more than 40% of all the adults in the US (roughly 157 million people) will suffer from at least one chronic health issue such as diabetes or asthma; almost a quarter (81 million) will live with multiple chronic conditions.1

One of the best ways to treat chronic conditions is with regular and consistent treatment. However, the average American struggles with care plan adherence. Roughly half of all-American patients do not take their medication as intended; one out of five prescriptions are never actually filled. Medication non-adherence is estimated to cause 125,000 deaths per year. Poor medication adherence results in 33-69% of medication-related hospital admissions, with medication nonadherence costing the industry as much as $300 billion in direct and indirect costs every year.2

As of 2019, the Medicare fee schedule attaches reimbursement to general physiological remote monitoring of chronic conditions. This new schedule recognizes the value of patient-reported outcomes and RPM in improving health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. According to KLAS Research, one-fourth of healthcare organizations say RPM reduces emergency visits and readmissions.3 Further, 13% of organizations report RPM improves medication compliance, 17% cite quantified cost reductions, and 25% report greater patient satisfaction.4

To effectively treat chronic illnesses, patients must adhere to a strict treatment regimen: taking their medications as prescribed and regularly attending follow-up appointments. As well as being a waste of clinical resources, a patient’s failure to attend their scheduled appointments (no-shows) often can be an early warning sign of care plan non-adherence.

Download White Paper

Text-First Approach to Patient Monitoring

Using cancer clinics as an example, many implementations of RPM and patient-reported outcome systems are tied to in-clinic appointments or discharge, but not all include routine outreach.5 In other instances, self-reporting RPM systems may be cost-prohibitive or lack integration with the hospital infrastructure required to support clinical workflow.

Healthcare organizations can leverage text messaging to collect data for remote patient monitoring and gather patient reported outcomes with simple surveys. Healthcare organizations can text a link to a secure web survey to assess wellness, pain levels, specific measures (e.g. blood glucose levels), or potential medication side effects.

Other clinical communication modalities are not as effective or efficient. Only 20% of emails are opened.  Patient calls from the clinical staff have a very high administrative cost. In comparison, text messaging is extremely quick to administer and 90% are read within 3 minutes of being sent.6

PerfectServe’s text-first patient engagement solution can automate the collection of RPM data and other patient-reported outcomes. Survey responses that pass a predefined threshold are automatically escalated to expedite early intervention. All messages support two-way text messaging with healthcare professionals and the option to invite patients into an encrypted channel for secure chat. PerfectServe customers report:

  • 70% ongoing response rate for patient health status
  • 0.9 point reduction in A1C
  • 12.6% reduction in no-show rate
  • 32% reduction in readmissions

Empowering patients to participate in remote monitoring activities improves patient care plan adherence and patient satisfaction alike. The net result improves outcomes and reduces costs.

Reserve a Demo

 

Resources:
1https://www.nationalhealthcouncil.org/sites/default/files/AboutChronicDisease.pdf
2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3234383/
3https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/remote-patient-monitoring-cuts-hospital-admissions-er-visits-report-finds/539073/
4https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/remote-patient-monitoring-cuts-hospital-admissions-er-visits-report-finds/539073/
5https://www.curetoday.com/publications/cure/2019/spring-2019/patient-heal-thyself-those-who-self-report-symptoms-may-live-longer
6https://www.voicesage.com/blog/sms-compared-to-email-infograph/

Elevating the Role of the Nurse to Support Value-Based Care

nurse value-based care

As healthcare has evolved toward a value-based payment model, we have seen many changes in how healthcare is delivered and by whom. We have seen progressive healthcare organizations embrace value-based care, shifting toward an interdisciplinary approach to care that leverages population health management, social determinants of health, and patient engagement to improve outcomes across the spectrum of care.

The role of the nurse elevates with value-based care. Nurses provide more patient-centered, efficient, and cost-effective care, from pre-appointment and intake to discharge and follow-up. In the primary care setting, progressive providers have increased patient access by conducting nurse-only patient visits during which registered nurses document patient histories, order lab or other diagnostic tests, and determine patient acuity.

To meet the increased demands of value-based care, nurses must work to the top of their licensure. Studies conducted several years ago indicated that, on average, nurses spend as little as 25% to 30% of their time at the bedside.1 On top of clinical workloads, nurses are responsible for care coordination and communication among an expanding care team. As the concept of the care team expands under value-based care to include nurses, physicians, therapists, and home care workers across multiple hospital and acute and primary settings, nurses struggle with the inefficient workflows associated with legacy communication devices and numerous clinical and communication systems.

Read Our Success Story

The key to supporting the elevation of the nurse is the elimination of activities that do not directly contribute to the health and well-being of patients. The incorporation of innovative technology can assist in this effort. For example, advanced communication technology can help nurses communicate efficiently with other members of the care team including those off-site, such as home health nurses and healthcare professionals at specialized hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and wound care clinics. HIPAA-compliant secure text messaging can also take over many of the time-consuming communication tasks to prepare or follow-up with patients. The ideal solution helps reduce non-clinical tasks to allow nurses to focus their time on only those patients who need additional care.

PerfectServe’s clinical communication and care coordination platform addresses the inefficiencies of work processes and administrative tasks to allow nurses to assume a more significant role under value-based care, including:

  • Care Team Coordination – Collaborate with providers inside and outside the network. Connect with on-call care team members as a group, or by name or role such as “On-Call Cardiologist,” ensuring a nurse can reach the right physician at the right time to improve outcomes without the inefficiencies of referencing call schedules or playing phone-to-pager tag with physicians.
  • Pre-Appointment Patient Communication – Automate the communication of day-of-procedure information, appointment reminders, and wayfinding to prepare patients for upcoming appointments or procedures.
  • PostAppointment Patient Communication – Automate post-discharge communications to reiterate the care plan, send timely reminders (such as follow-up scheduling and prescription pick up), and assess patient health status and satisfaction with text-first survey questionnaires. Nurses can prioritize follow-up time to only those patients in need of clinical intervention.
  • Time-Critical Updates – Rather than force nurses to log into the EHR to check for results or orders, critical updates (orders and critical lab results) are pushed to the nurse and other care team members to speed up care coordination and delivery.
  • Real-Time Charting – A mobile, easy-to-use interface to access patient information and take notes, with text shortcuts, voice-to-text, and intelligent field mapping to reduce duplicate data entry.
  • Nurse Call, Alarms, Alerts – Nurses receive alerts on their mobile devices and web apps, where they can accept, escalate for assistance, or call back to speak with the patient.

By expanding the role and leadership of registered nurses and implementing improved processes facilitated by innovative technology, healthcare organizations can transform healthcare delivery, achieving improved efficiency and better outcomes at lower costs.

Learn More

 

1 https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/nursing/outsourcing-discharge-follow-calls-keep-nurses-bedside

Improve Well-Child Schedule Adherence with Patient Engagement

well-child feature image

The medical system has long adhered to the tenets of value-based care in the establishment of the periodicity schedule for well-child visits. The American Academy for Pediatrics (AAP) recommends formal screening for infants through adolescence to chart growth and development and to provide early interventions for illnesses and injuries, which provides benefit to both children and the healthcare system as a whole.

“While the end goal of health transformation should be achieving the triple aim of improved health quality, improved population health, and reduced per capita health care costs, this requires investing more, rather than less, in primary, preventive, and developmental care. At no age is this truer than for children, whose health trajectories have health cost implications over decades and lifetimes.” – Charles Bruner, Ph. D., et al1

Unfortunately, adherence the well-child schedule is suboptimal, with rates diminishing over time – as low as 41% by the time the child is 15 months old.2 For children over age 6, well-child visits help ensure continued health, including assessments on growth, weight, sleep, or signs of physical or mental health issues.3 For children with chronic conditions such as asthma, evidence suggests that low well-child visit adherence rates are associated with an increased risk of hospitalizations.4

Read Our White Paper

The reasons behind low adherence rates are complex. Modern families face multiple time constraints, may not know about ongoing well-child visit needs, or may face social or economic challenges that impact their ability to adhere to the periodicity schedule. Pediatric professionals focusing on improving adherence to well-child visits can take a multi-pronged approach:

  • Well-Child Visit Reminders: encourage adherence to well-child schedule with automated reminders or suggested appointment timeslots
  • Social Determinants of Health: focus health promotion materials on family, community, and social factors, including links to community resources, transportation coupons, etc.
  • Pre-Appointment: send appointment reminders and preparation instructions, helping reduce no-show rates
  • Lower Readmissions: follow up with children recently released from hospital after injury or illness with automated assessment questionnaires and care plan reminders
  • Wellness Education: provide pro-active wellness information and links to appropriate community resources or educational material on your patient portal.
  • Chronic Condition Management: identify and track children with special health care needs, sending care plan reminders, ongoing encouragement, and periodic assessment questionnaires to parents to expedite intervention

PerfectServe can provide you pre-scheduled communications as well as two-way messaging to help engage patients and their families in positive health outcomes. PerfectServe’s Patient & Family Communication tool leverages SMS text messages, social determinants of health, and pre-populated workflows to identify patients and families who could benefit from well-child visit reminders, educational materials, or SDOH support. Unlike emails or phone calls, text message communications benefit from high response rates, allowing you to reach out to parents when and where it matters most. Parents can schedule an upcoming well-child visit, answer a wellness survey, or ask a question, with automatic alerts sent to the care team if a patient may need preventative support or outreach.

Working with one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems, we sought to improve well-child schedule adherence rates for children age 0-3 years old. Prior to the program, many well-child visits occurred up to a month after they should have, impacting immunization schedules and early prevention programs. PerfectServe’s Patient & Family Communication tool sent parents a reminder about well-child appointments, leading to 13% more pediatric well-child visits, a tighter adherence to the recommended schedule, and more participation in visits beyond infancy. The program had the benefit of also raising postpartum depression screening rates from 30% to 70%.

Contact us to learn how we can help improve your well-child initiatives.

Start Engaging Patients

 

1https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/sites/default/files/Commentary%20on%20Value%20Based%20Care%20final%20Nov%202017%20pdf%20%28002%29.pdf

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30305388

3 https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-02-23/why-older-kids-need-well-child-checkups-too

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3551592/ ; https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524104642.htm

Lessons Learned from an Important Voice in Cross-Organizational Communication

Charting the most efficient path for critical patient communications within a complex care team is a tall order. When a large and complex team of care providers must work together—which is not a rare occurrence—communication breakdowns are all too common.

Mary Hatcher
Mary Hatcher, VP of Product Development
PerfectServe

Preventing these complex communication challenges requires forethought about the solutions required to move information accurately and efficiently from one care provider to the next. Mary Hatcher, Vice President of Product Development at PerfectServe, recently authored a guest blog about on this very topic for Healthcare IT Today. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Complex communication challenges most often occur immediately after discharge, when a patient is moving from the hospital to another setting, or with patients who have overlapping chronic conditions that require multiple specialists
  • EHRs are not equipped to solve the communication issues that frequently arise during complex care transitions
  • Healthcare organizations need a standardized communication process with tools and infrastructure that connect all members of a patient’s care team
  • The use of web and mobile applications facilitates real-time communication and collaboration across different care settings

To learn more, read the full article titled “How Clinical Communications Technology Connects the Care Team In Complex Cases” at Healthcare IT Today.

To discuss how unified clinical communication supports better patient care and outcomes, click below to speak with a clinical communication specialist.