Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital: Cutting Readmissions by 32% With Provider-to-Patient Texting
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital
St. Louis Park, Minnesota
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital is a 400-bed facility in St. Louis Park, Minnesota renowned for high-quality patient care, medical expertise, and disease management. Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital is part of Park Nicollet Health Services and HealthPartners.
Readmission rates are a key factor in quality ratings and reimbursement, but improving this metric can be a challenge. While following up with patients post discharge is proven to reduce readmission rates, reaching patients by phone is difficult and time-consuming.
Park Nicollet’s nurses were spending a significant amount of time calling patients and leaving messages, but readmission goals still weren’t being met. The organization needed a solution to reach more patients without increasing the workload for nurses.
With help from her team, Park Nicollet’s Vice President of Primary Care, Joan Sandstrom, partnered with PerfectServe to implement an automated, text-first patient follow-up solution.
PerfectServe built a series of customized follow-up text messages to assess each patient’s risk for readmission. Through integration with Park Nicollet’s ADT system, messages were automatically triggered with each discharge event.
Each text would clearly identify Park Nicollet as the sender and ask the patient a question, such as how they’re feeling or if they’ve resumed their medications. The final text would always include a telephone number, which is available 24/7 for questions.
The PerfectServe online dashboard was set up to collect and analyze all patient responses and nonresponses, automatically flagging patients in need of follow-up. Nurses could access a global view of their patient population and focus their attention on those most at risk for readmission.
The organization found that patients who received and responded to text messages were 32% less likely to be readmitted than those who were solely contacted by phone (results are risk-adjusted to account for the relative complexity of each patient’s conditions).
Overall, 70% of questions sent via text message received a response from patients, reducing the number of phone calls from nurses by 25%. PerfectServe made it possible to segment Park Nicollet’s patient population into risk categories, highlighting the 17% of cases that needed immediate follow-up.
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital’s results were so impressive that the organization’s Readmission Council elected to expand the PerfectServe solution to other hospitals in the HealthPartners system. The solution has helped overcome the challenge of patients ignoring phone calls from unfamiliar numbers, which eliminated games of phone tag between patients and nursing staff and allowed this valuable time to be refocused on direct patient care.