Improving clinical operations to deliver a better patient experience

During Becker's Hospital Review's 13th Annual Meeting, in a roundtable sponsored by Vituity, two Vituity leaders — Imamu Tomlinson, MD, chief executive officer, and Theo Koury, MD, president — facilitated a discussion about conventional and non-conventional approaches that healthcare organizations can adopt to improve the patient experience.

Three key insights were:

1. Patients need better communication with and from their providers. This includes clarity of communications and providers taking the time to explain diagnoses or treatment. "We home in on three key scripts when we talk to the patient: the plan for the day, the plan for the stay and introducing yourself," one roundtable participant representing a physician group in the Midwest said. Another participant highlighted the importance of having the entire care team present during ward rounds, so that any questions get asked to the patient at one time. "We need to redesign care so it's patient-centric care as opposed to provider-centric care," Dr. Koury added.

2. Organizational culture and workforce engagement is critical to the success of any organization. During a time of significant workforce shortage and high burnout, it’s increasingly important for health systems to clearly articulate their mission and make sure it resonates with clinical teams at all levels. To successfully build an engaged culture, it’s critical to make sure teams and individuals feel seen and heard, and this starts with asking them to share their vision for improving care and delivering solutions to the problems they face every day. Follow this up by incorporating them in the implementation of strategies and tactics to achieve this shared vision.

3. Clinical teams must be empowered and incentivized to make lasting care transformation. Front line care teams are often the best resources to identify specific changes to improve the patient and provider experience. A real-world example provided at the roundtable is taking 15 minutes to follow up with a discharged ED patient to ensure they’ve got all their meds and are clear about their post-visit treatment plan. This reduces the chance that the patient will land in the emergency room again with the same condition. Data shows a huge decrease in ED visits when high-risk patients receive care navigation. Those extra few minutes it takes to consult with the navigator and make the handoff have a huge downstream ROI in the clinical workload of ED teams.

The conclusion is that if more provider organizations embraced a frontline-driven approach to the patient experience, the positive repercussions will also enhance the provider experience.


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