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Hospital Reputation and Patient Discharge Etiquette

Oct 7

Written by:
10/7/2013 8:19 AM  RssIcon

Community hospitals, physician practices, and private clinics attract patients based on their reputation—and a smooth discharge process is essential to consumer satisfaction. At patient pick-up following a procedure (such as a colonoscopy), family members form impressions based on the waiting area and the speed of the process. The patient tracking system of Savance Health can strengthen consumer satisfaction—necessary for ensuring longterm financial success.

Patient Tracking and Colonoscopy Procedures

In the United States, more than ten million people undergo a colonoscopy each year, according to a New York Times article on June 1, 2013. Most hospitals require colonoscopy patients to provide assurance that someone will escort them home following the procedure. Spouses may rush from work on an hour break to pick up their loved one, only to discover that the administrative staff are unsure of the exact whereabouts of the patient—which can lead to a bad impression. This is preventable with Savance Health's patient tracking software.

In the chapter entitled, "The Impact of Facility Design on Patient Safety" (in Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses, Reiling et al in 2008 reported information technology solutions were recommended by the Institute of Medicine as a necessary component to improve patient safety. The HIPAA patient sign in kiosk or electronic patient board of the tracking system enables staff to quickly monitor the patient's real-time location. Instead of halting their work to query and interrupt health care practitioners, administrative and patient care technicians can ascertain and inform the patient's designated escort of the patient's location—creating a calmer environment (and improved public relations) with patient relatives and visitors.

Colonoscopies are usually scheduled in short time blocks in medical centers, so transiting patients quickly from each area of the facility is essential to avoid delayed procedures (i.e., from prep rooms to procedure rooms). Using mobile patient tracking such as iPads, staff can be more efficient in transiting patients and ascertaining which rooms are ready for a new procedure. In "A Practical Guide to Increasing Screening Colonoscopy: Proven Methods for Health Care Facilities to Prevent Colorectal Cancer Deaths" (prepared by the Cancer Prevention and Control Program of the New York City Department of Health in 2006), recommendations for expanding colonoscopy capacity include maintaining a median colonoscopy procedure time of 30 minutes, room-cleanup immediately after each procedure, and contacting patients if the endoscopist is running late. The mobility of the patient tracking software can enable rapid logistical adjustments of health care teams focused on a specific patient.

The Savance Health electronic patient tracking board can be a boon to anxious family members awaiting the completion of the patient's procedure. Due to the capacity of the status tracker to meet HIPAA requirements—with each patient given a unique ID of a serial number code—patient privacy can be maintained despite accessibility of the electronic patient board. Meanwhile, the status tracker enables the patient and their family member to obtain and enter needed information without initiation by a staff person. By swiping the ID, the designated individuals can have access to information as regulated by HIPAA.

Poor facility planning with outmoded technology infrastructure can lead to delayed and cancelled patient procedures. In turn, patients and family members stranded in over-crowded waiting rooms can become disgruntled—and lead to poor medical facility evaluations and ratings. Integrated project management is crucial to a well-functioning facility, and incorporation of Savance Health's patient tracking system can provide a sophisticated level of project management applicable to a wide array of health care facilities and businesses. From managing people to inventory (e.g., wheel chairs) to revenue tracking, the multi-faceted capability of Savance Health's patient tracking software can enable a shorter learning curve than for facilities relying on tracking software from multiple sources. To cut the learning curve and focus on building a health facility with a stellar consumer reputation and efficient delivery model, the patient tracking system of Savance Health is an excellent choice.