Hospital Turns to Intelligent Business Process Management to Satisfy Patients, Improve OutcomesAvaya
It’s an old story. Physicians spend so much time trying to get up to speed on their smartphones and tablets, researching information they need, and running their practices that they have very little time to spend with their patients, which is kind of the whole point.
Hospitals face the same challenges. And adding to that, as some hospitals do, the desire to become well-known – and well-respected – in their fields of expertise; the rising complexity of patient conditions, as they live longer, and the volumes and volumes of data that need to be assembled, analyzed and annotated on everything from quality of care to cancer research to running the hospital, all just to keep things going, can add up to an experience where everyone loses.
But that all changed at one hospital. According to Jim Sinur, a research vice president at Gartner, one hospital decided to see if it could be ranked within the top 10 percent among academic health science centers in patient care and quality in North America. But to get there, the hospital needed to be able to manage, measure and improve its performance in several key metrics, Sinur reports.
The hospital found that with the need to meet new healthcare regulations, deal with maximum patient capacity, the increased complexity of disease, and paperwork and documentation (where physicians spend a third of their time), something had to be done. Healthcare professionals were spending more time searching for information and resources, and much less, with their patients, all leading to potentially hazardous situations for patients.
Patients began experiencing delays in their care, Sinur writes, making their stays at the hospital unpleasant, care providers were struggling to make sure they had all the information they needed before making decisions and treating patients, and the whole situation was a lose-lose for everyone.
So the hospital stepped back and looked at where they needed to improve. Patient flow. Safety. Quality of patient care. Overall patient experience. The answer? A comprehensive care process management that integrated multiple systems and included business process management (BPM) and operational decision management, according to Sinur.
Ultimately, everyone working with a patient needed to know what everyone else was doing for that person, at every moment, with complete transparency, and the capability to hook up with others caring for this patient quickly, easily and securely.
The hospital went to work. According to Sinur, the improvements included closed-loop communication capabilities, the ability to view and maintain a patient’s “circle of care,” and probably, most important of all, a multi-disciplinary activity plan that allowed all providers to have access to the entire chain of procedures concerning a patient.
My parents were both recently in the hospital and it was a nightmare hooking up with the cardiologist, nephrologist, neurologist and primary care doctor, then trying to make sense of it all without anyone acting as gatekeeper or coordinator.
I know, too, from my cancer experience, that if the oncologist isn’t talking to the surgeon to the radiologist to the meds center, things could go very wrong. Fortunately, I was at a cancer center that, like this hospital, coordinated everything.
But many hospitals don’t have the time or resources to do this and patients are left in the dark, frustrated, fuming and feeling like they want to sue. Coordinating care at the level of this hospital’s plan is key.
The BPM solution at this hospital ultimately helped it improve patient flow, ultimately upgrading patient outcomes and delivering a more positive patient experience, Sinur writes.
Edited by Rich Steeves
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