Earlier this month, members of the ExperiaHealth National Patient Experience Collaborative gathered together to examine innovations and opportunities to improve communication that patients receive prior to scheduled procedures, surgeries, and office visits. We looked at existing practices such as pre-surgical boot camps and preparation calls, and discussed lessons learned from patient education and decision support resources. We also examined clinical and financial studies showing the impact of pre-arrival communication.
The value proposition for focusing on pre-arrival communication is clear, it impacts:
Fewer cancellations and no-shows resulting in higher revenue and better use of resources.
Shorter length of stay and less repetitive education helping control costs
Improved outcomes and diagnostic accuracy for procedures ranging from joint replacement to colonoscopy
Higher patient satisfaction and loyalty for hospitals and health centers that deliver an exceptional experience
What’s a lot less clear is the communication that hospitals and health systems deliver. The standard practice is to deliver print outs and handouts that are often outdated, contain irrelevant information, or are too complex for patients to find the key information they need.
They also rarely address the full spectrum of what patients need to feel fully prepared for procedures and surgeries that may be routine for providers, but which still provoke anxiety and disrupt routines for patients and family members. Based on a review of solutions, studies, and patient perspectives distilled patient needs into 4 key areas:
Participants at the xLab designed a Prepared Patient Checklist, a workflow to support pre-arrival communication (including just-in-time messaging), and a strategy for providing patient-to-patient support to service lines beyond cancer and bariatrics. With these resources, members plan to redefine the standards for pre-arrival communication to ensure that every patient feels supported for every surgery, procedure, or visit.
xLabs are targeted learning and design labs aimed at promoting evidence-based best practice sharing and innovation to help solve an intractable problem in the healthcare experience.