Telemedicine appointments in the emergency department, nurses who visit patients in their homes after discharge, and patient-family councils who weigh in on potential improvement projects are just a few of the ways hospitals across the country are driving patient engagement.
While healthcare organizations may take different approaches, they all share a common goal: to improve care by partnering with patients on healthcare options and treatment decisions. In an interview with Forbes, leading hospital CEOs discussed some of their strategies to better engage patients in their care.
Digital Express Care at NewYork-Presbyterian: Since its launch in November 2016, the hospital has been able to provide telemedicine services to 1,500 urgent care patients, according to Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO.
The program allows patients who choose to use the service to meet via video conferencing with board certified emergency medicine doctors from Weill Cornell Medicine. Physicians can diagnose, treat and prescribe medications. “We have found that it reduces patient time spent in the emergency room,” Corwin told the publication. “We can complete some visits in 30 minutes or less.”
Bridge to Home at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore: Redonda G. Miller, president and CEO, says the organization is especially proud of its program to help patients transition from hospital to home. Nurse transition guides meet with patients in the hospital and later will visit them once they return home to ensure they understand and follow post-acute plans. In addition, she says, the guides work with patients to help them identify a family member or friend who can serve as a “health buddy,” providing support throughout their hospital stay and after they go home.
Patient and Family Engagement Council at Northern Westchester, a member of Northwell Health, Mount Kisco, New York: Joel Seligman, president and CEO, told Forbes the organization has solicited feedback from patient and family members on hospital quality improvement efforts, such as designing a family orientation program at the ICU. The committee also helped the hospital revamp its discharge checklist to assure patients and family members are prepared for their transition home, he said.