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Four Steps to Improving Patient Safety

Acute Care August 15, 2019

Every hospital aspires to provide a safe environment for patients and employees. And most do, according to Leapfrog’s most recent survey. Nearly three-fourths of the 2,000-plus hospitals in the 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Survey met all nine components of Leapfrog’s never-event policy.

Improving patient safety is not just good for the patient; it’s good for the hospital’s bottom line. Patient safety performance counts as 25 percent of a hospital’s value-based purchasing score – and that impacts Medicare reimbursement rates. But, how do hospitals get to 100 percent compliance? Helping patients to engage in their care is vital.

Make patient education accessible

Something as simple as pre-assigning videos on fall prevention to each patient upon admission can go a long way toward reducing patient falls. Hospitals using Sentrics E3 solutions can pre-assign videos not only on falls but also on virtually any topic of their choosing. Want to encourage hand-washing hygiene for infection control? Looking to avoid the spread of flu or other infectious diseases? Use an E3 video, and even push-notification alerts directly to the patient room television.

Through integration with the EMR, the nurse can easily monitor the patient’s viewing of these videos. Instead of spending bedside time walking through the details of fall prevention or hand hygiene, the nurse can use that time more effectively to answer any questions and use teach-back methods to reinforce that the patient understands how to help ensure their safety.

Provide access to health information

Repeated studies make it clear that patients who understand their diagnosis, the medications they’ve been prescribed, and their care plan are significantly less likely to require readmission after hospital discharge. And most of that education falls on the bedside nurse, whose patient load and workload both continue to expand.

Why not take a page from other industries and look for ways to leverage technology to help staff perform those duties more efficiently? Everyone from airlines to hotels to retailers is applying automated, user-enabled functionality that leverages technology to give the customer power and access to information. In the hospital, giving the patient direct access to their health information on the room television, bedside touchscreen, or tablet is a game-changer. With a Sentrics E3 interactive solution, patients can see their lab results, medications, care plan for the day, care team, vital signs, healthy meal options, and more. The result: patients are better educated and more satisfied in their hospital stay, and clinicians can work more efficiently.

Improve communication with providers

Hospitals must provide ways for patients to ask questions. Poor communication is one of the top issues patients and families have with hospitals. Sentrics’ E3 system features a Daily Check-in screen for patients to let their care team know how they are feeling and any concerns they have. E3’s digital whiteboards also put the day’s critical need-to-know information at the patient’s fingertips without requiring nurses to keep the old-school dry erase boards updated daily.

Engage families in patient safety

Families serve as a literal safety net for patients both while in the hospital, and once the patient is home. As Jill Harrison, Ph.D., with Planetree noted in a recent PatientEngagementIT article, “Family members can support patient safety efforts to prevent falls, check data accuracy to forestall medical errors, and deliver quality at-home care to prevent hospital readmissions.”

The E3 solution delivered over the TV or other in-room devices make it easy to include families in the conversation and the education. Like patients, family members can watch education videos in the privacy of the patient’s room. Individuals can learn about ways to prevent falls and infections at home, warning signs of complications, and other home care tips that improve patient safety. One Sentrics client has achieved a 600 percent increase in diabetes education alone, simply by leveraging the interactive video education available through its E3 system.



If you are looking to improve patient safety and value-based incentives in your hospital, talk to us. Sentrics has helped its customers generate more than $2 million in value-based incentive payments and avoid untold performance-based penalties.

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