Three Ways to Deliver Quality Care with Less
A recent report out of Kentucky pointed to challenges in nurse staffing levels and their potential impact on patient safety. The study, conducted by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, noted that nurses in that state often have more patients than they can effectively handle. But Kentucky hospitals are not alone.
Hospitals across the country have faced persistent nurse staffing shortages for years. What’s driving it, and how can hospital still deliver high-quality care with fewer resources?
Nursing shortages have been fueled by a variety of things: faculty shortages at nursing schools which have limited student capacity; the public’s increased access to health care; an aging baby boom population that requires more intensive care; stressful work environments; and increasing retirement levels among the current nurse workforce.
A recent article in Healthcare Dive pointed out several ways short-staffed hospitals can work more efficiently and continue to provide quality care. Interestingly, Sentrics’ clients are applying several of the strategies through their Sentrics E3 Patient Engagement Solutions, with impressive results. They include:
1. Using Staff More Efficiently
Sentrics Interactive Patient System’s integration with the hospital’s electronic health record platform enables nursing staff to assign patient education videos directly from the patient’s electronic health record. The integration increases nursing workflow efficiency, freeing more time for nursing care at the bedside and leading to improved outcomes and greater patient satisfaction.
By capturing patient education activities on the EHR, nurses can seamlessly monitor compliance and readily identify patients who may need encouragement or follow up by the nursing staff.
2. Reducing Staff Turnover
Happier employees lead to happier patients; happier employees are less likely to leave their jobs. Real-time patient feedback through the Sentrics system is one way that Sentrics clients like Phelps Memorial Hospital are improving employee satisfaction. How?
Using Sentrics’ real-time patient feedback interactive screens, a patient can at any time recognize an employee for the care and customer service he or she has provided. The patient’s feedback is shared with the employee and his or her manager, and recipients receive hospital-wide recognition.
Using the capability on the Sentrics system, the hospital now gets about 100 patient-generated employee excellence nominations per month, an astounding 470 percent increase over the previous paper-based process. And the payoff is evident in both employee and patient satisfaction metrics. Phelps has seen a marked improvement in every HCAHPS ratings category, and now outperforms both its state and national benchmarks in virtually every top-level score. In addition to the impressive gains in patient satisfaction scores, the hospital also has seen a huge bump in its annual employee survey scores since implementing real-time patient feedback tool.
3. Streamlining Services
Hospitals are seeking innovative approaches to deliver the highest quality health care experience in the most efficient way possible. Sentrics’ E3 Patient Engagement Solutions streamline operational processes by automating routine tasks that previously required intervention by nurses or other staff.
Our solutions seamlessly integrate with the hospital’s housekeeping, HVAC, dietary, nurse call and electronic medical records systems. The solution helps hospitals save valuable staff time, enable clinical staff to focus on patient care rather than routine room requests, improve patient satisfaction and achieve measurable workflow efficiencies.