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6/20/2014
03:15 PM
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Florida Hospital Shows Power Of Patient Engagement

Florida Hospital Celebration Health uses GetWellNetwork software to improve patient care and build a culture of empowerment.

Nurses use the system to help patients' health once they leave Florida Hospital Celebration's four walls. Coordinators designed educational programs for their specific specialties, and physicians include their pre-selected videos in one place on GetWellNetwork. Patients view these videos from their room's TV or via the patient portal once they leave the facility.

"I can order them on the system and it automatically goes to their television. All their meds they go home with, they can read about before they go home with them," says Ambrogio. "It is a lifestyle we want to promote to our patients. If we prescribe some videos, they're not always going to remember them when they're here, but from the home portal they can review them at any time."

Florida Hospital Celebration Health's gym and spa are open to the public. (Image: InformationWeek)
Florida Hospital Celebration Health's gym and spa are open to the public.
(Image: InformationWeek)

Florida Hospital Celebration is considering ways of further integrating its role in patients' lives and keeping them healthy. The hospital -- with its comfortable lobby, free valet parking, and red blazer-clad attendants -- more closely resembles a hotel than a hospital. A high-end gym, open to the public, encourages consumers to assimilate the hospital into their daily lives. The portal, GetWellNetwork, videos, and other technologies could also keep patients on a healthy track and out of the hospital, said Reeder.

"We want to look at ways we can leverage technology to keep those patients engaged," she says. "Again, we're trying to keep them engaged so as soon as they leave they don't feel everyone's washed their hands of them."

 
Alison Diana has written about technology and business for more than 20 years. She was editor, contributors, at Internet Evolution; editor-in-chief of 21st Century IT; and managing editor, sections, at CRN. She has also written for eWeek, Baseline Magazine, Redmond Channel ... View Full Bio

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Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
6/21/2014 | 6:43:08 AM
360 Degree Healthcare
If the patient is involved in their treatment, then it makes the entire process efficient. The patient knows what the healthcare physician is trying to accomplish, the means by which they hope to accomplish the treatment and the active participation level that will be required by the patient to help the physician accomplish these goals, as quickly as possible. The patient's morale will also be boosted, because during in-house hospital recovery, they would gain a sense of learning something new.

Overall, it a collaborative system, the only downside is that hospitals will have to spend time, passing on a clear message to the patients that it's an invite for collaboration -- not an invite to practice medicine during their stay.   
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
6/22/2014 | 2:24:58 PM
Re: 360 Degree Healthcare
The results speak for themselves with all the saved time, faster responses, and  the hospital's heart failure readmission rates drop of nealry 50%. 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/23/2014 | 7:41:35 AM
Getting everyone involved
I can see some benefits of a patient knowing what is going on even without being a health care professional.  Not many people enjoy being in a hospital and just being there tends to stress people out.  Giving them more information but not overwhelming them means that when they leave that they will be more likely to stay engaged and be aware of their health.  So many times when you visit someone in a hospital you hear that the patient is waiting on something or other and they really aren't sure what they are waiting on.  Putting this kind of information in front of a patient means that the experience will go more smoothly and they will leave with a better understanding of what was done while they were admitted.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 2:19:51 AM
Re: Getting everyone involved
"  Putting this kind of information in front of a patient means that the experience will go more smoothly and they will leave with a better understanding of what was done while they were admitted."

@SaneIT: I agree that transparency about what's going on with the treatment might be a very useful feature for the patients but there might another side to it. Some patients might not fully understand the information they recive and might interpret it in their own ways. Some might even get scared of it. I think it's essential to ensure that only the information that's easy to understand and will not scare the patients away should be displayed.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 3:58:18 AM
Re: 360 Degree Healthcare
"the only downside is that hospitals will have to spend time, passing on a clear message to the patients that it's an invite for collaboration -- not an invite to practice medicine during their stay"

@Brian: I don't think it will take a lot to bring about a change in the behavior of patients where they'd want to collaborate with the doctors and the hospital staff. I do agree that they might feel that they're more empowered and can take decisions on their own given that they have so much informtation, but you're right that has to be curtailed.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 7:26:58 AM
Re: Getting everyone involved
I agree with you somewhat but I look at it this way.  Even if a patient doesn't understand the information it does open up lines of communication and gives them a prompt for conversation with medical staff.  Even if you don't know what all the words mean it is important to know what is happening even if it is just for being able to explain it to another doctor later.  I know several people who have told me that they were diagnosed with a condition and when we got deeper into the conversation I realized that it wasn't what they were diagnosed with.  They were mixing up terms that sounded similar.  In day to day life it probably wouldn't do much damage aside from arguments about the definition of their condition.  The problem arises when they have an emergency and give medical personnel bad information.  I'm not saying the system is perfect and that it will educate everyone but I think it is better than what I have seen in the past in terms of spreading good information to patients.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/24/2014 | 10:34:03 AM
Re: Getting everyone involved
I think most of the benefits come because patients feel in more control over things they previously had zero control over -- especially things that were not medical but were highly related to comfort. So instead of using nurses to funnel all requests -- the old way of doing business -- patients now can deal directly with whatever department is responsible for fixing the problem such as facilities (if there's a spill in the room), the electronics folk (if the TV isn't working), or nurses (if they're in pain). Of course, they can still ring the nurse button if they want, but a lot of patients would rather push the appropriate button for whatever it is they need.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/24/2014 | 10:36:58 AM
Re: Getting everyone involved
I iike the concept some doctors and hospitals are adopting of videotaping their release instructions. These are not sophisticated videos: they're often done on smartphones, then sent to the patient's phone (using the appropriate software). I don't know about you, but I don't always remember half of the doctor's instructions!

Florida Hospital uses its patient portal extensively. After they leave, patients can log on for videos and post-release treatment reminders. Since the hospital has a pharmacy on-site, they also can leave with all their medication prescriptions filled already, which I think is a nice touch. I recall having had surgery and needing to get the scripts filled... it was not fun!
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 7:19:24 AM
Re: Getting everyone involved
That's interesting to hear.  So, how do the various departments feel about this?  Does the facilities team get tired of being called every time someone is a little cold?  Do patients still funnel the majority of the issues through the nurses?  I could see the more confident patients doing this all themselves but I could also see a high number of patients who will just go straight to the nurse as a one stop shop.  Does this make things easier for nurses?  Does it lighten their workload?
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/25/2014 | 10:28:02 AM
Re: Getting everyone involved
I did not speak to facilities so I can't speak for them but they would get the calls anyway: Now patients, not nurses, contact them so they're still getting the calls (usually via the TV screen, backed by GetWellNetworks, so it's not a phone call, per se). It's an accountable system so all departments are measured. That is, if patients call multiple times, this info is recorded and each month managers discuss the results so I'd imagine slackers aren't thrilled. But as i said in the article, Florida Hospital opted to reward those who do a good or great job. I believe (although I am not 100% on this) that the reward system in place for nurses is duplicated throughout the hospital so similar programs exist for facilities, etc. And of course, managers take into account a patient who buzzes five times in 10 minutes... some things just aren't going to happen!

The nurses I spoke to LOVE the system: I conducted these interviews on-site, which was wonderful, because I could actually see the nurses as I spoke to them. For one thing, they can now focus more attention on NURSING. They no longer have to spend a lot of their time doing things like calling facilities about TVs, phones, etc., since patients are in control of those items themselves. The reward system recognizes them for their work. And they often don't have to repeat information over and over, since patients can replay a vidoe or read over directions from their doctors for themselves.

Of course, if a patient prefers a nurse to do all this, the nurse will have to do it. I did ask about those patients who are less technically astute or less confident. In most cases, they actually prefer the GetWellNetwork, the nurses told me, because it's like ordering a pizza from an interactive display: You're not having to ask a live person for something. But they can continue to do things the old-fashioned way: Ring their call button and ask a nurse for XYZ.
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