Healthcare News & Insights

Innovative ways hospitals are improving patient care and satisfaction

To meet the new mandates of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), hospitals are getting creative in how they go about improving patient care and increasing patient satisfaction — and not all of the improvements cost a lot of money, either. Plus, there are financial incentives for facilities that make these improvements thanks to the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program. 

178501299The program, under the ACA, is a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative that rewards acute-care hospitals with incentive payments for the quality of care they provide to Medicare beneficiaries.

Through the Hospital VBP program, CMS changed the way it paid hospitals, rewarding them for the quality of care they provide to Medicare beneficiaries, not just the quantity of procedures they perform. Hospitals are rewarded based on how closely they follow best clinical practices and how well they enhance patients’ experiences of care. When hospitals follow proven best practices, patients receive higher quality care and see better outcomes.

  • Mayo Clinic branches in Rochester, MN, Jacksonville, FL, and at the Scottsdale/Phoenix campus. These facilities employ iPads for cardiac surgery patients so they can track their progress and give them daily to-do lists, says Douglas Wood, a cardiologist and director of Mayo’s Center for Innovation.
  • New York City’s Beth Israel Medical Center and the Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia. These two medical centers use the Ornish Spectrum, which was founded by physician and author Dean Ornisha. This 72-hour program for patients with heart disease helps them make lifestyle changes in nutrition, fitness and stress management.
  • Virginia hospitals in the Sentara Healthcare network use an app called MyChart, which gives patients the ability to see their medical records. Through the app, patients can email their doctors with questions.
  • Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Lincoln, NB. Not all facilities are making big financial commitments. Some hospitals like Saint Elizabeth took the regular soda out of vending machine and put the diet soda on the bottom row to encourage healthier choices, which can also help lower patient readmissions.

Innovations

It’s not just hospitals that are making changes. Many medical technology companies are developing innovations that make hospitals’ jobs easier when it comes to improving care.

One of those companies is GetWellNetwork in Bethesda, MD. It’s created a program that uses in-room televisions to instant-message patients between shows. These messages educate patients on their condition and care, as well as help track recovery. In addition, patients can instant-message their providers, as well as give feedback during their hospitalization. And then once patients are discharged and return home, they can access the information on a smart phone or tablet.

 

 

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