The Pandemic and patient experience Innovations

The Pandemic and patient experience Innovations

Kathy DellaMura, VP of Clinical Services, Hartford HealthCare

Kathy DellaMura, VP of Clinical Services, Hartford HealthCare

In the ever changing world of healthcare there are advances at every turn and new technology is continuously deployed to help provide the best care possible. Within the world of home care, the use of new technology has become vital as more and more patients and families choose the option to receive care in their in own homes. As the demand for these services increases, Hartford HealthCare at Home continues to look at new and innovative ways to provide high quality care to the people and communities we serve.

During the COVID pandemic we have found the need for technology paramount to our ability to continue to provide services to our patients, as it has forced us to limit the number of staff who are allowed toenter a patient’s home. We are able to accomplish this by using technology to help perform a number of services, including providing the option of virtual visits through Zoom and other teleconferencing platforms to everyone we provide services to. Our staff, including nurses, nutritionists, social workers and wound specialists, now utilize this format as a means to provide the needed services virtually, which helps to improve outcomes, but most importantly, helps improve the patient experience.

The ongoing pandemic has also led us to increase the number of thetelemonitoring units that we provide to patients to use at home. These units help us to monitor vital signs and ongoing treatment plans allowing usto continue to provide case management care for patients who have either tested positive for COVID or are suspected to be COVID positive.

Another step Hartford HealthCare at Home has taken to enhance patient care is partnering with Hartford HealthCare’s Care Logistics Center to help streamline patient transitions from the acute to home care settings. This partnership has helped to dramatically reduce barriers that we previously faced in transitioning patients through Hartford HealthCare’s continuum of care. This began with a pilot program at one of our acute care hospitals and within a few months produced a 50% increase in the number of successful transitions.

Working with the Care Logistics Center has also helped us to identify the regions where our care is needed most allowing us to deploy our nurses, social workers and other care team members more efficiently. These team members are introduced to patients while they are still in the acute setting making them a critical piece of the care process as patients move through our system. To date, this has helped reduce our cancelation rate by up to 90%. As we continue to grow throughout the state, we will look to other ways to help improve efficiency, communication and the overall patient experience.

The response from our patients in regards to these new innovations has been resoundingly positive, not only because it helps to provide more streamlined care, but also because it assistsin the reduction of re-hospitalization, and improving the patient experience. Moving forward Hartford HealthCare at Home will continue to use all of the technology available to us to provide the most positive patient outcomes and the best care experience possible. To learn more go tohartfordhealthcareathome.org.

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