Transformation Hub: Top 4 Criteria for Evaluating a Digital Rounding Solution

Top 4 Criteria for Evaluating a Digital Rounding Solution

AVIA — Providing quality patient care has always been top of mind for a health system or hospital. Healthcare consumerism and value-based care are now placing an even greater emphasis on patient care delivery. One increasingly important quality measure has emerged for healthcare organizations to track: patient experience.

Unfortunately, caregivers frequently learn about patient complaints far too late in a hospital stay to address concerns, and they are unable to consistently monitor or respond to these issues across multiple departments or hospitals. Technology offers the opportunity to engage with patients more efficiently and effectively across the enterprise, but where to start?

One of a nurse’s most important and frequent activities is rounding, the process of checking in with patients during their stays to monitor progress and identify issues. In addition to keeping patients safe, happy, and on the road to recovery, nurses are responsible for tracking their daily activities and collecting patient data during rounds. While this process may seem adequate, many hospitals use a pen and paper to collect data on patient rounds. This practice requires nurses to manually input the data into a system for storage and analysis, wasting valuable time and making it difficult to perform immediate service recovery. In addition, organizations often miss opportunities to improve communication and efficiency, keeping them from driving lasting improvements or promoting impactful patient interactions. To optimize patient experience, organizations must maximize the efficiency of nurse rounding with technology.

Digital rounding solutions provide a platform for rounds to occur electronically via tablets, smartphones, computers, and other web-enabled devices. Digital rounding can enhance productivity and encourage widespread utilization. An effective implementation enables hospitals to improve nurse workflow efficiency, increase their HCAHPS scores, and reduce patient infections and falls.

“Since implementing digital rounding, we’ve saved nurse managers at least thirty minutes per day by simplifying the rounding process,” declared Nancy Yates, chief nurse informatics officer at Providence Health & Services. “With the reporting capabilities, we can easily identify staff rounding performance and improvement opportunities. We now have a tool to drive accountability, consistency, and process to get the outcomes we want.”

With so many options, it can be overwhelming to identify and implement the right technology. Here are the top four things to consider when evaluating a digital rounding solution.

Integration

One of the most important criteria to consider with any digital innovation is its ability to integrate with existing technologies such as an EMR or staff roster. By integrating with your EMR or staff roster, you open up more data capabilities for both staff and patient rounding. With pre-populated patient and/or staff information, the digital rounding solution could simplify each round with pre-loaded patient information such as unit number, language preferences, and an interaction history.

Most importantly, without EMR integration, reporting capabilities are limited, and you run the risk of “human error” in entering patient information. When exploring your digital rounding options, inquire about the EMR capabilities, and whether or not the vendor has experience in setting up an HL7 or SFTP feed with your EMR.

Customization

Each hospital is unique, and staff members are much more likely to engage with the software if they are able to customize scripts, alerts, flags, reports, and devices. Tim Schulte, director of provider solutions at AVIA, says, “Finding a digital rounding solution that can expand across multiple users, interactions, and care settings ensures you are able to adapt to the growing needs of your organization.”

With customized scripts, health systems, hospitals, and units are able to tailor questions to the goals of the organization, while being specific to the patients or staff members being surveyed.

Sending alerts to ancillary departments including food services, housekeeping, Hospitality Environmental Services (EVS), and pharmacy is key for organizations seeking to improve HCAHPS scores and workflow efficiency. Find a solution that allows you to customize notification preferences such as email, page, or text to make sure the right people see the alert at the right time.

Reporting is another area where customization matters. In your search for the best tool, inquire about tailoring report type and view at the user-level. Don’t forget to check if there are additional costs associated with this capability.

Reporting

It is no secret that data are the key to healthcare. Patient data can determine risk-levels, reimbursements, and improvement opportunities across the organization.

The main benefit to using a digital rounding solution is to easily capture, analyze, and act upon insights in real time. The best way to take advantage of this is through easily accessible and clearly interpreted reports. Reporting can be a powerful tool to provide the right data at the right time to the right person in order to perform immediate service recovery.

In your search, ask about the types of reports available and how to access them. For instance, can you view them within the application? Can you export raw data? Is there customizable push reporting?

Finally, it is important to understand who will be pulling the reports and interpreting the data. Will that be the responsibility of someone within the hospital, or a service that the vendor will provide?

Support 

As with any digital solution, knowing what type of support you can expect should be a key differentiator. Find a partner that is willing to work together to achieve success. Some areas to consider: Who will be responsible for implementing your desired script? Is there a support team available to help troubleshoot any issues? Will there be someone or a team to help with training and reporting needs? Each of these questions will uncover how many internal resources will be needed and how usable the tool will be. Find a digital round solution that has a thoughtful approach to help you capture feedback, train users, uncover insights, and resolve issues in a timely manner.

“Inquire about client references and the type of support that you can expect to receive,” advised Becky Fuentes, associate chief nursing officer at Shannon Medical Center. “Seeing how similar organizations use the tool will indicate the relationship you will have with your vendor of choice, and is one of the most crucial steps in the evaluation process.” Shannon Medical Center has recently deployed CipherHealth’s Orchid digital rounding solution.

Conclusion

Rounding is such an important hospital function that directly ties to patient satisfaction and care. Digital rounding can be an effective tool to capture, analyze, and act on patient satisfaction data for immediate service recovery, resulting in process efficiencies and improved HCAHPS scores. Because the options are vast, it is important to consider integration, customization, reporting, and support during your evaluation process. You will identify the best-fit solution for your organization’s needs while ensuring it is a tool your staff will enjoy using.

Visit the Transformation Hub on ModernHealthcare.com to discover more solutions and best practices to advance healthcare. 

About AVIA

AVIA runs the nation’s leading network for health systems seeking to innovate and transform through digital strategy. The AVIA Innovator Network brings together action-oriented health systems to solve pressing challenges that are ripe for digital innovation. Network members collaborate on strategic initiatives like consumer engagement and post-discharge success. With AVIA’s rigorous process and the power of collaboration, members identify, deploy, and scale the best digital solutions to achieve financial and clinical impact. The result? Health systems accelerate their pace of transformation – moving faster with greater confidence. Learn more at aviahealthinnovation.com. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.