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Using Digital Rounding as a Best Practice for Improving Patient Safety

This blog is a guest post from HealthStream’s Partner CipherHealth, which provides the Orchid Digital Rounding App.

Although modern medicine has achieved near miraculous advances, patient safety is still one of the leading causes of death according to US News & World Report. In fact, nearly a third of patient deaths are the result of accidental complications or patient injuries. Even though many of complications and injuries that arise are preventable with clinically-proven checklists and procedures, care providers still struggle to keep infection and fall rates low. 

To really understand why patients are still susceptible to injuries and accidental infections, one must find the source of the issue. Often times, patients find themselves slipping on a wet surface or with a catheter infection due to a faulty round or a lack of communication between staff members regarding pertinent issues. In an average hospital setting, these slip-ups can be commonplace, as hospitals can be hectic environments where staff have busy workloads.

Yet, there are ways to seamlessly integrate accountability and fast issue resolution without burdening staff. For instance, digital rounding solutions, such as CipherHealth’s Orchid, equips care teams with instantaneous communication and connection so that relevant issues can be triaged to the right staff members. In addition, a nurse leader can view the progress and completion of rounds during a specified time to help improve accountability and create a culture around patient safety.

Case Study: Fall Prevention Reduction Success

Digital rounding has also helped healthcare facilities find success in patient safety initiatives where they otherwise wouldn’t. For example, a large medical facility in Virginia implemented a specific fall prevention question on their Orchid digital rounding scripts to reduce both their number of falls per 1,000 patient days and the number of falls that resulted in injuries.

By asking one question about the patient’s fall risk during regular nurse leader rounds, specific fall prevention measures were tracked and alerts were automatically triggered should a patient need a fall mat or yellow fall risk armband. Lastly, nurse managers were able to assign fall risks to patients so other nurse managers could be on extra alert when rounding to help ensure patients were as safe as possible.

After deploying Orchid, the hospital saw a 78% reduction in fall rates and an 85% reduction in falls that resulted in injury. By simply encouraging and committing to accountable environmental rounds, staff were able to drastically improve patient outcomes.

Digital Rounding and Infection Prevention

In addition to preventing falls, digital rounding can also be used for infection prevention. Up to 2 million patients nationwide experience healthcare-associated infections resulting in about 88,000 deaths and $4.5 billion in extra costs annually. A medical center in Yonkers, NY decided to implement Orchid in order to meet infection prevention goals, specifically with catheter associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) and central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI).

The Orchid tool helped staff members launch a bedside rounding initiative tailored to infection prevention. These preventative practice bundles were designed to improve infection rounding compliance, and with Orchid, became easily trackable. Three times a week, rounds were completed on patients with urinary catheters and central lines for optimal patient safety results. After 3 months of using Orchid, the medical center saw a 67% reduction in CAUTI cases at their facility.

Overall, successful patient safety initiatives improve patient lives and outcomes. Although it may be hard for hospitals to successfully implement changes in workflow to enhance patient safety, technology like digital rounding can make it easier to achieve.

Learn more about HealthStream’s digital rounding solution here.

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