From the HealthStream Engagement Institute

The HealthStream Approach to Achieving Patient-Centered Excellence

As a provider of post-acute/long term care, the journey to patient-centered excellence begins with a thorough assessment of your present environment of care. Assessing your present performance and comparing it with similar facilities’ CAHPS results allows us to create an approach customized to the unique needs of your organization.

Once current performance levels are determined, we will develop a plan to improve performance. We will also provide expertise to teach you how to execute the plan to improve performance in order to achieve desired outcomes. Tailoring a process improvement method specific to your facilities includes:

1) Identifying areas and priorities for improvement

2) Establishing targets/goals to achieve

3) Determining individual accountability for achievement of each target/goal

4) Developing and augmenting appropriate data collection, measurement and reporting tools

5) Establishing timeframes for accomplishing targets and goals


Deciding Where to Start Your PX Improvement Journey

Areas for improvement may include the environment, care processes, communication and respect, providing more autonomy for residents, and providing healthful and stimulating activities. We will teach your providers and staff to do the right thing, for the right individual, at the right time, for the right reason (the four “Rs”). SMART goals for each area or selected area will be established, with goals that are observable, measurable, and achievable. Importantly, an individual (not a department, unit, or facility) is charged with accountability for achievement of targets/goals and provided coaching to teach the skills necessary to do so. Performance appraisals (for merit increases) also align by incorporating targets and goals for which each person is accountable.

The Importance of Data

HealthStream experts will work with you to select the best data collection and measurement tools so that data are timely and relevant to desired goals. Tools will become a foundational part of the process or system involved, not an additional process that may not add value. And, lastly, HealthStream will teach how to establish a time frame to achieve each target and goal by providing milestones to serve as guideposts. As each element of this process improvement methodology is executed properly, your facility or system will improve the overall care process delivered to your residents and their families, and CAHPS’ results will reflect the WOW experiences you are providing every day.

As we work with you to dig deep into specific tools and tactics deployed to address specific areas of interest like Communication and Respect, the use of Words That Work™ and RELATESM is paramount to set clear expectations for the resident and their family.

Creating Tools Customized to Your Needs

As a simple example, to ensure that a resident is addressed appropriately, HealthStream will assist staff to develop Words That Work™ to introduce themselves and to build a relationship of trust and mutual respect, to address concerns, and to reassure the resident’s family that the safety of their loved one is of utmost importance. Once learned, HealthStream coaches will assist staff to build new behaviors so that the knowledge is applied for every resident, every time. While this seems simple, it is often these simple steps that may be overlooked or performed inconsistently that cause care, trust, and ultimately the resident’s overall perception of care to suffer.

When a resident and family are afraid and anxious and don’t believe their basic needs are being met, then many or all of the events that encompass the overall resident experience may be ineffective or viewed as “less than.” There will be unspoken fear on the part of the resident and guilt and dread on the part of the family. Words and actions of the staff are an essential step in this overwhelming process that is the new evolving reality for residents and their families.

Focus on Patient Communication

Although these simple examples of Words That Work™ and RELATE™ in action may seem at times like the last priority on a caregiver’s list of daily demands, it is foremost in the mind of the nursing home resident and family. It all boils down to a few missed opportunities, which could include how best to reassure the family of the resident’s safety. There are likely thousands of clinically adept staff in post-acute care, but are they loyal, committed, and engaged in putting the resident at the center of everything they do? 

Learn more about HealthStream solutions to improve patient experience.

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