Often the best solution to a complex problem is also the simplest.
That was the case at my hospital, Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, Penn. near Philadelphia. After examining patient complaints, we realized the majority of them were around communication breakdowns. So, my team and I created “The Daily CARE Plan,” a simple—yet elegant—way to better inform patients and their families about care received while in the hospital.
With The Daily CARE Plan, caregivers simply review the one-page report with the patient and and family. The custom report provides an easy-to-read overview of the patient’s medical status, history, medications and plan of care for the day.
It sounds simple, but it is a powerful tool for patient engagement and safety.
To create the report, we first considered how to leverage the report writer configuration of our Sunrise Clinical Manager Electronic Health Record. We determined what information patients want to know and review. Then we structured the report to draw from active orders and clinical documentation within the acute care EHR. We then translated the report into patient friendly terminology for review.
The result is patients become true partners in their care. They are empowered to understand the increasingly complex care they’re receiving. At the same time, it’s a wonderful tool to ensure we catch any errors, both inpatient and along the continuum. We’ve had patients or family members check the med orders and see that we entered the code status incorrectly, or that we weren’t aware of an allergy the patient had.
Abington Memorial has also leveraged Allscripts’ open architecture to implement several other innovations, including a vaccine order set using a “smart,” automated decision support tree that has raised compliance with vaccine assessment and administration standards to 100 percent. But it was the simplicity of the Daily CARE Plan that earned Abington national recognition with a prestigious Magnet Prize, bestowed on one Magnet hospital each year by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Best of all, today numerous hospitals in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia have contacted us to copy the Daily CARE Plan for help with their own patients.
Has your hospital developed any simple solutions to complex issues that can be replicated at other hospitals?