Learn how a Pediatric Health System reached breakthrough performance

A Case Study

This is a story about a pediatric health system in Minnesota, which serves more than 200,000 children and their families each year. For years they earned good, but not great post-discharge survey scores for patient and family satisfaction and experienced little to no improvement in benchmark scores for “overall rating of care” and “willingness to recommend.” In addition, leaders and front line staff had on-going concerns about the family feedback from post-discharge surveys that created barriers for improvement.

Challenges included:

  • 2-3 month lag time between date of service and when the survey feedback was available for leaders and staff
  • No opportunity for immediate service recovery
  • Limited customization of survey questions
  • Lack of qualitative feedback for key driver questions
  • Survey length (70+ questions)
  • Low response rates
  • Difficulty associating specific experiences with specific departments and staff

To address these shortcomings and their strong desire to improve, the organization began a partnership with TruthPoint.

The Improvement Program

Goals: To improve patient and family experience in key departments with lower levels of satisfaction, and if the new methodology was successful, expand its use to other departments. TruthPoint was initially used in five medical and surgical departments, two emergency departments, and two pediatric clinics.

Sponsorship: The TruthPoint project was sponsored by the Chief Nursing Officer, Operational Executives, Medical Directors, and Patient Care Managers for the involved departments.

Operational Lead: A system-wide Operational Lead was assigned to act as a liaison between the health system and TruthPoint. Providing support through tools and analysis to the Patient Care Managers and Medical Director, the Operational Lead created a daily engagement system that was used to support service departments and recognize staff.

Implementation: TruthPoint guided this health system through a proven implementation process for all nine departments over a period of one month, this process includes:

  • Designing an assessment from TruthPoint’s proven question library to obtain actionable insights from patients and families
  • Defining a process to invite patient and family feedback in different care environments that yields high volumes of unbiased responses and doesn’t disrupt patient flow
  • Training of front-line staff and volunteers to effectively invite patient and family feedback
  • Designing a reporting and information use plan so the right leaders and staff are receiving timely, relevant, and actionable patient and family feedback
  • Engaging frontline leaders and executive team members to ensure that this improvement work is supported and aligned with organizational priorities

Solution: When implemented, TruthPoint was providing the following services to each of the 9 departments on an ongoing basis:

  • Handheld PC tablets outfitted with the intuitive TruthPoint touch-screen user interface
  • Same day or next day patient and family result and comment reports sent via email
  • Alert emails for immediate service recovery
  • Daily N-size reporting to track administration efforts
  • Weekly and monthly statistical and comment summaries and trending reports by department
  • Monthly raw data extract to perform root cause and counter measure analysis

“With the guidance from TruthPoint and the project management of our Operational Lead, implementation was easy and straightforward for our care teams.” Patient Care Manager

Solution: When implemented, TruthPoint was providing the following services to each of the 9 departments on an ongoing basis:

  • Handheld PC tablets outfitted with the intuitive TruthPoint touch-screen user interface
  • Same day or next day patient/family result and comment reports sent via email
  • Alert emails for immediate service recovery
  • Daily N-size reporting to track administration efforts
  • Weekly and monthly statistical and comment summaries and trending reports by department
  • Monthly raw data extract to perform root cause and counter measure analysis

Outcomes

Measures: This health systems post discharge patient and family satisfaction survey scores had not moved significantly in the 4 years prior to TruthPoint implementation and within 6 months had seen break-through improvement. Post-discharge patient and family satisfaction scores in the departments that implemented TruthPoint, showed significant improvement, while during the same period the departments not using TruthPoint showed an overall decline.

Comparing patient and family satisfaction scores from a nationwide patient satisfaction benchmark, they were able to achieve significant improvement including:

  • Inpatient medical and surgical departments improved from the 52nd to the 74th percentile
  • Emergency Departments improved from the 73rd to the 90th percentile

The following three charts illustrate the improvement in core patient and family satisfaction measures made possible with TruthPoint. The blue trending line represents the departments that implemented TruthPoint.

CS-Ped-graphs-01 CS-Ped-graphs-02 CS-Ped-graphs-03

Key Takeaway

Real-time patient and family feedback has been key in breaking through years of stagnant patient and family post-discharge satisfaction scores.

Placing patient and family feedback in the hands of the care team close to when the service was provided is crucial in changing staff perceptions of their care and the culture of service excellence. Because of the documented evidence of improvement and compelling economics, this health system continued its partnership with TruthPoint and has expanded its use to additional departments.

Summary

Organization
Large pediatric system serving over 200,000 children and their families each year

Challenge 
Minimal improvement despite concerted efforts

Solution
Real-time feedback from TruthPoint coupled with leader engagement

Results
Breakthrough performance in post discharge patient/family satisfaction scores