CareMount Medical focuses on the individual—evolving care and culture
In capable hands, the right tools can make a world of difference at an institution. Few hands have proved themselves more capable than those of the physicians, employees, and members of the patient experience team at CareMount Medical.
A large healthcare system in New York State, CareMount deployed the Real-time feedback solution across their organization in July 2017. Since then, they’ve seen all the benefits one might expect from a Real-time rollout. But they’ve encountered some astonishing surprises as well.
Jason Ruda, MS, CareMount’s Director of Patient Experience, weighed in on the unique ways the system found to work with Real-time—and the unexpected benefits that came from it.
Saving a patient from self-harm
One story in particular showcased how real-time feedback at CareMount Medical aided in preventing one of the most feared outcomes—a patient taking his or her own life after discharge.
“In providing feedback, we had a patient mention that they felt unsure of their ability to carry on with their life,” Jason said. “NRC Health immediately issued a service alert and notified us of the potential threat to the individual’s safety. Real-time feedback allowed us to act quickly, connect with the patient, and prevent a potentially devastating outcome.”
In most circumstances, no one could imagine that survey lag-time could prove fatal. But here was a case where instantaneous survey responses enabled a potentially life-saving intervention.
Changing the culture
But not every benefit comes with such high stakes. There were much subtler ways that Real-time feedback changed things at CareMount Medical, too.
“Before we launched it, we had an issue with data cynicism,” Jason said. “The low n-sizes from survey responses and the lag-time in receiving actionable data made it hard to get everyone on board.”
That complaint may sound familiar to many healthcare leaders. Real-time resolved the problem quickly, producing what Jason called an “exponential increase in responses” within months of deployment.
He’s careful to point out, though, that the quantitative change wasn’t as important as the culture shift that Real-time feedback helped bring about at the organization.
“Real-time got us buy-in and trust—it got clinicians to respect the feedback process,” Jason said. “What was really wonderful for us is how much the feedback responses drove self-reflection in our staff. A larger n-size is great, but more important is how we started to see that every ‘n’ is a patient. A person. Not just a number.”
Once staff started making this human connection, they were much more driven to improve their care. “The best part was that now our clinicians were asking themselves, ‘How can I go from good to great?’”
Rewarding good work
Critically, Real-time feedback also helped CareMount Medical’s staff begin to answer that question.
Jason discussed how CareMount Medical began a Practice Transformation initiative, implementation operational and clinical efficiencies that would improve patient-centered care. With Real-time feedback in place, Jason and the practice transformation team could take a careful, iterative approach to the changes they developed. They could see immediately how their initiatives affected the patient experience.
“We heard lots of positive comments from patients,” Jason said. “We made a concerted effort to coordinate care around the patient, keeping true to our values of putting the patient at the center of all we do. It took a lot of work to bring that together, but our patients raved about it.”
The results from feedback surveys not only justified the work that went into this initiative, but also encouraged staff to keep up the momentum. “Their reviews told us that our efforts were working,” Jason said. “That made it easier to keep it going. With a lag-time in feedback, it’s hard to see how that would have been possible.”
A Real-time trailblazer
In light of all this, Jason complimented NRC Health for creating the Real-time feedback platform. “NRC Health was a real pioneer in the market,” he said. “They saw what their customers needed and they created it.”
It’s important to note, though, that the real pioneers are the NRC Health partner organizations that find novel ways to use these solutions. CareMount Medical’s imaginative, intelligent deployment of Real-time feedback is already starting to make a major difference for their organization.
What might it do for yours?