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Improving Patient Care by Capturing Real-Time Feedback at the Point of Service

Monday, August 20, 2018   (0 Comments)
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This case study was created in partnership between Hidalgo Medical Services and West Interactive Services/Healthcare, a global provider of communication and network infrastructure services. Download a PDF version of this case study.

 

West has a partnership with NWRPCA and is sponsoring the Operational Excellence and Strategic Leadership Educational Tracks at the 2018 Fall Primary Care Conference.


 

USING SURVEYS TO REENGINEER THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE

Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS), a Federally Qualified Health Center, provides diverse healthcare services for an underserved population in the southernmost portion of New Mexico. With 22 locations spread across two counties, HMS needed patient feedback that was relevant to all its service lines as well as meaningful for its providers. In May of 2017, HMS launched a new, electronic patient survey to improve the patient experience and enhance care quality.

 

HMS partnered with West to create an electronic survey tool that provides real-time feedback based on customized questions. With reporting tools that allow the organization to filter by clinic location, service line and provider, HMS is reengineering its patient care delivery processes with the goal of attracting new patients and better serving the community. CEO Dan Otero discusses the importance of the survey project and how it’s enabling HMS to gain crucial insights to achieve the long-term goal of improving the efficiency of all their patient-focused processes.

 

 

 

Dan Otero, Chief Executive Officer at

Hidalgo Medical Services 

 

Dan Otero has more than 28 years of healthcare experience working across the entire healthcare continuum, from providing clinical care to overseeing hospital administration. During the last 15 years, Dan’s strategic focus has been on creating patient-centric delivery systems and holistic care models that are more effective, efficient and provide a better patient experience.

 

 

WHY WEREN’T STANDARD SURVEY TOOLS SERVING HMS’ NEEDS?

Previously, we were working with another group to administer our patient surveys, but it was a time-consuming process and a manual effort for patients to complete surveys. It often took up to six months for the organization to compile the data from the paper surveys and provide us with results. We also had a very limited sample size with just 50 surveys divided among our 13 clinics. Another issue was that the questions didn’t apply to all of our diverse service lines: medical, dental, mental health and family support services. We needed questions based on best practices for outpatient facilities.

 

HOW DOES HMS ADMINISTER THE SURVEY?

We received an IT enhancement grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for iPads to administer the surveys. They were installed in the lobbies of our 13 clinics in May. Now, patient surveys are a fast, easy process and only take a few minutes for patients to complete. Our staff escorts patients to kiosks directly following appointments and asks them to take the survey. As a result, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of completed surveys. In just seven months we’ve collected almost 2,000 surveys, compared to 275 for the entire previous year.

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“To Our Patients: We want to know how you feel about the care you get and the services you receive at Hidalgo Medical Services. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and let us know your feelings about your most recent visit. Our goal is to provide excellent care and services and to ensure you are completely satisfied. Your responses are important to us.”

- Sincerely, Dan Otero, CEO

 

 

HOW IS HMS COMMUNICATING TO ITS PATIENTS AND COMMUNITY ABOUT THE NEW SURVEY?

 

Right now we are actively marketing to our community, communicating that quality and service are the most important goals for us. The survey tool from West is helping us ask the right questions, and the iPads are making it easier for our patients to provide us with this vital information. The new survey process has made a big difference to our patients because it sends the message that we care about them and we are focused on improving the quality of care.

 

 

 

HOW IS ELECTRONIC REPORTING HELPING HMS ACHIEVE ITS QUALITY GOALS?

Reporting and timeliness were our biggest issues with the previous paper survey. We needed timely data so we could take immediate action, and the previous process took far too long. The data we are receiving now will help us move the needle faster because we can quickly identify specific touchpoints in the patient experience and care processes where we need to focus our improvement efforts. This is key to helping us collaborate among our various clinics and deploy changes to our operational systems and processes.

 

WHAT WAS THE MOST CRUCIAL PART OF THE SURVEY PROJECT?

The key to the project was finding a partner willing to co-create the survey we needed. There are lots of off-the-shelf surveys, even electronic ones. But we wanted to personalize, humanize and demystify the surveys for our patients and the populations we serve. Finding a partner that could not only provide the initial survey, but could also help us build follow-up surveys to address specific issues as we identify them was crucial for us. West was able to address our needs with an interactive, online tool that provides immediate results and gives us the ability to customize our survey questions. Finding that combination was a game changer for us.

 

WHAT ARE HMS’ STRATEGIC GOALS FOR IMPROVING THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE AND HOW DOES THE NEW SURVEY TOOL SUPPORT THEM?

 

This survey tool is the foundation of everything we are doing to improve the patient experience. In November 2017, HMS was recognized as a New Mexico Performance Excellence Award (NMPEA) recipient because of its commitment to long-term process improvement. The NMPEA is the state’s only award program based on the National Malcolm Baldrige Framework for Performance Excellence. Our patient survey tool provides a systematic process for collecting “voice of the customer” data and provides a clear vision for identifying and evaluating improvement activities.

 

 

Helping Create Better Patient Experiences

West’s survey tool makes it easy to capture patient feedback and turn it into insights. An intuitive platform allows users to drag and drop custom questions, create different surveys for specific patient groups and brand the survey with an organization’s logo. The results dashboard features customizable filters and graphs so users can easily interpret results and identify responses that require immediate attention.

 

If you are interested in learning more about West's patient engagement and communication platforms and our partnership with NWRPCA, please contact the following: 

 

Dianna Santillanes

Business Development/Channel Accounts

dsantillanes@west.com

 

 

 

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NWRPCA welcomes and regularly publishes white papers and articles submitted by members, partners and associates with subject matter expertise. The appearance of any guest publication in our Health Center News database represents the views of the author and does not constitute endorsement by NWRPCA of the stated opinions or perspectives, nor does it suggest endorsement of the contributor's products or services.


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