Health Systems

How a Texas Health Nurse Rounding App is Improving Patient Care

Nurses are able to improve efficiency and quality through improved communication.

Texas Health Resources has launched an iPad mini app to coordinate departmental communication for enhanced patient experience. This comprehensive tool allows leadership (nurse managers, discharge nurses, nurse supervisors, all the way up to chief nurses) to seamlessly tackle the needs of both patients and staff through shared viewership of photos and notes.

Texas Health had previously utilized a home-grown tool named My Round, which had proved unhelpful in detecting new opportunities and recognizing top talent. The imminent need for a new platform to relay patient feedback and pinpoint areas of improvement was recognized among nurse managers that had felt My Round wasn’t purposeful enough.

“We have experimented with numerous patient experience trackers from different vendors before settling on this one,” remarks Yolanda Blaine, nurse manager at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. The 14 managers and directors that had piloted a number of different tools wound up rounding a 100% support rate for CipherHealth, the new application.

To use the app, nurse managers should visualize themselves as restaurant managers who make rounds, asking each and every table if their food was alright. Nurses should pay individual visits to patient’s rooms to ensure that they are receiving the best customer service possible, and track complaints and complements for future reference.

Whether transferring to a different floor or having returned to the hospital upon discharge, patients are guaranteed personalized care, thanks to the app. Previous records of their favorite soft-drinks or ice-breakers of choice shall be studied by employees for reference to create a homey experience.

The reaction has been positive all around. “I’ve made interaction with nurse managers after their 15-minute training session on methods to utilize the app. I remember seeing them walking out with happy faces, saying this was going to be awesome, as it is nothing like our old rounding tool,” says Blaine. Although CipherHealth is accessible through the iPad, iPhone, and Apple desktop, Blaine encourages her staff to mainly utilize an iPad as while using the feature, so they could track real-time information while making laps around the hospital wing.

The app facilitates communication among numerous departments, especially environmental services. Nurse managers can shoot photos of ruddy rooms and send it directly to environmental services, where directors are alerted with the start of a timer. The time spent to resolve such matters shall be tracked within the app to carry out efficient service. Abiding by the crawl, walk, and run approach adopted by Texas Health, nurses are planning to roll out the app to other ancillary departments, such as food services, once users become comfortable with the application.

Blaine explains she is attempting to implement major and minor tweaks along the way to personalize the app to best cater to the needs of each individual. “We plan on making adjustments to the script depending on the floor a patient is positioned in,” she explains. Questions will start embodying diversity, with women that come in for delivery being surveyed differently from a 12-year-old boy visiting to receive knee surgery. The woman may be questioned on her satisfaction of lactation services or delivery assistance, while the boy would be asked about rehab, and if he was aware of methods to conduct movement upon having undergone such hefty surgery.

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