At The Chester County Hospital and Health System (TCCH) in Pennsylvania, U.S., care of heart failure patients focuses on three fundamental components: people, processes, and technology — specifically the tools in Soarian® Clinicals. “We want to provide the appropriate tools upon discharge so patients can manage their own condition in an out-patient environment as much as possible,” says Kathleen Zopf-Herling, MSN, RN-BC, Director of Nursing Informatics at TCCH. “So it's important to proactively try to prevent the readmission of these patients.”
Efficient access to patient information
The heart failure nurse educator can view all patient data and remove from his/her census patients that don’t meet heart failure criteria. The workflow engine pushes out some of the key heart failure indicators via a notification to the educator. Web-based access to patient records helps the nurse educator view patient history for more individualized time spent with the patient. The workflow also helps the clinician monitor for new results or changes to patient status.
Thorough education for patients
TCCH has applied technology to help patients manage their health outside the hospital and to help staff confirm that all appropriate interventions are completed and documented. With one click, the nurse educator documents all the required topics covered with the patient. That information can then be shared across the entire care continuum.
Enhanced monitoring of patients
To help staff monitor patients, the workflow generates reminders to check a patient’s daily weight. It helps confirm that activity is completed and provides an opportunity to identify trends in patient weights that may signal the need for additional intervention. Similarly, technology for medication management reminds cardiovascular nurses to evaluate patients’ current medication list to help confirm that the patient is on the appropriate beta blocker, angiotensin converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I), or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB).
“The use of technology in support of clinical workflow has enabled significant improvements in managing a challenging heart failure population,” says Zopf-Herling. “More importantly, the culture at Chester County is one that embraces technology, which means we are well positioned to handle whatever health reform initiatives are yet to come.”
The outcomes achieved by the Siemens customers described herein were achieved in the customer's unique setting. Since there is no “typical“ hospital and many variables exist (e.g., hospital size, case mix, level of IT adoption), there can be no guarantee that others will achieve the same results