Improved Accountability, Lower Readmissions
Bailey says the tech also improves accountability of both clinicians and patients. Directors and chief nurses can randomly listen to these recordings. "The nurses know that, so they do a better job up front teaching," she says. "[And] when the nurse says, 'Miss Bailey I'm going to record what I'm telling you,' the patient thinks, 'wow, this must be important if they're going to record it, so I better listen.' And so they're doing a better job listening. So both parties are doing a better job."
The 15 percent readmission reduction was based on a six-month trial on a 31-bed "step-down" nursing unit at Cullman where many stroke, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure patients recuperate after the ICU.
"My goal was, if we can make a difference on Four East with those patients, then I can replicate that on any of my other nursing units," Bailey says. In addition, Cullman saw a 62 percent improvement on HCAHPS patient satisfaction scores during the trial.
"We started thinking, okay, where else can we implement this in the hospital that's going to be beneficial? We next rolled it out into maternity," not to reduce readmissions, but to improve education. "This generation is all about technology, so they all have a smartphone, so we created information that the parents can watch videos, can read information on how to bathe the baby, anything they need to know. They can just log on," Bailey says.