Ask for their problem list
Another facility that’s demonstrated success with provider engagement is Stanford Children’s Hospital. One way it engages physicians is to ask them to prioritize the problems they want to solve within their specialties, says Andrew Ray, director of professional revenue cycle.
For example, the urology department wanted to get patients with testicular torsion, where blood supply is cut off from the organ, into surgery faster (in fewer than seven hours, because patients have approximately 12 hours to receive surgical treatment before risking permanent damage).
To identify how to best treat this condition in a timely manner, members of the urology team did a literature review and visited facilities that were successfully triaging their patients with this condition. What they learned has resulted in significant improvements in coordinated care between the hospital, operating rooms, urologists, and nursing staff, says Ray.
Ray says the two main changes are quicker and better identification of testicular torsion—which required training of the triage clinical staff—and then providing a more clear protocol for how to take action. This includes communication to the urologic surgeon on duty, mobilization of the operating room team, preparation of the operating room, scheduling adjustments with the operating room, and patient transport to the operating room.
He adds that operating room availability is “always a challenge.” Getting clinical and operating room scheduling staff in agreement on these cases is key.
“In the typical triage sense, the most urgent/emergent needs are handled before planned or routine needs, so a lot of that was facilitated by education and gaining consensus with [clinical] and operational staff on the need for urgent treatment for this condition. That allows for effective triaging of patient operating room needs and current cases,” says Ray.