UCHealth Denver pilots 'Facebook feed' for patient communication in its ER

The hospital tested CareLoop technology and found that both clinicians and patients responded very positively to the social-style method for keeping up to date on care.
By Bill Siwicki
08:41 AM
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UCHealth Facebook feed

UCHealth in Denver tested CareLoop’s real-time social feed of information and messages and found that 96 percent of patients responded well to the experience.

The feed, which is akin to Facebook for patients, delivers messages from caregivers, questions from patients, test results, explanation of care delivered, what to expect next and more. This way, patients have a live feed giving them everything they need to know about their care and family members can read up and see what’s happening with their loved ones. Further, physicians, nurses and other caregivers can have more touch-points with patients without having to perform another face-to-face visit.

UCHealth tested the CareLoop system in its emergency department. Patients were assigned accounts upon arrival in the ER, and caregivers had accounts that allowed them to write on the feeds of any of their patients, or embed test results.

[Also: Northwell masters care transitions with 'LoJack for patients']

“We followed patients through their ER stay, and kept them in the loop on their care in the ER,” said Foster Goss, DO, founder of CareLoop. “As an ER physician, I see the patient, I take their history, I put in labs and tests, and maybe go back once or twice to deliver updates. In my busy workflow it’s hard to do one or two touch-points to update that patient, but with CareLoop, including the messages in the system, we could do five to 10 times as many touch-points with patients.”

CareLoop conducted a patient survey after the pilot. According to the survey about use of CareLoop in the ER, 100 percent of the patient respondents believed doctor-patient communication was important, 96 percent enjoyed receiving updates from their doctors and nurses, 90 percent felt doctors and nurses were more responsive to their needs, 86 percent believed the CareLoop patient communication technology improved the communication between providers and patients, and 96 percent would like to receive reminders from their doctors.

“The nurses loved being able to update their patients, as well,” Goss said. “Not having to go back in multiple times to keep other people who just showed up in the loop about what’s happening.”

Goss explained that the CareLoop technology is designed to be system-agnostic so it can work with any EHR system. The technology is based on a common code base that allows CareLoop to embed the system into EHRs. The social-like technology can be used by a small family practice or a large health system, he added.

“One of the biggest challenges we see is navigating the health system,” Goss said. “CareLoop can really help patients with respect to communicating with their care team. It provides a way for the providers to deliver updates in a very efficient manner. It’s a workflow tool for providers. They can see if the patient read or acknowledged their update. It’s helpful for care coordinators in that way. If they want a patient to show up and see a specialist. And they can get confirmation that a patient read it. We also are looking to interface with Medicare claims data and improving care coordination, so we can see all of the providers with these visits.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com


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