TAUH Valkeakoski Hospital’s challenge
TAUH Valkeakoski Hospital identified that their outpatient surgery process had room for improvement ranging from inviting the patient to the procedure to admitting the patient all the way to recovery at home after the procedure. The majority of the tasks and processes around the procedure were inefficient, and current technological solutions and capacities were not being utilized. For example, reaching patients by phone was getting more difficult each day as the surgery unit is only open during working hours, and patients cannot be easily reached during this time of day. Furthermore, it was discovered that patients struggle with understanding and remembering all the instructions they are given before the procedure once they are sent home. Delivering information by post took a long time and instructions were shared through different channels. Additionally, Tampere University Hospital had also formed a digitalization strategy, which is supposed to support the adaptation of digital health solutions.
Solution - The BuddyCare Care Coordination Platform
Buddy Healthcare and TAUH Valkeakoski Hospital’s surgery and anaesthesia units joined forces and started co-creating a digital patient engagement solution to improve the care experience for surgical patients. Since September 2018, the patients coming to ENT surgery have received all information, such as procedure info packages, laboratory appointment reminders, combined pre-questionnaires and anaesthesia forms, pre-surgery checklists, post-operative instructions and feedback forms via a mobile app. All the information has been scheduled in the mobile app to arrive at the right time to ensure better informed and more compliant patients. The mobile app is a TAUH branded white label solution called the TAUH procedure (Tays toimenpide). A leaned patient care path led to a simplified process, as previously separately filled anaesthesia forms are now being almost entirely pre-filled with the information the patient fills out in the pre-questionnaire. More efficient and comprehensive communication via the mobile app also required fewer pre-surgical phone calls to patients. While ENT patients use the mobile app, the care personnel uses the BuddyCare Clinical Dashboard. The Dashboard provides the care personnel with a real-time overview of all patients' activities and progress throughout the care path. The care personnel at TAUH Valkeakoski Hospital is now able to track patients who have not completed all the necessary information before the procedure. The Dashboard also enables two-way communication where patients may contact the hospital personnel and vice versa.
Customer-reported efficiencies in ENT pre-operative care coordination
The method used: 350 digitally guided patients compared to 350 traditionally guided patients.
- 50% Ability to manage more patients in one day
- 80% Reduced time per patient
- 98% Reduced phone calls
- 1h+ Pre-operative time saved per patient
- 80% Usage rate (all patients)
- 30 Different care path templates
- 4,6/5 Rating given by patients on how easily the app provides all the information
- 4,6/5 Likeliness to recommend the app to other patients
Benefits for the Tampere University Hospital’s healthcare professionals
- Significant reduction of inefficiencies associated with phone calls, mailing, and paperwork.
- The more efficient process resulted in time savings, cost reductions, and better-informed patients.
- ENT surgery patients’ care communication and coordination processes were leaned and modernised.
- The new process supports and follows the TAUH digitalisation strategy.
- As technology enables patients to be more involved in their care process, patients are more active and thus better prepared when they arrive for their operation. For instance, the pre-operative was no longer necessary for those patients using the app
- Digital and automated collection of patient questionnaires has increased the number of submitted PREMs.
- The Buddy Healthcare reporting tool helps the hospital to follow visualise and analyse PROMs, PREMs and other questionnaires.
Benefits for ENT surgery patients
- Single-channel communication (Tays branded app) collects all needed information in one location.
- Patient materials are available 24/7, and the information can be read at their own pace.
- Timed reminders and notifications guide patients from preparation to recovery
- Patients are better informed and aware of the next steps.
- Patients have the possibility to contact the care team from their App.
- Improved patient experience.
About TAUH Valkeakoski Hospital
- Provides outpatient and inpatient treatment and performs same-day and short-stay surgeries.
- The total number of ENT procedures is ~1000 per year.
- Most common ENT procedures: tonsillectomy, tympanostomy, and different sinus surgeries.
- The hospital is part of Tampere University Hospital (TAUH), which provides specialised care services to nearly one million Finns.
TAUH digitisation objectives
- Pioneering in healthcare digitisation in the hospital environment.
- Driving a superior patient experience.
- Creating cost-effective processes.
- Investing in developing digital service models.
- Creating cost-effective processes.