Virtual Care through Automated Care Pathways for Pediatric Patients
HUS New Children’s Hospital’s catheterization laboratory performs diagnostic and angiographic examinations, interventional catheterizations, electrophysiologic examinations and catheter ablations, and installations of pacemakers and ICD's.
HUS New Children’s Hospital has been digitizing pediatric cardiology care pathways with the BuddyCare Patient Management Platform since 2018. Recently also, pediatric arrhythmia patients have been assigned to the mobile-application based digital care path, which has increased the number of patients receiving digital patient guidance and support.
What do digitizing patients' care pathways mean for the patients?
Previously the hospital has provided pre and post-procedure guidance and materials via phone calls or mail. In the digitized care pathway, the pediatric patients' parents download a free mobile app where they receive timed pre and post-procedure materials such as fasting instructions, a video about the procedure, procedure checklists, and administrative forms. The mobile app contains real-time messaging, allowing the parents to contact the care personnel if needed.
What do automating care pathways mean for the care personnel?
The nurses use a remote monitoring dashboard, where they can see an overview of the patients' progress in one glance. The platform collects pre-assessments and patients' feedback (Electronic Patient-reported outcome measures and patient-reported experience measures) to the nurse's dashboard.
Pediatric catheterization and arrhythmia care pathways have been designed and implemented carefully in advance. Therefore, after the nurse has assigned a new user to the care pathway and the app has been activated, the mobile app notifies parents automatically about everything they need to know by sending timed push notifications and reminders.
Automated virtual care not only speeds up the patient communication, but it also reduces administrative work and helps in identifying a potential no-shows or if there is a family that needs extra support.
Digitized communication with patients has helped during the postal strike and COVID-19 situation
The past half a year has been exceptional for the Finnish hospitals as at the end of the year 2019, a postal strike caused delays in the patient letter deliveries. Now due to the COVID-19 situation, hospitals and patients are facing limitations in visits and treatment. The need for virtual care and digital patient communication has increased. The digitized care pathways and patient communication have helped the New Children’s Hospital to continue communicating with the patients with no delays. Based on the feedback we have received, secure real-time messaging with the families has been a useful and valuable communication method not only in these exceptional times but also in the past.
Patients feedback related to digital patient guidance and the mobile app use
95% of the parents whose children were attending the procedure have chosen to use the mobile application. Parents have given the following feedback of the digital patient guidance and mobile application on a scale of 1-5, and to all questions, the maximum point was 5.
How easy was it to adapt the procedure preparation and recovery instructions?
How much the education and support you received through the app reduced your preoperative stress and anxiety?
How useful was the app for you when preparing your child for your procedure?
How easy was the mobile app to use?
How would you rate the app?
About HUS and Pediatric heart catheterizations
At HUS Helsinki University Central Hospital more than half a million patients receive medical care annually. HUS is the biggest health care provider and the second largest employer in Finland.
Pediatric heart catheterizations have been centralized at Helsinki University Central Hospital's New Children's Hospital, where approximately 400 catheterizations are performed annually.
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