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How a hospital CIO turns patient feedback into healthy outcomes

Clint Boulton | Jan. 21, 2016
Yale New Haven Hospital is using feedback software and tablets to help bolster patient satisfaction and, ideally, outcomes, says CIO Lisa Stump.

Getting real-time feedback is a sound strategy in a market where Yale competes with large healthcare systems in Boston and New York City, says IDC analyst Judy Hanover, who covers healthcare. “Attracting and retaining patients is going to be a priority,” she says. “They want to keep their beds full with high-revenue-generating cases and keep referrals within their system.”

Since Yale implemented Humm, many patients who do fill-out the Press Ganey surveys after the conclusion of their care visit, indicate that they've had a good experience, Stump says. "We're all going to make mistakes and there's going to be hiccups in operations... but we can fix it in a timely manner and improve our service to patients," Stump says. Yale is currently running Humm on 70 tablets across 19 locations.

How Yale started Humming

Humm's software is used in more than 200 food service and hospitality organizations, but its expansion into healthcare started in late 2014. Humm CEO Bernard Briggs says he received a call from a Yale dean who had been impressed by Humm after dining at a Vermont restaurant. Could the software be adapted to work in a hospital environment, the Yale dean asked. Briggs flew to New Haven the following week to introduce Yale's patient experience team to Humm's platform and technology. The two organizations spent eight months fine-tuning the software.

Briggs credits his work with Yale with accelerating Humm's push into healthcare, where it now serves 100 customers, 80 of whom have signed up in the last four months. He says he recommends that hospitals limit the feedback surveys to five to seven questions to avoid overwhelming the patient. "Patients in a hospital are guests and we need to start thinking about them as guests," Briggs says.

Humm isn't the only healthcare monitoring tool Yale has implemented. The hospital's electronic medical records (EMR) system, from Epic, identifies patients with potential care gaps. For example, the EMR software monitorswhether patients of a certain age or gender are due for a vaccination or screening test, or whether a diabetes sufferer requires a routine exam. Patient engagement software from Emmi Solutions conducts outreach, via phone calls and emails, to schedule patient appointments. "From a population health perspective, it's been a real help to our overall tracking of patients," Stump says.

Stump says Yale is also using Hadoop analytics software to comb through millions of tweets, ostensibly to learn more about patient sentiment about Yale. The plan is to pair the Twitter data with the feedback collected by Humm and Press Ganey for more holistic context. "We think all of We are being rated and report carded by consumers," via social media Stump says.


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