One System

Patients as Partners: Inpatient Educational Efforts Boosted

Patients hospitalized at Carolinas Medical Center and Levine Children's Hospital now have new interactive tools to enhance treatment and recovery, as a result of the "interactive patient care initiative." For example, most inpatient rooms now contain TV monitors that can be utilized for the following purposes:

  • patient education
  • pain management
  • discharge instructions
  • medication guidance
  • prevention of trips and falls

This innovative resource will enable patients to take a more active personal role in their own follow-up care, so as to reduce the need for additional medical appointments or re-admissions.

The new program also encompasses individualized health information and instructions that patients can review at their own convenience. The process includes question-and-answer exchanges designed to enhance comprehension of individual care plans, including medication requirements. In sum, it delivers messaging in a culturally sensitive way—at a pace, reading level and language appropriate for each patient.

Blue Ridge HealthCare also launched re-admission improvement programs in 2012. After standardizing patient education materials, Blue Ridge staff members took steps to improve every aspect of transition including patient discharge, home healthcare and long-term care. As a result, the disease-specific re-admission rate at those hospitals declined from a baseline near 20 percent (2006-2009) to an average of 13 percent at the end of 2012.

Stanly Regional Medical Center in Albemarle, NC, began distributing manuals to discharged stroke patients, in an effort to reduce re-admissions from recurring attacks.