In the age of big data where information is more readily available than ever before, evidence-based decision making has become the benchmark against which we compare all other approaches to decision making. However, when it comes to implementing new practices, changing the way your organization approaches things can be much easier said than done. While every hospital culture is different, some organizations are more reluctant to adopt an evidence-based approach than others who prefer to rely on intuition or previously established tactics. Below are four practices to help lay the ground-work to guide your organization toward a hospital culture that is more receptive to evidence-based decision making:
- Adopt an open visitation policy: the benefits of open visitation policies are threefold. For healthcare providers, open visitation provides greater opportunity for them to communicate with both patients and visitors leading to increased education and understanding. For family members, they are more confident in the quality of care being provided as they can check on family members whenever they are able. And last but certainly not least, patients feel better supported by both staff and family members leading to a better care experience. While there is plenty of evidence to support open visitation policies, some organizations can be hesitant to adopt them as they break with traditional visitation policies. This can be a great place to start to begin creating a culture that is friendly to evidence-based decision making.
- Practice interdisciplinary rounding: much like with open visitation policies, the benefits of interdisciplinary rounding are threefold. Not only has it been proven to reduce LOS, but it has also been shown to reduce the need for invasive procedures and improve patient safety overall. Interdisciplinary rounding also breaks with the traditional healthcare model of having the caretaking team obey physician orders and rather encourages every member of the care team to use their own judgement. Additionally, it has been shown to improve patient engagement through increased interaction with their care team which is an added benefit to increase the long-term quality of care and help your organization succeed under a value-based care system.
- Implement an open note policy: hospitals with open note policies have shown that it fosters patient engagement and serves as a tool for patients to catch incorrect entries in their health records that might otherwise go unnoticed. Similar to interdisciplinary rounding, open note policies promote greater communication between clinicians and patients which in turn fosters patient engagement. This global movement aims to increase communication within healthcare and also breaks with traditional hierarchical models.
- Invest in advisory committees: similar to the three previous policies, advisory committees also promote greater communication between patients/families and their healthcare providers. Organizations that advocate for patient safety initiatives have shown better care outcomes for patients and also have the added benefit of receiving invaluable feedback from their communities which can help improve quality of care. While advisory committees create another opportunity for any organization to distance itself from traditional healthcare structures, they also offer an additional opportunity to enhance patient engagement and ultimately set you hospital up for success under a value-based care system.
While every hospital is different, these four practices can help your organization shift closer to a culture that promotes evidence-based decision making and in turn, quality patient care. Additionally, similar practices can be used to improve patient engagement and ultimately help your hospital thrive under a value-based care system. Interested in learning more? Follow us on LinkedIn for related articles. Or click here to read more.