HCA Healthcare Innovators Award: Service Excellence
Service Excellence Recipient: Fred Webster, Director of Physician and Provider Relations, West Valley Medical Center, Caldwell, ID
When scheduling a surgical procedure, there are several things for hospitals and surgery centers to consider to ensure the stakeholder experience is as smooth as possible. West Valley Medical Center (WVMC) has found a solution to do just that, thanks in large part to the foresight, guidance and knowledge of Fred Webster, director of physician and provider relations.
Webster has created a Microsoft Access app that connects key members of WVMC with surgery offices and internal departments in one step during scheduling.
Because Meditech does not share patient information proactively across key departments, WVMC needed a system that allowed for more consistent communication among all parties involved with a surgical case.
“Meditech is robust in its information collection, but not so much in communication,” Webster explains. “The question became, ‘How can we increase the consistency and accuracy of communication yet make surgery scheduling more efficient?’”
Surgeons’ scheduling requests can be emailed or faxed, no longer phone-dependent, with the confidence of a prompt confirmation email. Case details are provided for review, with additional information regarding preadmission testing and patient education class dates and times.
“Our single biggest challenge was relieving concerns of our scheduling team,” Webster says. “Initially it seemed like it was going to be a lot more work for them. We asked them to take a leap of faith and trust us, because in the long run, it would help them to be more efficient. They did. Now, they come up with innovations to make the app even better.”
The new system communicates key case information in a proactive way to internal and external customers. For example, case confirmation emails are sent via encrypted email to surgery offices while simultaneously adding the patient to a pre-operative education schedule, and notifying workers compensation, financial counseling and preadmission testing physicians of a pending patient visit.
The program’s success has also enabled Webster to develop a stronger relationship with the team at WVMC, a foundation he hopes to use for future initiatives.
“This process has helped me earn their trust,” he says. “It’s also brought other people together. Everyone is now in the loop. In many cases, people in departments never meet even when they’re working together on a case. This program invites more collaboration.”
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