October 24, 2017

Resources assist staff in making EpicLeap transition seamless for patients

As Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) gears up for the Nov. 2 launch of eStar, teams throughout the medical center are hard at work to ensure the transition is seamless and positive for patients and their families.

As Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) gears up for the Nov. 2 launch of eStar, teams throughout the medical center are hard at work to ensure the transition is seamless and positive for patients and their families.

“As we approach the go-live date, there have been many proactive steps taken throughout the Medical Center to ensure we remain focused on our patients and their families as our top priority,” said VUMC Patient Experience Senior Director Brian Carlson. “We’ve developed several concise tools to assist both clinicians and non-clinicians as they navigate this major update in the way we do business.

“These tools are readily available in our Learning Exchange and on our website so they can be referenced and downloaded at any time. We encourage everyone to make use of these resources to ensure our patients’ care and experience is exactly what they expect — excellent.”

Resources available online in the Learning Exchange include.

  • EpicLeap and Patient Communication Discussion Guide: Offers talking points for leaders as they lead meetings and includes practice scenarios on best communicating the benefits of eStar to patients.
  • eStar and Patient Communication Video: A short, entertaining video on VUMC’s newest team member, eStar, that spells out how patients benefit by the change and how employees can positively respond to eStar improvements as they serve patients.
  • Communication Guide and Script: A two-page script reminding staff members that perception is everything when it comes to the words, gestures and body language that are used in the presence of patients and their families, especially during the eStar transition. The guide offers communication suggestions for creating the best patient experience.
  • Rounding During Change: A one-page guide with ideas on how to most effectively communicate with patients and their families on rounds during the transition.
  • Keeping Patients and Families Informed about Delays: Assists staff in creating and following a plan to keep patients and families in waiting areas and exam rooms informed of any possible delays.

Access the patient communication resources in the Learning Exchange at https://learningexchange.vumc.org, then search for “Patient Communication” and launch “eStar and Patient Communication: Tools for Leaders.”

In addition to the Learning Exchange resources, a new series of six messages is available online that highlights ways to best fulfill the Vanderbilt Patient and Family Promise, a guiding principle that was created by patients and providers and adopted at VUMC in 2013.

“The messages, which we hope will be discussed with staff and displayed in staff areas throughout the Medical Center, are to remind employees of the Patient and Family Promise, and to share easy ways to do to make sure our patients and their families understand that they are very important to us,” said Director of Patient and Family Engagement Terrell Smith. “How well we communicate and the way we handle our interactions with patients and their families has a huge impact on their satisfaction and involvement with their care.”

The Vanderbilt Patient and Family Promise includes these six elements:

  • Include you as the most important member of your health care team.
  • Respect your right to privacy.
  • Work with you to coordinate your care.
  • Personalize your care with a focus on your values and needs.
  • Communicate clearly and regularly.
  • Serve you and your family with kindness and respect.

Visit https://ww2.mc.vanderbilt.edu/elevatesite/41003 to view and download the six flyers that spell out specific ways to best communicate with patients and their families and ensure that the Patient and Family Promise is being met.

For example, to meet the commitment to personalize care, clinicians should involve family members who are present at appointments and include them in patient education. To meet the promise to communicate clearly and regularly, clinicians are reminded to avoid jargon and instead explain diagnoses, tests and procedures in everyday language.

“We encourage our leaders to share all of these important resources with their staff members,” said Paul Sternberg Jr., M.D., VUMC Chief Patient Experience and Service Officer. “We know change is challenging, but we also know that Vanderbilt University Medical Center employees have repeatedly shown that they meet challenges with positive, can-do attitudes. Our patients have entrusted us with their well-being, and we are committed to excellence in every interaction. We won’t lose sight of that commitment during this transition period.”