Patient satisfaction measures everything from the individual’s level of comfort and safety to their view on staff care. Each patient’s experience in their healthcare setting depends on how well their expectations are met and thus determines their satisfaction.
We recently met with Finger Lakes Health via webinar to learn about their increase in patient and overall satisfaction due to improvements since partnering with Collette Health virtual services in February. Finger Lakes Chief Nursing Officer Ardelle Bigos led the on-demand webinar to share how Collette Health’s patient observation solution drastically changed their staffing challenges ongoing and increased overall satisfaction.
With the current emphasis on increasing patient contentment, hospitals use feedback from satisfaction surveys to reveal their deficiencies in all areas so that improvements can be made. Surveys like the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers (HCAHPS) make results publicly available and affect incoming federal funds to organizations, while allowing facilities to address and improve on patient concerns.
A patient survey usually consists of a series of questions to reveal different facets of the patient experience:
- Amount and quality of time spent with physician and nursing staff members
- How quickly problems were addressed
- Environment (rooms, facilities) cleanliness, comfort, and noise level
- Pain management
- Accessibility of information and having questions answered
- Overall friendliness and efficiency of staff and experience
Finger Lakes Turned to Collette Health To Help Patients
Finger Lakes Health is a multi-institutional health system that includes Geneva General Hospital, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, 4 long-term care facilities, and 17 physician practices. They serve both acute and long-term care needs throughout the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Like other organizations, Finger Lakes Health began experiencing the effects of overused resources due to recent events, many sparked by the pandemic and its aftereffects. Employee shortages, soaring healthcare costs, government regulations, and staff burnout have been just a few of the obstacles they’ve faced, along with the nation’s baby boomer generation quickly advancing in years. For hospitals, having sufficient staff is crucial to prevent adverse events like patient falls, which are a leading cause of injury.
Especially troubling is the prospect of nursing staff being overworked—and even more so in high-risk patient care where adverse event deterrence and patient safety are the top priorities. An additional staffing component would be the answer to employing an extra layer of safety for patients and would reassure families that their loved ones receive the best care. Patient safety is the number-one priority. And while one-to-one care is often crucial for high-risk patients, labor costs are at an all-time high.
Collette Health’s Solutions
Once Finger Lakes administrators found that Collette Health’s virtual remote observation tool could help resolve their staffing challenges and thus improve patient safety, they implemented the solution in February 2023. Collette Health’s two-way audio and video system improved patient safety and security, staff communication, cost savings, and efficiency. The continuous monitoring and direct communication helped whenever it appeared that a patient was becoming restless or uncomfortable or showed an interest in departing their bed. The observing clinician could speak to the patient and ask them to wait for immediate assistance while instantly contacting the nurse on site, who called on the patient in-person for support.
Delighted Staff At Finger Lakes
The new program was well received by the nursing staff, patients, and their family members. Staff appreciated the ease of setup and the simple and intuitive patient onboarding. Handoff between nurses and virtual observers was seamless while their communication with clinicians, patients, and family was efficient and effective. According to Bigos, the Finger Lakes staff and has been more than pleased with the friendliness of Collette Health’s team members, indicating that they are always willing to talk to patients as much or as little as is wanted, and always smiling and professional. According to Bigos, the staff found that having remote observers is the best way to reduce the risk of falls and creates an overall safer environment for patients. There were multiple instances reported in the first six months where patient adverse events were deterred due to Collette Health observer intervention.
Patients And Family Are Pleased
Finger Lakes administrators found that patients feel a great amount of comfort from having another person to talk to. Collette Health’s friendly observers can be seen onscreen and are ready to speak with patients whenever they choose. The sense of companionship helps to ease any feelings of isolation.
Bigos said patients sometimes wake in a disoriented state and become nervous, perhaps unsure of their location and searching the room from their bed for another person. When they realize there is another face and voice available to reassure them they are safe, it provides a sense that they aren’t alone.
The monitor also offers a silence screen with an animation of a tropical fish tank while the remote observer can continue to see and hear the patient. It allows patients a sense of privacy, and many enjoy the fish and find them soothing—a feature that has pleased family members, as well.
According to Bigos, reception was fantastic from family members of patients who received Collette Health remote observers. They were pleased that loved ones were always watched, even if they couldn’t be there, and enjoyed having opportunities to converse with the continued clinical presence to find out how the patient was in their absence. This can ease any guilt they may have for not being always present and has also encouraged trusting relationships regarding patient care. It’s a satisfying situation for everyone overall.
The Joint Commission reports that the cost of an onsite patient fall averages $1,500 for the hospital housing that patient. For a fall with injury, the average cost is reported as $14,000. According to Finger Lakes Health, their fall rates have steadily dropped since Collette Health’s installation, having decreased by 53% in the first month, and with an average monthly decrease of 32% fewer falls. These kinds of results are not uncommon. On average, Collette Health clients see up to a 21% reduction in acute care observer hours.
A Clear Solution For Increasing Safety And Patient Satisfaction
Patient satisfaction in the healthcare setting is personal—it can affect the outcome of a medical event from both a mental and emotional standpoint. When expectations are met or surpassed, it promotes healing from the inside out. This has become a recognized facet in the healthcare industry in recent years. By partnering with Medsitter, Finger Lakes Health is on a growing list of healthcare systems that has discovered an efficient and cost-effective method for reducing strain on medical staff, the need for more recruitment, and most importantly—the number of injuries resulting from adverse events like falls. Since their implementation of Collette Health, staff has seen a substantial increase in patient and family member satisfaction and comfort.
If you would like to learn more or are interested in installing Collette Health in your healthcare facility, visit our Contact Us page.