Improving Patient Satisfaction in the Emergency Department (ED) with a Call Back Clerk – Edward Hospital & Health Services; Naperville, Ill.
Improve the collection of satisfaction, quality and health improvement data.
Staff developed a dedicated position, the Call Back Clerk, and a user-friendly database to conduct individual patient follow-up calls after discharge from the ED.
Conducting follow-up calls with patients has helped the hospital consistently achieve 95 percent Press Ganey satisfaction scores, reduce the risk of negative outcomes following discharge, and collect timely and statistically significant patient data.
Edward Hospital & Health Services 801 S. Washington Naperville, IL 60540 P: (630) 527-3000
From the experts:
Personally following up with discharged patients has had a hugely positive impact on the care that we provide in terms of ensuring patient safety and quality, reducing risk, and measuring overall satisfaction. The personal connection made by the Call Back Clerk is invaluable and helps us ensure that our patients are continuing on to lead healthy and happy lives.
Tom Scaletta, M.D. ED Medical Director
Edward Hospital & Health Services is a 300-bed acute-care hospitallocated in Naperville, Ill.
Clinical areas affected:
- Emergency department
- ED leadership
- Information technology (IT) department
- Human resources
After the initial idea was developed and the budget was approved, it took the department about three months to hire, train and fully implement the Call Back Clerk.
Tom Scaletta, M.D. ED Medical Director P: (630) 527-5025 TScaletta@edward.org
The Edward Hospital ED found that traditionally collected patient satisfaction measurements through Press Ganey scores were good for benchmarking the whole hospital but did not provide timely or statistically significant data at the provider level.
The ED staff wanted to continue to improve patient satisfaction by following up with patients and obtaining provider-specific feedback. In order to conduct individual patient follow-ups, a Call Back Clerk position was created. The Call Back Clerk phones patients discharged from the ED to inquire about the status of their medical conditions and satisfaction with providers. This information is compiled, analyzed for trends and utilized for quality improvement.
The Call Back Clerk only requires a computer with “off-the-shelf” database functions and automatic phone dialing software to manage the process and record the results. The database keeps track of who should be called, and two attempts are made to reach each person.
The clerk succeeds in reaching about one-third of patients who are called. Patients contacted are asked if their condition has changed and are directed to additional medical care as needed. Patients are also asked to rate the physicians and nurses who treated them with a letter grade (A-F). If the grade is lower than an A, the patient is asked why.
Advice and lessons learned:
- Computers and technology are key, but don't reinvent the wheel.
- Hire the right staff.
- Understand the added value.
The most significant cost for implementing the Call Back Clerk is that of having full-time, dedicated employees to handle the calls. At traditional salary rates, the hospital says this breaks down to approximately $2 per patient. Staffing requirements can be reduced by limiting which patients are called back. Ultimately, the system is seen as paying for itself by improving patient satisfaction, improving quality and reducing risk.
Promising Practices on Care Coordination & Readmissions
Poor care coordination contributes to the issue of avoidable readmissions.Learn more
While the need to address disparities in care is well known, few strategies for reducing disparities have been studied systematically.
RWJF examines the types of competitive foods - foods and beverages schools offer outside of meal programs - available in our nation's school...
"The light at the end of the tunnel is ... that I carried the struggle further, and that I taught my children correctly, in the way they cho...
In 1990, Dr. Hotz's focus on collaboration led to the creation of another nonprofit organization designed to coordinate public and private h...
To Dr. Cheryl Holder, success lies in "…understanding the needs of my community and how to make solutions happen."
"I remember Ronald's smile and upbeat attitude about everything. No matter how despairing and hopeless I felt (I was clinically depressed) h...
To Dr. Arlene Goldsmith, anyone can become a leader, provided they are driven, have a personality that is open and engaging, and a passionat...
Whatever I learn from those experiences, I pass on to the people around me, so they don't have to go through what I went through in order to...
Since winning the award, Dr. Bonds has expanded her health-related educational programs, particularly through the increased use of technolog...
"Being a volunteer tests you, to see if you really can make a difference and if you really want to do it - because you do have to make sacri...
"Mr. Chatman will always be in my heart and mind. He taught me to love myself and others. He gave me a chance when no one else would."
The way Mr. Lynch looks at it, anyone can be a leader - with mentoring, training, and the right opportunity (the chance to make a living doi...