IIPC researches, evaluates and demonstrates the efficacy of patient and family/caregiver engagement through various modalities and methods.
In partnership with The Jefferson School of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University, IIPC sponsored two research projects to assess the impact of patient engagement on improving quality and safety outcomes in the hospital setting, specifically on reducing patient falls and heart failure readmissions. When final results are prepared, research findings will be shared publicly (fall of 2012); however, preliminary analysis of both studies strongly supports the impact of patient engagement on improved patient outcomes.
Structured on the premise that patient falls often occur because patients are unaware of their risk for falling, the Falls Reduction Project was designed to examine whether a technology-based, interactive educational intervention would reduce the incidence and cost of falls in the acute care setting. This evaluation was completed at OSF St Joseph Medical Center (OSF), a 157-bed community hospital based in Bloomington, Ill. Initial findings indicate that patients participating in the intervention experienced greater activation and reduced falls.
The Heart Failure Readmissions Project uses interactive patient care technology to examine the impact of patient engagement on heart failure readmissions. Engaging the patient and family in a prescribed, multi-dimensional heart failure care plan, this interactive tool spans the entire hospital stay to educate the patient and their family/caregivers about their condition, medications and the lifestyle changes required to manage their condition. The study validates early data indicating that this type of intervention, which is designed to better prepare and motivate patients to manage their condition upon discharge, significantly contributes to reduced readmission rates.
IIPC is currently sponsoring two additional research projects, expected to launch in early 2013.
Impact of care team health on patient outcomes
In a ground-breaking study, IIPC will analyze the impact of care team health on patient outcomes. Conducted at Celebration Health’s Center for Patient Care Innovation, the study uses a blended intervention designed to improve the health of individuals and the entire care team. The study aims to correlate care team health with elevated job performance, enhanced nursing practice and, ultimately, improved patient outcomes.
A core set of patient care measures and outcomes metrics will be used to evaluate the impact of this blended intervention approach. Baseline data will be established through staff health assessments and historical patient outcomes data. Ongoing and final assessments will be conducted, and results will be compared to the baseline to determine whether individual and care team health has improved and to measure the impact on patient outcomes.
Impact of medication adherence on diabetes readmissions
Diabetes readmissions continue to challenge our nation’s health system. Rates are rising for patient groups of all ages, and expenditures exceed $116 billion annually according to the American Diabetes Association. With the release of the National Patient Safety Initiative, an effective approach to reducing readmissions has become an even greater health and financial imperative.
In a new 18-month study, IIPC will examine the impact of improved medication adherence on 30-day diabetes readmissions. A six-month control period will assess the target population’s post-discharge medication adherence levels and aggregate readmission rates. Over the subsequent year, eligible patients will engage in a series of interventions designed to improve their understanding and use of medications.
The intervention program consists of integrated outcome improvement efforts by clinicians, interfacing technology systems, and pharmacy staff both during and after the hospital stay. The study will consider the effectiveness of these interventions on patient activation, the importance of a patient’s access to and comprehension of information along the continuum of care, and the value of clinical staff follow-up on patient satisfaction with medication education.
The study is sponsored by Walgreens Pharmacy and GetWellNetwork. Findings will be released in an IIPC report.