The issue

  • Colorectal surgery (related to cancer) accounted for 27% of the total case mix for a large healthcare system
  • Colorectal surgery department noticed a steady increase in the number of patients returning back to the Emergency Room (ER) for non-urgent issues over a 24-month period
  • 30-day readmission rates were significantly above the national average
  • Based on an initial internal assessment, the hospital management and colorectal surgery department hypothesized an issue with the patient discharge process
  • Established a cross-functional team to perform a root-cause analysis of the entire patient journey and flow
  • Mapped the entire patient journey and flow and identified a number of improvement opportunities

What we did

  • Designed a pilot study to test a new discharge process enabled by technology
  • Enrolled 97 patients, focusing on younger more tech savvy profile who were open to self-managing recovery during post-operative phase
  • Identified root-causes of readmissions into ER (over 78% non-emergency which could have been avoided if patients were better educated and informed during the discharge process)
  • Redesigned the discharge programme with a greater focus on patient self-management enabled by smart technology
  • Sent patients electronic reminders to help keep them on-track with recovery milestones
  • Established post-discharge daily check-ins to track stoma output, incision photos, pain levels, bowel function, etc.
  • Implemented algorithms to flag patient issues and automatically provide feedback to patients on how to self-manage or how and where to find relevant support
  • Developed intelligent notifications to automatically notify clinical team members if patient at risk
  • Designed and implemented a dashboard with real-time reports and analytics to help the care team understand a patient’s post-operative concerns, trajectory of recovery and ways to improve patient experience

The results

  • Delivered a 72% reduction in 30-day re-admissions
  • Avoided 7 ER visits which were resolved through triage via telephone consultation or outpatient clinic
  • Improved patient satisfaction scores by 24% (compared to baseline pre-launch)
  • Based on the success of the programme, supported client to identify other surgical programmes to roll-out similar solution

An award-winning team

Curzon consulting mca finalist 2019


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