Archive April 2017 XVIII, No. 4

Ideas That Work: How We Got More Patients to Complete Online Health Histories

win a trophy and a dozen gourmet doughnuts TROPHY HUNTERS Surgeon schedulers who get the most patients to complete their pre-admission assessments online win a trophy and a dozen gourmet doughnuts.

How We Got More Patients to Complete Online Health Histories

To simplify and streamline our pre-admissions process, a few years ago we moved the process online. Instead of a lengthy screening phone call, we directed patients to submit their medical histories through an easy online questionnaire they could complete at home. When it worked, it worked great. Trouble was, our surgeons' office schedulers were struggling to remind patients to go to the website and fill out their health histories online. Our solution: drive adoption of the online pre-admissions system by turning it into a friendly competition among the office schedulers.

Here's how it works: Every month we sort our 12 to 15 office schedulers into 3 categories based on the number of patients they bring in: fewer than 10; 11 to 20; and 20 or more. Our system tells us the origin of each assessment, meaning which office it came from. We visit the winning offices to deliver a trophy they get to keep all month and a dozen gourmet doughnuts.

The competition has generated a lot of excitement. When we started the contest last September, 71.9% of our patients were completing their online health histories. By December, the participation rate had risen to 83.4% — and that number just keeps on growing. When a patient's medical information is available to you well in advance of a planned procedure, and the information is legible, accurate and complete, you can work to prevent day-of-surgery surprises.

Rena Carney, RN, BSN
Dublin (Ohio) Surgery Center

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