Giving patients access to the right information at the right time

At the Orthopedic Surgery Department of New Hospital North Zealand, the medical team has always strived to involve patients in decision making both pre and post-surgery. At the same time, the number of outpatient visits is increasing, and patients are motivated and encouraged to learn more about health-related information outside of hospital visits. This development is setting new expectations for patient care and communication between the ward and the patient.

As a result, the department has decided to create a digital service using the platform developed by Emento, which can provide information to patients and ensure better communication between medical professions and patients.

The department has established a communication flow using the Emento App that can provide patients with the right knowledge at the right time. Initially, the department used the app to create communication flows for the Artificial Knee and the Rotator Cuff (shoulder) courses. After evaluating the promising results, the department has decided to extend the project to other courses and expand coverage for other departments.

Better dialogue with the patient

The goal for using this new platform is to provide a user-friendly supplementary method to the existing communication in e-Boks. Patients often complain about the long and information-dense letters they receive in e-Boks. But with the Emento app, patients can find short videos presented by the hospital staff with easy to understand information about their upcoming surgery. Preliminary feedbacks show that this new medium of communication improves patients’ familiarity with their upcoming procedures, which creates a sense of security and eases their anxiety towards the intervention.

“I would not have been able to cope as well if I only got the information in e-Boks. You get an understanding of what is important. These are concise videos and not long talks about something irrelevant.”

Knee patient, Stefan G. Rasmussen, age 71.

When the patients themselves have acquired the basic information in advance, the physicians can focus more on the patient’s specific needs during the appointment.

Opportunity to act

The app sends reminders and instructions for tasks such as fasting to patients, and requests receipts when information is read, or when a task is completed. This feature allows the medical staff to remind patients of uncompleted tasks, such as when a patient failed to complete a critical preparatory step prior to scheduled surgery.

“In the past, we provided a large amount of information in a short time and often at a time when patients were not able to fully process the information. With the app, we can guide patients through the process, at the right time, with the right quantity and pace that suit each patient. This has undoubtedly strengthened our communication.”

Pernille Greisen, Departmental Nurse, Orthopedic Surgery Department at North Zealand Hospital.

Fewer disturbing no-shows and cancellations

In a slightly larger perspective, we are now beginning to tackle the issue of no-shows. No-shows are a big financial burden to our healthcare system, and a disruptive element for the ward staff who often have to reschedule at a short notice.

“I am very excited about this innovative project as we are starting to see better patient flows in the hospital. Socio-economically it makes good sense to rethink our communication with patients and be at the forefront of no-shows, which costs a lot of money. Here is a concrete tool that we can expect to help us in this matter.”

Henrik Schødts, Project Director, New Hospital North Zealand.

The Emento app can mark tasks off when a required video is watched, understood or when a patient indicated that fasting has been started. This feature changes the communication from a monologue to a dialogue. Previously, the hospital was only able to send a letter in e-Box and hope the patient would read it. Now the staff have a direct way of knowing when a patient is sufficiently prepared for a procedure and can take action upon incomplete preparations. This can lead to significantly fewer no-shows and last-minute cancellations.

For the first time, by using Emento, the staff are able to monitor the patient’s preparation for the intervention and can contact patients prior to their no-shows. In addition, every ward has a unique opportunity to continuously fine-tune the information flow. For instance, if some particular videos are never watched by patients, the ward can remove them from the required task or change the contents of the video.

In addition, the patients, as well as the staff, are able to communicate using a direct messaging system. This opens up new pathways for dialogue that potentially could reduce workloads. When a patient sends a message, the attending nurses, doctors, and secretary are able to provide a direct response at times that fit into their schedule. In addition, the patient no longer has to wait in line on the phone and can even provide pictures of their symptoms in company with text messages. This means that the patient can skip a visit to the hospital and receive consultation in the comfort of their homes. It saves time for both the patients and their families.