5 Ways to Be More Baby-Friendly (Without Becoming a ‘Baby-Friendly Hospital’)

Posted by Deirdre Wilson on Apr 27, 2017 8:35:00 AM

There are many great reasons why hospitals choose to work toward baby-friendly hospital status. There are also plenty of ways to encourage breastfeeding in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines, without having that official Baby-Friendly Hospital title.

Whether or not you’re pursuing baby-friendly status, your hospital can effectively support breastfeeding promotion among staff and patients. Here are 5 ways to go about it:

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Topics: Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, Patient Education, Pregnancy Education

How We Innovated Breastfeeding Compliance and Increased Staff Satisfaction

Posted by Paula Adamcewicz, RNC on Apr 12, 2017 11:16:00 AM

Much has been written about the benefits of breastfeeding, but the overarching reason that exclusive breastfeeding promotion is such an important initiative for groups like the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee, World Health Organization, Baby-Friendly USA and the American Academy of Pediatrics is that breastfeeding is a preventive care issue.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that breastfeeding reduces the lifetime risk of diseases such as diabetes, asthma, obesity, heart disease and several types of cancer. As healthcare trends toward keeping people healthy rather than providing sick care, breastfeeding is an ideal way to keep the population well over time.

At East Jefferson General Hospital (EJGH) we took the commitment to exclusive breastfeeding a step further to become a baby-friendly hospital. Earning our baby-friendly designation was a rigorous 2-year process that challenged EJGH maternity staff to collaborate and implement innovative ideas for educating staff and patients about breastfeeding. Here’s what we learned along the way that might help you as your hospital pursues baby-friendly status.

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Topics: Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, Guest Blog, Innovation, East Jefferson General Hospital

Using Population Health for Personal Connections with Patients  [Infographic]

Posted by TJ Hearn on Apr 4, 2017 11:09:00 AM

For some time now, health systems have been expected to use digital technology to manage a patient’s episode of care beyond the doctor’s office or hospital.

Harnessing the wealth of data on patient populations experiencing the same care episodes, digital health technology can connect providers with their patients safely, efficiently and on a large scale.

Best of all, providers can guide whole populations through their care in a way that feels extremely personal to patients.

This infographic offers some insight. 

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Topics: Hospital Workflows, Quality of Care, Patient Outcomes, Digital Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care, Patient Provider Communication, Patient Experience, Patient-Centered Care, Technology

Engaging the Modern Patient [Infographic]

Posted by TJ Hearn on Feb 14, 2017 11:25:00 AM

Hospital executives and patient educators often ask me how patients—particularly younger ones—like to communicate with their doctors nowadays in the age of millennials and apps.

Patients are people and we need to engage them as such. Regardless of age or other factors, they use email and text all the time in their daily lives and want to communicate with their doctors, hospitals and physician practices through those channels too. 

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Provider Communication, Texting

Direct-to-Patient Email and Text Communication Is Best for Engaging Patients in Their Care

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Jan 26, 2017 11:05:00 AM

Reaching your patients through the technology they already use is key to patient engagement

With new tools like Snapchat and Boomerang popping up every day, sometimes it seems like communication technology seems to change faster than we can keep up with. That has led some hospitals to rush into creating an app or join the latest social media platform. Others continue to lag behind, using paper and telephone as the primary communication methods used to engage patients.

But some hospitals recognize that patients want to communicate the way they do in daily life. Email and text have an important place in patient-provider communication and remain patients' top choices for connecting with their doctors outside the medical office or hospital walls.

In fact, when it comes to improving health outcomes, your best bet for communicating with patients is a combined approach: mobile-responsive email and text.

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Topics: Hospital Workflows, Patient Outcomes, Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Provider Communication, Patient-Centered Care, Patient Portals, Digital Patient Interactions, Texting

How Can Hospitals Use Texting to Improve Patient Care?

Posted by Jackie Simon on Jan 18, 2017 11:00:00 AM

When was the last time you talked to your friend? Your mother? Your old college roommate? Now think—did you actually talk to them? In person or on the phone?

If you’re like most Americans, you probably conversed with them via text, email or social media. In fact, a recent Gallup poll finds that texting and email are the most frequently used forms of non-personal communication for adult Americans. So is a cellphone, because even when we do use a phone, it’s typically not a landline, the survey reveals.

For all Americans under age 50, the survey finds that texting is the most dominant form of communication.

Given these changes in our own everyday interactions, why does the healthcare industry insist on sticking with old forms of communication?

Healthcare needs to embrace email and text as the preferred and most efficient patient-provider communication methods, just as we have accepted—and really, expected—email and text communication in our daily lives.

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Topics: Population Health Management, Quality of Care, Patient Outcomes, Patient Provider Communication, Patient Satisfaction, Patient Experience, Patient-Centered Care, Innovation, Technology, Texting

5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Interactions With Patients

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Nov 30, 2016 2:05:00 PM

CMS & McKinsey Agree: Digitization Is a Necessity for All Hospitals

As healthcare payers shift their focus to value-based care, smart hospital leaders recognize that digitization is necessary to make that critical transition from volume to value.

Why Digitize?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clearly sees the connection between digital patient connections and value; digitization is woven into the fabric of every new incentive plan the organization introduces. Why? CMS is insisting on engaging patients throughout their entire episode, not only during the in-hospital stay. Technology enables this expanded engagement.

Hospital leaders who promote consistent digital interactions before, during and after the hospital stay will see the greatest return on patient care, outcomes and cost—the 3 most important measures of value-based care. 

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care, HCAHPS, Digital Patient Interactions

Too Many C-Sections?

Posted by Deirdre Wilson on Nov 7, 2016 11:00:00 AM

What Concerns About This Common Surgery Teach Us About Patient Engagement

The most recent issue of Consumer Reports had some pointed words about hospitals with high rates of Cesarean section deliveries. In an article detailing its evaluation of C-section rates in 1,200 hospitals nationwide, the consumer advocacy journal concludes that, in low-risk pregnancies, the biggest determinant that a woman will have a C-section may be the hospital where she chooses to deliver her baby.

It isn’t the first time an inferred link between C-sections and hospital practice has made headlines. The New York Times ran an opinion piece in January saying the same thing.

About 1 in 3 newborns (nearly 1.3 million babies) are delivered by C-section in U.S. hospitals each year. The surgery has been the most commonly performed operating room procedure here for almost a decade, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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Topics: Patient Education, Pregnancy Education, Digital Patient Engagement

3 Tips for Running an Innovative Healthcare Company

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Oct 25, 2016 11:00:00 AM

We were so excited to see our CEO, Betsy Weaver, Ed. D., on Becker’s list of Female Health IT CEOs to Know that we asked her for more on what it takes to start and run one of Boston’s most innovative healthcare companies. Here’s what she had to say:

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Topics: Innovation

Where do hospitals rate on going digital?

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Sep 21, 2016 3:32:07 PM

Will you succeed or die in digital America?

That is the question the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, Digital America: A Tale of the Haves and Have-Mores”, poses to all sectors of the American economy.

Looking at it through the lens of American healthcare—to tease out a road map for the business of healthcare—the report provides a compelling argument for aggressive hospital digitalization with the following key points:

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Topics: Hospital Workflows, Quality of Care, Digital Patient Engagement, Cost of Care, Patient Satisfaction, Patient Experience, Innovation, Technology

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