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How To Improve Patient Outcomes: An Integrated Approach With Permian Regional Medical Center

how to improve patient outcomes

Learning how to improve patient outcomes remains a top goal of healthcare organizations, and with the right tools, it's possible to achieve. Here's the story of how one healthcare organization achieved success.

permian medical center

Driven by Patient Safety

Permian Regional Medical Center is a 34-bed hospital in rural West Texas focused on labor and delivery, surgery, home health, and hospice. They came to Performance Health Partners looking to transition from a point software solution to an enterprise technology that would connect care teams to deliver analytics and data across the hospital to drive healthy outcomes. Risk Manager and Medical Staff Coordinator, Jessica Booth, shares why the organization decided to shift from one software platform to another.

“Everything that we do is driven by our patients, and therefore by patient safety. You can look at that from a lot of different perspectives, but the basic question is always, ‘How are you going to keep your patient safe?’"

-- Jessica Booth, Risk Manager and Medical Staff Coordinator, Permian Regional Medical Center 

She goes on, "Nurses need to be able to do their jobs efficiently, and anything you add to their to-do list takes away from their ability to do that. That's why we wanted to transition to software that the risk management team customized for our hospital and our quality metrics: so that our team could focus on quality and patient safety and the life-saving work they do best."

A Partner in Learning How To Improve Patient Outcomes

Jessica shares what she appreciated most about working with Performance Health Partners was, "We asked to do some things a different way than the system was originally built, and PHP didn't say 'no, this is how we've always done it. Instead, they said, "Okay, let's try to figure it out together.' That told me a lot about the kind of company they are: extremely easy to work with and always focused on our needs and patient experience."

She recalls,

“My team had lots of demos with different software companies. We ended up choosing Performance Health Partners because their system was the most customizable for reporting, and their team was the easiest to work with.”

-- Jessica Booth, Risk Manager and Medical Staff Coordinator, Permian Regional Medical Center 

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Using Data to Improve Care

The Performance Health Partners incident reporting software acts as a patient safety, quality monitoring, and clinical rounding software across departments. It optimizes reporting so that organizations can make data-driven decisions to elevate patient care continually.

"We use PHP incident reporting software for our patient safety program, and we also use it for monitoring quality outcomes and performance improvement," Jessica says. "The technology is amazing reporting, and I can easily share information with multiple team members who might need to participate in incident reporting in the process. Our old software could only go in one direction. So we really appreciate the flexibility of being able to share information."

Partnering with Performance Health Partners has made reporting much easier for Permian. "We now have updated data at our fingertips at a moment's notice, which really helps us improve our outcomes," Jessica shares. "Think of how many patients a nurse sees in a shift. If the entire department was able to access that information in real-time, now you can start to address issues in real-time and close the loop quickly."

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Overcoming Barriers to Implementation

Jessica reflects, "The most challenging part for us was getting some department directors on board and using the new software, but luckily the PHP team came out here and spent a day with our staff and showed them how to use the software to help them perform better. I think that really helped turn the corner for a couple of people who were slower to transition."

She goes on, "The great thing about the software is that it's very simple for staff to use. A bedside nurse on the floor just has to click on a picture to start a report– no password or login required."

"Before we started using PHP software, I didn’t feel like everything that should have been reported was actually being reported. Now, we don’t have that problem. The fast, easy reporting has drastically improved our communication across departments and teams.” 

-- Jessica Booth, Risk Manager and Medical Staff Coordinator, Permian Regional Medical Center 

The Movement Towards Value-Based Care

The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving, and one of the biggest drivers is the movement towards value-based reimbursement. "The way reimbursement happens today is different from how it used to be," explains Jessica. "Now, it's all based on performance. For example, when we bill for a medication, it's billed when it's pulled from Pixus. PHP's software gives us a way to audit as the charts which makes us more financially efficient."

"The biggest improvement for us turned out to be within the pharmacy," Jessica said of Permian Regional Medical Center. "With PHP's software, we were able to see those variances and break them down to the details. We could narrow down events to the basic questions and quickly find out why it happened, and figure out what actions we needed to take to improve the process."

A Model: How to Improve Outcomes

Jessica reflects on their success, finding:

“At Permian, every decision we make always ties back to the question ‘will this improve our patient outcomes’? Because the truth is, reporting data can be challenging unless it will be used for improving clinical care and patient experience. If you make it easy for your staff to participate in the processes; and you create an environment of understanding instead of fear; and you have the technology tools to properly manage follow up and easily make sense of data... well, that’s when you really start to see consistency in improved outcomes. That’s how you keep your patients safe."

She shares, "By understanding what's currently happening in our healthcare systems, we can continue to make smarter choices on what to improve upon in the future. At the end of the day, that's the only true way to move forward– to use the resources we have in the most informed and efficient way possible."

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