Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight – Flagstaff Medical Center – New Patient Education Program Helps Patients Manage Their Health Conditions

The November Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight shines on health education programs. This week we’ll look at Flagstaff Medical Center’s patient education efforts.

Issue:

As Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) builds a foundation for population health management, it is well understood that patient education is essential to getting patients well and teaching them effective methods for monitoring and managing their own health conditions in their home environment. FMC wanted to find a solution or tool that would complement and enhance the patient education efforts being carried out by the FMC nursing staff.

Solution:

FMC worked with Engineered Care, Inc., to incorporate their Project RED: Re-engineered Discharge program at their facility to bring patient education to life and appeal to the learning needs – read, write, visual and auditory – of all patients. FMC and Engineered Care worked together to design and implement virtual health coaches/avatars for five specific diagnoses – Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Pneumonia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Active Myocardial Infarction (AMI) and post cath/stent placement – which make up a high percentage of admittances and readmissions. A comprehensive steering committee reviewed the educational content to be delivered by the virtual health coaches for core measure compliance and accuracy and to ensure that all remains in line with the overall FMC patient education process.

Outcome:

The first phase of this new patient education program involving virtual health coaches for CHF and Pneumonia was implemented in April 2013. Using Apple iPads, the virtual health coach teaching offered patients the ability to view the educational material as many times as they chose during their stay in the hospital, reinforcing understanding and supporting compliance with their health conditions post discharge. FMC is currently working on translating the virtual health coach education for CHF into the Navajo language, as this population makes up approximately 30 percent of FMC patients.

About Flagstaff Medical Center

A member of Northern Arizona Healthcare, Flagstaff Medical Center is a 267-bed inpatient hospital located two hours north of Phoenix at 7,000 feet above sea level. Founded in 1936, Flagstaff Medical Center is accredited by DNV.

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