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One of my colleagues, Stephanie Baker, wrote a Studer Group insight about the importance of hardwiring bedside shift report. In it, she shares the benefits and impact that handovers can have for patients and caregivers. Effective and safe patient handovers (also called care transitions) are critically important, not only between shifts on the same unit, but also between departments. Emergency Department (ED) to Inpatient (IP) handovers are essentially the same concept as bedside shift report but require some additional training and steps to effectively implement the process. 
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Providing safe and quality patient care remains our primary focus in healthcare. At times, this has become increasingly more complex with the changes and shifts in industry regulations and standards. One area that requires an intense focus is providing care across the continuum. 
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Gaining access to care matters to everyone involved in providing healthcare, including providers, staff and of course, patients. From a clinical perspective, it’s important for patients to receive timely access to care for both safety and quality purposes. There’s also an emotional aspect to accessing care, as patients want to feel valued and connected to their provider.
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Being a patient admitted through the Emergency Department can be disorienting. Patients and family members who enter our EDs are typically sick, hurt, and scared. Throw in multiple interactions with a variety of caregivers, and remembering who they have seen, what tests were performed, and so on can be a daunting experience. Patient care handovers can also be risky for staff if treatment plans are not completely communicated or care orders are duplicated or omitted. That’s why proper and complete care transitions, also known as handovers, are so important.
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This insight shares Studer Group’s practice of Senior Leader Rounding on patients admitted through the Emergency Department (ED). The purpose is to better understand how well patients perceived their experience in the ED, as well as their transition to being an admitted inpatient.
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Residents have a tremendous impact on the patient experience. Through their interactions with patients, residents impact CAHPS results of attending faculty and the organization as a whole. The changing healthcare environment ensures that the patient experience as a driver of reimbursement is here to stay. Therefore, to improve outcomes and appropriately prepare learners for this new reality, teaching hospitals have an incentive and obligation to teach, validate, and hold learners accountable for their role in the patient experience.
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I have had the opportunity to be involved with hospitalists since the specialty began almost 2 decades ago. In my previous role, I managed a hospitalist service as a chief medical officer and as a practicing physician, I worked closely with hospitalists that cared for my patients. Now, as a Studer Group physician coach, I’m fortunate to work with hospitalists on improving communication and patient experience. These experiences have offered insight into some of the issues hospitalists and hospitalist programs can face, and have uncovered five essentials that can make a hospitalist program successful.
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Do you know your practice's no-show rate?  For many practices the answer is no, even though no-shows create access issues, reduce revenues, and negatively affect patient care. Before we can treat the problem of no-shows, we must begin with the diagnosis. It starts with tracking no-shows for trends and repeat offenders. Understanding the reasons patients miss their appointments is key to creating a successful and proactive strategy. 
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Does the invitation to a strategic planning retreat fill you with dread?  It doesn’t have to be so scary. In fact, you can streamline strategic planning using just five key steps to engage internal and external stakeholders in the case to support change, identify a shared vision, and take decisive action in the coming years. 
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In the past, we’ve had a tendency to think of individuals in two different groups: the mission-driven (that’s most of us) and the margin-driven (those who are keenly focused on financials). In reality, there really aren’t two separate groups. We can’t have mission without margin. Each makes the other possible. Regardless of our role within the organization, we all got into healthcare because we have a passion to help people and make a difference.
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