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Virginia learning session highlights patient stories

March 10, 2015

There are many different stories that make up a patient’s journey, and providers make a difference by how they listen to them and what they do with that knowledge. This statement by Mary Smith, Vice President of Post-Acute Operations, LifePoint Hospitals, in Warrenton, VA, was one of many shared with more than 245 various health care representatives during the 2015 Virginia Pre-Patient Safety Summit Statewide Learning Session in Richmond, VA on Jan. 28, 2015.

The free, one-day session provided staff from a variety of health care settings the opportunity to learn about creative strategies for enhancing their efforts to improve care transitions, reducing avoidable hospitalizations, and improving the patient experience when hospitalization becomes necessary.

Attendees were welcomed in the morning by Abraham Segres, Vice President, Quality & Patient Safety at the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) and Sallie Cook, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at VHQC. Following the opening remarks, Jason Wolf, President of the Beryl Institute, spoke about the power of choice in improving patient experience. One particularly poignant remark that he made that resonated with numerous participants was, “We are all the patient experience!”  Jason Byrd, Director of Patient Safety at the Carolinas Health System, next shared a patient story pertaining to care transitions.

During the afternoon, audience members split into two tracks – one on care transitions and reducing readmissions, and the other on patient and family engagement and patient experience. The care transitions track featured a multi-setting panel presentation as well as an interactive session facilitated by Amy Boutwell, M.D., M.P.P, a national leader and expert on care transitions. The second track featured a session on how to lead physicians to excellence in an era of “keeping score” by Thom Mayer, M.D. of The Studer Group. Sean Keyser of the Novant Health System also spoke about making the patient experience a priority. There was also an interactive panel that shared stories about their patient experiences in the Virginia health system.

One of the many highlights of the day included a panel presentation that featured Debra Maddox, Director of Population Health at Centra Health, Lynchburg, VA; John Michos, M.D., Medical Director of Anthem, Richmond, VA; Cathey Eades, EVCTP Program Manager, Bay Area Agency on Aging, Tidewater, VA; Teresa Steinfatt, Owner of Home Instead Senior Care, Richmond, VA; and Mary Smith, Vice President of Post-Acute Operations, LifePoint Hospitals, Warrenton, VA.

The panel shared stories about how they are working to improve the transition process within their respective setting. One audience member asked the panel what are the best models of care for an inpatient setting. Debra Maddox, representing Centra Health, said evidence-based practice models that get a patient involved with their care are the most effective. She cited an example about the power of motivating patients she witnessed at her facility. “We had a 26 percent success rate in getting patients to weigh themselves in their room,” she said. After implementing a new system that encouraged nurses to motivate their patients to complete this task, Maddox said the success rate increased to 78 percent.

The event was organized by the Virginia Partners for Care Transitions (VPCT) coalition and co-sponsored by the VHHA and VHQC, the Quality Innovation Network for Maryland and Virginia.

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