Background: Surgery can be a heavily anxiety-producing event, not only in a patient’s healthcare journey, but for their family and significant others. For patients undergoing surgery, their caregivers and support members also experience anxiety due to the lack of information and consistent communication, particularly when there are changes in the phases of care. Anxiety translates to decreased satisfaction, increased frustration and stress (Muldoon et al., 2011). It is the fundamental responsibility of providers to deliver patient and family communication that is clear and consistent, in order to mitigate concerns during surgical wait times.
In an effort to provide safe and high-quality patient-and-family-centered care, patient satisfaction is a critical metric for hospital and provider performance, and a key component of reimbursement (Sacks et al., 2015). For surgical patients and members of their support network, perioperative communication and attentiveness to the patient and family members are the two of the most paramount determinants of patient satisfaction and ratings (Schmocker, 2015). Challenges to optimal perioperative communication pose a risk to perceived optimal experience and satisfaction (Minna et al., 2017).
Mobile communication technologies and service-level design of these technologies have emerged as an innovative strategy in healthcare to optimize real-time patient-to-provider communication. The use of the electronic health record (EHR) visit notification functionality may reduce anxiety and improve perioperative communication and overall experience of the surgical patient and their family.
Method: The study assesses the use and impact of a novel, nurse-driven communications platform that leverages families/significant others’ own mobile devices via a short message service (SMS). During preoperative check-in, families/significant others were asked to enroll in the messaging system known as visit notifications. Real-time communication was leveraged through standardized and timely preconfigured messages sent by the perioperative nurse via the EHR. A mixed-methods approach was used, consisting of qualitative and quantitative elements. After 6 months of implementation, internal surveys to family/significant others were administered regarding satisfaction, communication, and perception of benefit. Observers also compared Press Ganey (PG) and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores between patients who did and did not receive the perioperative Visit Notifications.
Learning Outcome: After completing this learning activity, the participant will be able to assess innovations being used by other professionals in the specialty and evaluate the potential of implementing the improvements into practice. Results: Though research is on-going, reporting data include, but are not limited to: • Survey results of family/significant others’ perioperative experience, ease-of-use with the feature, and satisfaction with the desired information during surgery • Survey results of perioperative nurses’ perception of the impact on communication and ease-of-use of the feature • Correlations with patient satisfaction surveys: Compared Press Ganey (PG) and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores between patients who did and did not receive the perioperative Visit Notifications • Rates of usage: users per day, number and type of messages generated, users by location (campus, specialty unit), month, day of the week, recipient (relationship to patient), type of surgery • Workflow and build • Opportunities for the mobile messing feature optimization in workflow and build