Inpatient Rounding is the Perfect Model for At-home Patient Engagement

The Commonwealth Fund and the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University recently put out a call for breakthrough opportunities in health IT for patient engagement:

Breakthrough Opportunity - An emerging idea for a different way that technologies, care delivery processes, organizational models, incentives, or policies could, if scaled, bring about societal-level change, reduce costs, and improve quality.

How can we radically leverage technology to increase patient engagement in care?

I thought I'd share our submission:

A great model for patient engagement already exists and it’s widely used in hospitals across the country: inpatient nurse rounding. Rounding is proactive, personal, and efficient. Patients and families like it. It improves patient outcomes, safety, and satisfaction. And clinicians actually find it to be less work, not more.

If rounding works so well at managing populations of admitted patients, why shouldn’t it also be used to manage populations of at-home patients? Imagine post-discharge rounding, chronic condition rounding, or general wellness rounding.

Now take it one step further. Instead of clinicians doing this at-home rounding manually (via the phone or home visits), what if technology could round on patients automatically? It’d be proactive, personal, efficient, and it could operate at a scale so much greater than manual rounding ever could.

Clinicians manning the helm of such a system would only need to handle the issues, exceptions, and risks identified by the rounding system. And every interaction they have with patients who are being rounded on becomes so much more meaningful and focused because they can see exactly what issues a patient is having.

Automated at-home rounding can improve patient outcomes, safety, and satisfaction and at the same time reduce healthcare costs.

Update: Our breakthrough opportunity has been selected for discussion. Head over to GHDonline and join the discussion.


Thanks to Brian Ahier via Twitter for the head's up.