Mirage To Oasis, The Fundamentals Of The Follow-up
Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Background (issue): Multiple trauma/burn patients are transferred to Children's National Health System from varying hospitals in the surrounding area. We had no consistent method in which to address performance improvement opportunities or provide information on patient outcomes. The average % follow up in 2018 was 11%.
Methods: We worked with a software developer to provide a program that was PHI protected that: stored all outside hospital contacts, allowed for follow up letters to be sent, tracked how many letters were sent to each hospital, tracked how many letters were opened (return rate), allowed for open dialogue between Children's National and the referring facility.
Findings: The program was fully functional by January 2019. We initially set a goal of 70% for consistent follow-up with a return rate of 50% for outside facilities for FY 2019. As of quarter three of FY 2019, we are at a 69% rate of consistent follow up with a return rate of 54% of outside facilities transferring in trauma/burn patients.
Conclusions (implications for practice): There are multiple factors that affect whether a follow-up letter is sent or read. As we continue to utilize the system and make changes when necessary, we fully expect to exceed our goal to provide necessary feedback to our referring facilities.
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