SOMC earns 2020 NRC Health Excellence Award for Care Transitions

Staff report

PORTSMOUTH — Southern Ohio Medical Center recently earned the National Research Corporation (NRC) Excellence in Care Transitions Award. This accomplishment recognizes the high degree in which the SOMC staff responded to patient needs and assisted those patients in reaching a resolution.

The NRC is the parent company of Connect, SOMC’s automated discharge call-back system. This system allows the organization to reach nearly 20,000 patients per year following their inpatient and outpatient visits. The NRC awarded SOMC with the Excellence in Care Transitions Award based on the high number of “alerts” closed during the period of April 1, 2019, to March 30, 2020. The “alerts” are messages that result from the automated discharge call-back through the Connect system.

SOMC’s Clinical Case Management (CCM) team is then notified of these alerts, which allows them to follow-up with the patients about their needs via a live call. These calls address concerns such as medications and prescriptions, discharge instructions, worsening of symptoms, follow-up appointments and service.

“One of the strategies that has made the CCM team successful is that they respond to the alert queue in real time during the 11:00 a.m. call window, seven days a week,” said David Richard, SOMC Manager of Performance Improvement and Clinical Case Management. “Our goal is to respond to these calls within minutes, addressing patient needs when they request it.”

Richard said the CCM team stepped up a few years ago when SOMC partnered with Connect. When deciding who would field the patient alerts, the CCM team volunteered

to tackle the workload. He said the degree to which the team problem solves and meets patient needs is inspiring.

Richard named multiple ways in which the team has gone the extra mile, in addition to their daily duties, to serve the patients who they have reached through the Connect system. He said they call some of these patients back over days or weeks to check in on them.

The CCM team members also provide daily support to patients struggling to manage their disease processes. Additionally, they serve as the last point of contact after an encounter, provide service recovery and improve perceptions of care, he said.

“This is a great achievement for the CCM team and SOMC,” Richard said. “This award shows that we take all these patient needs seriously by addressing them as timely as possible. Thank you to the CCM team for your patient-centered approach in responding to patient needs after discharge. It truly makes a difference!”

Staff report