The hospital system created a record system known as eForms that enable nurses and providers to complete documents electronically to improve care coordination. In addition, Geisinger improved the quality of its education program for patients. The hospital also reduced costs by streamlining its educational program. Among other things, the hospital reduced the number of pamphlets it gives to patients, which had “contradictory information; that was embarrassing,” Nolan said.
By implementing improved education programs, the Geisinger Wyoming Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA, reduced cesarean section deliveries by 32% from 2008 to 2010. The system also reported a 23% decrease in NICU admission rates from 2007 to 2010, decreased incidence of newborn admissions related to influenza, and decreased severity of postpartum depression, through appropriate “identification and action,” Nolan said.
Generally, to improve care, health systems need to initiate change, but it’s not easy, Nolan said. “It’s about doing things very differently than what we have done in the past,” she said. “Another unfortunate truth in healthcare is the assimilation of best practices is painfully slow.”
This article appears in the November 2011 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.