YNHH pilots app that provides inpatients more information about their stays

Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital are participating in a pilot program that aims to improve the way patients receive information about their care.

The product of a “hack-a-thon” co-sponsored by Yale New Haven Health Clinical Redesign, the pilot centers on an app that delivers information specific to a patient’s care. The 90-day pilot was scheduled to begin Aug. 14 on an adult orthopedic unit on the Saint Raphael Campus and a YNHCH medicine unit.

“The winning team came up with the idea of providing patients more transparency about what’s happening to them while they’re in the hospital,” said Melissa Davis, MD, medical director, Clinical Redesign. “They proposed something similar to the Domino’s Pizza Tracker app, which lets you know when your pizza is being made, when it’s in the oven, in the car and at your door.”

The team discovered that Epic MyChart offers a platform called Bedside that could serve as a foundation for the project, and was able to customize Bedside to meet pilot program needs.

“As patients are admitted they will receive an iPad and a rundown of the app’s features, including the information they can access,” explained Crystal Clemons, consultant, Office of Strategy Management. “For example, if the patient just had blood drawn, he or she will be able to see the results in the app once they are finalized. If the patient had an X-ray, once that report is finalized, the patient can go into Bedside and see the result.”

Patients may also use the app to see their daily clinical schedules, with approximate times.

“For example, the app might display the patient’s X-ray appointment for around 2 pm, and a medication administration at around 4 pm,” Clemons said. “The patient will know what’s going on and what to expect. That can be very impactful because it allows patients to structure their days. They can make plans to have visitors and not worry about being interrupted.”

While greater transparency is a pilot program goal, patients will receive a filtered feed via the app.

“In some cases, it might be appropriate for the patient to receive certain results immediately; in others, it would be better to give the clinician time to speak with the patient first,” Clemons said. “Based on clinicians’ feedback, the app can release some results immediately while others have a four-hour delay. This is communicated to patients as they’re on-boarded to the app.”

The Bedside app pilot program includes 60 days of patient use followed by 30 days of evaluation.

“The ultimate goal is to have this succeed and roll it out hospital-wide in a way that isn’t burdensome to nursing and other staff,” Dr. Davis said. “We all know this is where medicine is going. Patients want to know what’s happening, and feedback from patient advocates has indicated that this will improve the patient experience.”