COPD insider

The do’s and don’ts of redefining your patient care protocol design

 

Discover the do’s and don’ts of redefining your patient care protocol design — to redefine the quality of care you provide.

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As the challenges of COPD care delivery multiply, it’s imperative to have the right programs in place to provide quality care. So, how do you breathe life back into your programs to transform outcomes?

 

Start by taking a hard look at your patient care protocol design. How it works. Where breakdowns may be occurring. And how you can make them better. Sounds simple, right? Well, redefining your protocol design is easier said than done. The good news is, the experts at COPD insider have you covered. Read on to find out some key steps you should—and shouldn’t—take when redefining your protocol design.

Don’t: Limit your thinking to just healthcare

 

It’s easy to look around at other COPD programs for inspiration when redefining your patient care protocols. But, with the exception of a few institutions, many programs have the same structure that’s been used for too long. This can result in a stagnant approach and limit the evolution of care that patients desperately need.

Do: Think outside the healthcare box

 

To set the programs at your institution apart, look at the design of programs outside of healthcare. Starbucks is a prime example. They have created protocols that make their overall business model customer-centric. They personalize drink orders, have rewards programs for frequent customers, and provide a reliably excellent customer experience. Apply this same design approach to your COPD care plan, where the entire continuum is centered around the patient.

The do’s and don’ts of redefining your patient care protocol design
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Jerry Krishnan, MD, PhD

Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health Sciences

University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System

I think one of the things that I'd like to maybe add to the table is, as we think about broadening the tent or allowing more people into the tent, I think clinicians are critical ‘cause we're the front lines and obviously we have a role in this. I think patients and family members are, you know, obviously critical to this. But let's not forget community-based organizations or other advocacy organizations supports that exist in the community.

 

You know, there are a number of advocacy organizations for patients with certain conditions that can serve as mentors or peer coaches to patients. That way, as we think about empowering patients and supporting them and motivating them when they go back out into the community they have a place to go where they have other activated groups that could help mentor them.

 

And-- and I think folks in the design world think that way which is, if the system is not working as is, you know, don't just think outside the box. Throw away the box, but there'd be no box. And begin with from a much broader platform.And I think if we're thinking about developing programs that you want sustained, they have to also have hooks and pulls in different stakeholder constituencies including the community.”

Jerry Krishnan, MD, PhD

Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health Sciences

University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System

Contributors

Roberto Benzo

Roberto Benzo, MD, MSc

Motivational Based Health Coaching
Keith Kanel

Keith T. Kanel, MD, MHCM, FACP

Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine University of Pittsburgh
Jerry Krishnan

Jerry Krishnan, MD, PhD

Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health Sciences

University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System

Don’t: Make redefining patient care protocols a solo mission
 

As current protocols present issues in providing quality care, the desire to jump right in and change them by yourself is tempting. Clinicians sometimes feel that if they tackle the issue themselves it will go quicker and get the program back on the right track in no time. But redefining protocols without the input of people who use them daily could be detrimental to the care team and the people who need them most—the patients.

Do: Collaborate with team members in and outside of your department

 

It may take more time, but when it comes to developing successful protocols, collaboration is key. Involve everyone from care team members to patients. By involving people from different areas in the COPD care plan process, you can learn what has the potential to work and what you should stay away from.

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Create a diverse group to help:

 

  • Gain valuable input from people who will be using the protocols
  • Adjust protocols along the way based on the feedback
  • Come up with a clear solution that sets patients up for sustainable success 
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Solicit feedback throughout the process by asking these key questions:

 

How well does this idea resonate with you?

How will this improve your quality of care delivery?

How will this support you during the treatment process?

Do you see any glaring issues that could result in quality breakdowns?

Don’t: Move forward without a clear plan in place
 

When it comes to redefining patient care protocols and programs, there may be no bigger risk than proceeding without a clearly defined plan.

Do: Create a step-by-step pilot

 

After you’ve spent the time drawing up a collaborative approach, don’t try to roll out the new program across your entire network. Instead, start with a pilot.

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They began with a pilot at a single location
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After seeing it in action on a smaller scale, they found things that worked and things that absolutely had to change
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They brought in outside experts to review the pilot in action and provide their feedback
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Armed with all of those learnings, they revised the protocol accordingly
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From there they rolled it out across their network, and had the team involved in the pilot act as trainers and ambassadors
Stepping back and looking at the big picture, a pilot may seem like it would delay the rollout. But in the long run, it often saves time and leads to a far more successful rollout and reduction in COPD readmissions.
Keith
We met. We brainstormed. We prototyped. We reframed what we did. We tried to fail quickly and succeed boldly. After doing that, we came up with a new model that was truly patient-centered.”

Keith T. Kanel, MD, MHCM, FACP

Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh

Piloting coordinated care. Proving successful outcomes.

 

The Integrated COPD Care Initiative was a 2017 pilot program aimed at reducing hospital readmission rates and acute to post-acute care-associated costs in patients with COPD.

COPD insiders are working in a changing healthcare environment and trying to meet the changing needs of patients. So, don’t hesitate to change how you design protocols—and the benefits will follow.

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