SBH’s recent patient innovations cover the gamut from softwa new pharmacy technology to a healthy eating initiative. Here is a closer look:
SBH Bronx Health Talk
SBH Bronx Health Talk became the first health podcast of its kind in the Bronx this spring.
A podcast is an original free service that allows Internet users to pull audio files from a podcasting website to listen on their computers, phones or personal digital audio players whenever and wherever they want. The podcast features weekly 15-minute interviews with SBH’s medical experts. It can be heard on Spotify, Apple iTunes, Google Play, and its www.sbhbronxhealthtalk.org website (as well as on the hospital’s www.sbhny.org website).
Created by the hospital’s Marketing and Communications department, the podcast is broadcast from a “makeshift” studio in the hospital. According to Faith Daniel, the department’s manager and co-host of the podcast, “We view the podcast as a contemporary way to educate our community in a personal, straight-forward and engaging fashion. SBH medical experts discuss relevant topics in a conversational, easy-to-understand manner that is intended to give listeners the kind of information they would normally receive in a one-to-one consult with their health care professional.”
To date the podcast has featured episodes on such topics as adolescent health, spring allergies, joint replacement, diabetes management, weight loss surgery, addiction medicine, stroke, geriatric care, maternal care/midwifery, varicose veins, WIC services, contraception, medication management, sleep disorders, and emergency care, and explored the evolution of the HIV/AIDS crisis over the past nearly 40 years.
This innovative application is being used in the SBH Maternity Pavilion to enhance the patient experience for both prenatal and postpartum women. Dr. Mark Rosing, chair of OB/GYN at SBH, sees the app as a way to improve patient-provider engagement and provide tailored communication and educational content to prenatal patients. Patients, for example, can monitor their weights using the app and receive real-time data through an easy-to-use dashboard that provides educational materials as well as a personal “checklist.” Popular sections, according to Dr. Efosa Imafidon, assistant vice president of Women’s and Children’s Services at SBH, include a baby checklist, a video tour of the maternity suite, tips on eating right, genetics, breastfeeding tips, exercise, and information on upcoming baby showers.
Monthly active users, he says, have increased, with providers now able to send their patients’ information related to such topical issues as how to stay hydrated during the heat wave or protect against the flu. As of June, nearly 300 patients have enrolled in the program and monthly users have increased (showing “app loyalty”), with a survey showing that 87 percent of users saying they are satisfied with the app, calling t convenient and easy access to educational content.
The goals of the RxHealth Asthma Patient Engagement program are to provide better patient care and increase satisfaction by engaging patients in a way that’s convenient for them, not just when they visit the clinic. The easy-to-use app provides educational videos, medication adherence and asthma action plan adherence to both English and Spanish- language patients.
This is an important initiative at SBH as there are more than 5500 patients treated for asthma annually at the hospital.
As a cornerstone of the SBH Asthma Center of Excellence, plans are to improve care among SBH asthma patients by funding additional outreach staff to engage patients outside of the hospital (by implementing improvement activities to drive patient outcome metrics, increase engagement for patients who are typically difficult to engage, to enroll more asthma patients into pulmonary clinics, to respond to patients who report high asthma scores, and to purchase peak flow meters for patients to use at home and self-report results); increase adherence to asthma protocols; and increase RxHealth engagement by introducing new content monthly.
BD Pyxis IV Prep
This is a guided, gravimetrics- based (i.e. weight-based) workflow management system with barcode verification that has been implemented by the SBH pharmacy department as a prelude to meeting the new OSHA December 2019 USP 800 standards for sterile compounding related to the handling of hazardous drugs in healthcare settings.
This new system gives us that added level of patient safety,” says Dr. Ruth Cassidy, SBH’s senior vice president, clinical support services and chief pharmacy officer. “It is literally cookbook-like. It can walk you through every single step of what you have to do and it takes a picture of everything done. If you do something wrong, this big “x” comes up on the screen and you have to start all over again.”
According to Dr. Cassidy, the system also helps reduce medication waste and operating costs through clean room inventory optimization software; improves workflow standardization by eliminating redundant steps, checks and re-makes; provides a full audit trail of preparation details; and offers robust, onsite implementation and support.”
To encourage healthy eating for maternity and pediatric patients as part of the hospital’s wellness initiative – which will take on a heightened presence with the opening next spring of the innovative Health and Wellness Center at SBH – the Farmacy Program makes eating fresh and nutritious local produce more affordable. (The Health and Wellness Center at SBH will include a rooftop farm, a teaching kitchen, a medical fitness center, women’s and children’s centers, and an integrative health program.)
Beginning in June (and running through November), Project EATS, the hospital’s partner in the rooftop farm, began operating a once-a-week farm stand at St. Barnabas Hospital. Those participating in the Farmacy Program receive an Rx card that provides them with a 50 percent discount on all produce sold at the farm stand. They also receive information on recipes and food preparation.