Transparency in Health Care
A report issued by the Institute of Medicine in late 1999 titled “To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System” brought the issue of preventable medical errors to the public attention and described that most errors were the result of system failures and not those of individual healthcare providers. In a subsequent publication, “Crossing the Quality Chasm”, focus was turned to the necessary steps that needed to be taken in order to transform the health care system to improve patient outcomes in the coming decade. Ten “Rules for Redesign” were formulated. Number 7 was as follows – “Transparency is necessary. The system should make available to patients and their families, information that enables them to make informed decisions when selecting a health plan, hospital, or clinical practice, or when choosing among alternative treatments.”
A long time advocate of transparency in medicine, and current CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, Dr Toby Cosgrove, wrote in 2013, “the era of transparency in medicine is upon us and it’s redefining the way hospitals deliver care to patients”.
Over the last two decades, families have become more involved in their loved ones’ care and have increased access during their hospital stay. From allowing parents in the operating room for the induction of their child’s anesthesia, to families participating in ICU rounds, and fathers being present in the delivery room during a Caesarian section birth, family involvement and participation in healthcare is growing exponentially. Families are even being present at resuscitation efforts in an emergency room. The one area that is still very much “behind closed doors” is the modern operating room. This is for obvious sterility concerns, spacial limitations and the potential for distraction of health care providers.
Just last month, US News and World Report complied a list of the top 10 grievances that patients had regarding their hospital stay, and lack of clear communication was on that list. “Update me and my family if you notice changes in my condition. Keep communication open. Please keep me informed of delays. It lessens my anxiety during an already stressful time.”
What more stressful time can there be for a family, than that time spent in a surgical waiting room while a loved one undergoes a medical procedure?
A new medical communication platform, EASE (Electronic Access to Surgical Events), is a mobile app that allows clinicians to send customized texts, photos and videos from the operating room to family and friends in the waiting room (and beyond) utilizing secure encryption in order to comply with HIPAA regulations. A simple Download EASE Applications from the app store has the potential to improve communication and open a window into the OR, while at the same time increasing transparency and improving satisfaction. As one mother recently said, having used EASE during her child’s surgery, “I felt like I was in the surgery room with her, it’s like she never left my arms.”
For more information on EASE (Electronic Access to Surgical Events) Contact EASE Applications today.