CHOC is the nation’s first pediatric hospital to implement iRounding, a digital survey tool on an iPad that allows staff to identify and respond to CHOC families’ needs in real time. CHOC received the 2014 Ventana Research Award for its pioneering use of this technology.
For years, hospitals have relied on paper surveys mailed home after a visit to assess patient satisfaction. While very important, this survey method also has limits. Paper surveys can only ask questions. But at CHOC, iRounding has started very important conversations.
“We want to know what is important to our patients and families, and iRounding is about so much more than checking boxes,” said Carmen Namenek, manager of CHOC Primary Care Clinic Operations and Community Education. “This portable tool allows our staff to engage with patients and families, and gather more robust data than we can with traditional survey methods.”
She said families’ top concerns are not always what the staff thinks they are. At one CHOC outpatient clinic, the staff thought waiting time was most important. But iRounding revealed that families would rather wait a little longer in order to see the same provider at each visit.
Automatic, real-time iRounding reports allow CHOC staff to act more quickly to resolve and follow up on opportunities for improvement. Positive comments may also be shared immediately with physicians and staff.
This digital tool is far more flexible than its paper counterpart. With iRounding, staff may quickly spot trends and modify or add questions if the survey focus changes. And as issues are resolved, spot checks may be conducted with families to make sure the new changes are working. CHOC staff found iRounding an invaluable tool to assess family perceptions during recent changes to hospital parking and laboratory registration procedures.
“Most of all, eliminating the costly, time-consuming manual process of collecting data has freed our staff to do more of what they do best,” Namenek said. “Now they are spending more time building relationships and providing the very best care for our patients and families.”
Implemented in 2013 in part by a grant from Tustin Toyota, iRounding is now taking place at all CHOC locations, including CHOC at Mission Hospital. CHOC also participates on a national advisory board dedicated to sharing best practices and further leveraging iRounding technology within the pediatric healthcare setting.