Emerson Hospital First in Massachusetts to Use iPad Rounding Tool for Patient Experience


Emerson Hospital is the first hospital in Massachusetts and an early adopter in all of New England, to use Orchid - CipherHealth’s real-time nurse rounding application, to enhance patients’ experience.  Nurse managers on many of Emerson’s in-patient floors are using the iPad-enabled technology to round on patients and assess all parts of the hospital stay, including their medical care, how well their pain is managed, and their satisfaction with nutrition/food services, environment/housekeeping and facilities.

Emerson’s adoption of this digital rounding technology comes as part of the hospital’s growing roster of programs used to ensure a safe and positive patient experience. While nurses regularly check patients’ health and vital signs, nurse leaders are now able to enhance the overall patient experience by focusing on the patients’ entire stay.

Customized prompts enable nurse managers to ask patients about pain management, noise levels during rest times, and feedback on the hospital food, for example. Positive comments that recognize team members for outstanding service are forwarded to managers in real-time. This real-time feedback increases staff morale and encourages staff to continue to use best practices. In addition, the real-time feedback is integral for nurses to provide the best care to patients. If a patient reports an issue, nurses trigger an alert to a manager in the appropriate department at the hospital, such as Environmental or Food Services, to ensure a fast resolution.

For example, during a recent round, a nurse manager discovered that a patient was not eating his meals, which impacted his blood sugar levels. When asked why he wasn’t eating, the patient shared that he kept a specific cultural diet and he was eating food that family members brought it.

Using the tool, the nurse alerted the director of Emerson’s Food Services department who came within several minutes to visit the patient in his hospital room.  During the visit, the patient and the food services director came up with a variety of meals that the patient could enjoy. Shortly after the meeting, the patient was eating and his blood sugar returned to normal levels. The patient’s family was pleased that Emerson could provide him with culturally-appropriate food and that they no longer had to prepare his meals.

“We are excited to be at the forefront of the latest technology to enhance patients’ experiences at Emerson,” said Christine Schuster, president and CEO of Emerson Hospital. “We continually seek opportunities to improve our holistic approach of caring for patients, which includes focusing on such important aspects as pain management, the temperature and noise levels in patients rooms, how good the food is and how thorough the rooms are cleaned. When done well, these aspects can help patients recover and be discharged sooner.”

To drive long-term improvements, the technology aggregates patient data over time and provides detailed reports and analyses on hospital trends. Nurses work with managers throughout the hospital to review the reports, providing insight into patients’ perceptions of the care experience. This process ensures sustained enhancements to inpatient stays over time.

“Emerson is a leading community hospital with a dedication to compassionate care and a focus on optimizing the patient experience,” said Alex Hejnosz, Co-founder of CipherHealth. “Emerson is consistently innovating with technology to ensure patients are receiving the best care. Since the launch of Orchid, Emerson has seen improvements in patient satisfaction scores, and is creating processes to make sure that all patients receive the best all around care, to complement the outstanding clinical care they already receive.”

The Auxiliary of Emerson Hospital provided a generous grant to enable Emerson’s nursing teams to use the CipherHealth technology.

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Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton and Westford. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit www.emersonhospital.org.

Since 2009, CipherHealth has been innovating and delivering products to help care providers effectively and efficiently provide quality of care for their patients.  By harnessing technology to improve patient outcomes and experiences, CipherHealth and its suite of products focus on the evolution of patient care.  CipherHealth is based in New York City and was named "Best Place to Work in Healthcare" by Modern Healthcare (2014).