VA NY Harbor Health Care System
Truth at the bedside
Wednesday, April 17, 2013Within 24 hours of being admitted to VA New York Harbor Healthcare System's Brooklyn Campus, Veterans are likely to be greeted by a TruthPoint volunteer asking them if they would like to answer questions about their hospital experience.
TruthPoint is a patient satisfaction tool that provides real-time feedback to staff who can respond quickly to the patient's concern or request.
During the interview at the bedside, the Veteran's information is recorded in a small laptop computer. If a patient requests further information or has an immediate need or concern, an email alert is sent to notify pre-selected staff about the issue. The recipient of the message is responsible for providing corrective action.
Bruce Sabin, RRT, coordinates Sleep Center Education for patients who've received C-Pap and other supportive technologies for respiratory problems as his full-time job. And, he is also one of 25 staff members who volunteer one hour a week, interviewing four to five patients, to help carry out the TruthPoint program.
Sabin said, "Generally, patients say they are happy with their care and are very positive about the nursing staff." If they see room for improvement, it's usually wishing the food were less bland.
What makes the program unique is the immediacy with which VA responds to patient feedback. "What's different here from other surveys is that we respond immediately to the patient's concern," noted another TruthPoint volunteer, Susan E. Solow, PT, MHSA, DPT, "It's a way to find out right away what patients need that we don't necessarily know."
Patient Representative Meko Glenn has been leading the program with Compliance Officer Kathy Gaine, RN, and others over the past two years. Glenn not only participates in conducting the patient bedside interviews, but she also recruits, trains and coordinates interviewing schedules with staff volunteers who come from many different hospital services. Gaine's role focuses on familiarizing various services with the program to ensure a quick response if they receive an electronic alert signaling the need for them to address a particular patient issue.
"The goal is to be as responsive as we can to patient concerns in order to increase their satisfaction," noted Glenn, who added that the program is continually being tweaked and improved.