On the most recent update there were several processes- primarily related to communications- that were pointed out as areas that need improvement as demand for those services/process has significantly increased. Below are specific areas where and when we are implementing process improvements:
1. Issue: Call-In Bottleneck
We are aware of issues where loved ones/family members, etc. are calling into the facility to speak to a staff member about their family member/resident, typically a unit Nurse Manager- and not being able to reach them (manager). This problem is occurring more often in the evening and night. It is essential that families have access to speak to clinical staff managers on a reasonable frequency about their loved ones and to receive follow- up communications if the manager is unable to be reached.
Cause: The restricted visitation status has caused calls to the Nurse Managers to surge well beyond the average amount of calls prior to the restriction of visitation. The unit Nurse Manager's time is cannot be fully allocated to meet this demand/need because of their clinical responsibilities.
Solution: AOH has engaged a third-party healthcare answering and communications service to handle all incoming communications in the evening and night. Whenever a family member, etc. calls in, the service will answer the phone with a live-person (even if multiple people are calling in at the same time), input the requests, reason for call, and other pertinent information into a new centralized communication system. Each call will be given a unique identifier number so it can be tracked in the system to ensure a follow-up up response occurs and in a timely manner relative to the urgency of the need.
This system will help ensure communications do not "fall through the cracks" and to deal with any issues of calls going to dead-end extensions,routing issues, etc. We expect this service to go live by 4/23. It is likely there will be some glitches as the system is implemented but we will work to smooth those out quickly.
Issue and Request: AOHConnect and Status Checks
*We are aware of issues where loved ones/family members, etc. are having extended wait times utilizing AOHConnect to communicate via Facetime, Skype, etc. with their loved one/resident.
*We have also received a request for a system that would communicate with regular frequency (for example: every day) to a family member that their loved one/resident is OK.
Cause (AOHConnect): The demand for communication sessions through AOHConnect has sometimes exceeded our ability on certain days to meet those needs, primarily because the staff do not have the time capacity to facilitate large numbers of sessions on high demand days.
Solution: AOH has added staff members to facilitate sessions and is currently working on a scheduling system that will allow a family member to reserve a time- which will allow better time planning for AOH and for the family member.
Response to Request: We think this idea and request is great-- and we are currently working on a system that can reliably provide the information that is being sought on regular basis-in a manner that is compliant with privacy laws and related issues. We will provide an update on this system as we find a solution and determine an implementation process/timeline.