Diana Kelly Levey

NewYork Presbyterian’s Patient Communications and Technology: Then and Now

doctor using laptop

February 8, 2019 | Categories:

You might expect that your hospital is using the latest innovative techniques in surgery and treatment, but you might be surprised to know that they’re also on the forefront of using cutting edge technology and unconventional strategies to better serve patients, caregivers and doctors. And why not? Technological advances are permeating everything from the cars we drive, to how we lose weight, and even how we sleep, so why not anticipate it from your healthcare system?

NewYork-Presbyterian is doing that with a handful of initiatives designed to make patients’ and family’s lives easier during their hospital visits and when they return home. One way the hospital’s Innovation Center is helping patients with technology is through their Autotexting app, which keeps patients’ family members notified of the patient’s status when they undergo procedures—so they can actually run out and grab lunch without worrying that they’ll miss something crucial. This one-way communication platform provides real-time notifications of a patient’s status to patients, family members, and caregivers through a text message. Once a family member’s phone number has been registered and enrolled before the procedure, they are notified when the patient enters the operating room, when the procedure begins, when it ends, and once the patient has entered the recovery room. Over 60,000 text messages have been successfully sent since the program launched this January.

“We’re really interested in reaching our patients and making the experience for our patients easier and better overall and more focused on them,” says Daniel Barchi, CIO of NewYork-Presbyterian, whose technology and health care expertise comes from previously serving as senior vice president and Chief Information Officer at Yale New Haven Health System and Yale School of Medicine. “Our patients are using mobile technology whether they’re at home, in our hospitals or being seen in one of our physician practices, so we wanted to bring the experience to them wherever they were.”

The hospital’s Innovation Center was created in 2014 and designed to harness NYP’s strengths while focusing its innovative efforts across departments. The hospital’s IT leaders are addressing hospital patients’ demands for mobile options and digital engagement by rallying to develop their own in-house system-specific apps, rather than linking to third-party platforms. The recently launched NewYork-Presbyterian app has good functionality to begin with (from finding a doctor to paying your bill) with plans to add more as the Innovation Center charges forward. Spearheading the process to design an app specifically for NYP’s patients were Barchi and Chief Innovation Officer, Peter M. Fleischut, MD.

“As we grow as an integrated healthcare system and provide additional services through our regional hospital network and our other hospitals, we want to make it very easy for patients to navigate that system and extend features and functionalities to them in their homes and any other places where they may need to be taken care of,” said Dr. Fleischut in an article on BeckersHospitalReview.com.

The NewYork-Presbyterian Innovation Center also launched a project with 500 tablets that allows patients to contact their nurse and access their health information as well as treatment plans. They can use the tablets during their visit to check email, browse the Web, Skype with friends and family from the hospital, as well as play games to pass the time. Patients can also use the programs on the tablet to regulate sleeping patterns, meals, room cleaning times, room temperature and brightness. The NYP Patient Whiteboard program was similarly designed to create a comprehensive exchange of information between patients, families and caregivers. The screens provide real-time, digital information on the patient’s care team, phone numbers, patient’s pain score, fall risk and scheduled radiology tests. These whiteboards help increase transparency and provide patients and their caregivers with a better understand what’s happening during their stay at NewYork-Presbyterian.

Future plans for the Innovation Center include: interactive visitor guides to help patients before they get to the hospital, during their stay and after; as well as health features (telehealth) that are an extension of how we provide healthcare outside of a hospital using technology and communication technology, says Dr. Fleischut in the interview on BeckersHospitalReview.com. Those advanced healthcare initiatives would include follow-up appointments, providing second opinions and eventually remote patient monitoring.

Dr. Fleischut recently received the Vanguard Award from City & State Reports 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards for his work in improving patient experience through technology. The report highlighted services developed by the Innovation Center, including patient tablets, Patient Electronic Boards, NYPConnect, and Autotexting.

The Innovation Center recently held the InnovateNYP Pediatric Appathon to Improve Pediatric Care and awarded funding to three pediatric apps.

This  article was written for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s website in 2016.




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