Concierge Care Part III - Wellness Mgmt, St. Helena's ONE Program

In examining concierge care and service line offerings, it's vital to realize that the scope of "wellness management" is changing as I type.

Today a partial list includes access to information (internet connectivity, more interactions with medical staff, etc.), assistance with payment/insurance issues (are your patient advocates trained to bring a payment pro upstairs to a patient's bedside should they have questions? are your payment/billing specialists patient-friendly and are moveable laptop workstations available for them so issues can be resolved in-room?). Also, what services do you offer for wellness management after discharge?

Tomorrow the lineup will most likely be different.

To kickstart the planning process, here are two examples of how to re-purpose existing surgical services as wellness management offerings:

  • If a guest is coming in for surgery, do they have a pre-surgery pow-wow with an empathetic staff member who cuts through the legalese and gives tips about post-op constipation (a wowy for anyone who hasn't been pre-warned by a family member or kindly staffer), pain management (pain spikes, breakthrough pain, indications of analgesic overdose/complications, the process to follow should pain become uncontrollable), and wound care (when does the dressing come off? what will it look like under there? what is the next thing I'll be wearing on the site?) just to name a few? You could offer this as a bi-weekly mini-seminar headed up by a general surgeon, PA, NP, etc. Think of a good title/acronym and you've got yourself the beginning concept for a surgical wellness program. (Note: No matter how cute you find clever nomenclature like "On the Cutting Edge," don't go there...)
  • Also, are you telling your guests what to expect post-op? That they may not remember crying, comments to staff/family members, etc. after GA? That they may be nauseous and should immediately contact a post-op nurse? That they may wake very cold, groggy, etc.? That they will want comfortable clothing, a blanket and pillow and possibly a container for the car should they become sick? That they may be sensitive to odors? That they should write out a schedule for medications and have bland/favorite foods in the pantry as well as popsicles for a sore throat (especially with general)? That they should have either someone staying with them or checking in via phone/email on a regular basis for 24-72 hours (depending on procedure/recovery time)? Patients drop onto and off the continuum of care based on age, conditions, chronicity, etc. What programs/services is your hosptial offering to them on areas of the curve where they're not 'sick'?

It takes a lot more work to communicate with patients and their families at this level, but then again, who ever said wellness management was easy?

For another innovative look at executive care and making the most of your environs, check out St. Helena Hospital in the gorgeous Napa Valley. Their "ONE" program has all the right moves (from St. Helena's website):

"The ONE™ program offers you:

An initial stay with deluxe accommodations at our Health Center in California's beautiful and scenic Napa Valley."

Imagine checking in and sliding into your favorite pj's (ironically, for me they'd be scrubs), lulled by the piped-in sounds of your personal favorite playlist. Sound like heaven? Nope, sounds like St. Helena.

Next step after swooning over the trademarked ONE program?

Perform a simple SWOT assessment (strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats) for your hospital examining concierge care. Also look at your patient population demographics, top DRGs, and competitive positioning. The sit-down should involve all C-level administrators, but also representatives from marketing, communications, planning/decision support, nursing, dietary, ancillary services (lab, environmental, rehab medicine, etc.) and guest services.

Figure out AT LEAST the following: In which areas do you hold the largest market share? How can you make good service lines great? If you're not already examining these issues using internal QCI, satisfaction surveys, and admission/discharge data, jump on it. Chances are patients will thank you two ways: with increased chatter about your programs and improved outcomes.

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