Orlando Health Shares Medical Outcomes With Patients And Families Using Digital Technology Inside Hospital

How Orlando Health is taking its quality and patient care initiative to the next level.


Sabrina Childress
[email protected]

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 4, 2013) — Orlando Health is taking its quality and patient care initiative to the next level, bringing medical outcomes data directly to its patients and their families. Digital boards, located in patient care units now display information about the number of patients with blood infections, blood clots, urinary infections, falls with injury and bed sores.

The information will include the actual outcomes, the hospital’s goals for the outcomes, and information about ways families and visitors can help ensure a health care environment of quality and safety. The organization began the quality and safety transparency program at South Seminole Hospital in Longwood, on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013.

“Hospital data has a long history of being reported to government agencies and regulatory entities,” said Thomas Kelley, MD, Chief Quality Officer for South Seminole Hospital. “And in recent years hospital data has become more publically accessible through government reports and other annual releases of information for old or outdated data. What we are doing is new and different from two perspectives — one, we are bringing our information directly to patients, and two, we are sharing very current data.”
For example, the first digital board reveals zero falls with injury during the first quarter of the fiscal year, for the Progressive Care Unit. The hospital’s goal was zero. Another example, five patients developed a blood clot during hospitalization within the same time period, for the same unit. The hospital’s goal was zero.

The first quarter time period is from Oct. 01, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2012 (The hospital’s fiscal year period is Oct. 01, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013.). The digital boards will be updated monthly to reflect the previous six month period. However, the initiative launches with only three months because the timing follows the start of the fiscal year.

“We recognize this is new territory for hospitals and patients,” said Jamal Hakim, MD, Chief of Quality and Transformation of Orlando Health. “Few facilities are so transparent and forthcoming with this kind of information. We see this as not only an opportunity to share specific information about our outcomes, but also as an opportunity to educate the public about our initiatives, what we are doing to improve, and cultivate a more open dialogue with our patients and their families to discuss steps we can all take to ensure better health in the hospital and at homes in our community.”

For example, components of our falls prevention strategy include nurses checking on patients’ needs hourly, limiting medications that cause dizziness, and educating all patients and families about fall prevention. Also, our initiative to prevent blood clots includes new software and a risk factor assessment to ensure clinicians more readily identify, evaluate and treat patients at higher risk. 

Clinicians and other team members have been involved in the initiative and are prepared to communicate with patients and families what the information means and answer any questions or discuss concerns. 

“We recognize every outcome will not be easy to share and we recognize every question from a patient or family member won’t be easy to answer,” said Dr. Kelley. “We have always been committed to quality care and we have always sought ways to improve. This new journey will allow us to share more information, and share it more often, strengthening our commitment to accountability.”

“Educating patients and families about the reasons behind the hospital’s safety and quality requirements and expectations, contributes toward diminishing the normal concerns and anxieties associated with a hospital stay.”

The initiative is part of Orlando Health’s Patient First Strategy — a model of care that puts the patient first by promoting seamless coordination of all aspects of the patient experience by delivering integrated, high quality, outcome-driven care. Our health care teams will continue to review data and use it to identify opportunities for continued improvement in the care we provided to patients.