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Integrity Call Back Care Program Begins at SCKMC

September 30, 2016

Medical providers at South Central Kansas Medical Center have recently launched a new program designed to bridge the gap between emergency room and follow up patient care. Providers with Integrity Healthcare Professionals, the group partnered with the medical center to provide emergency room coverage, began the “Integrity Call Back Care Program” on September 19th.

Arkansas City, KS - Medical providers at South Central Kansas Medical Center have recently launched a new program designed to bridge the gap between emergency room and follow up patient care. Providers with Integrity Healthcare Professionals, the group partnered with the medical center to provide emergency room coverage, began the “Integrity Call Back Care Program” on September 19th.

“Each provider will be collecting information on several patients per shift we have identified as areas in which patient care should be effectively extended beyond the ED arena: appropriate and timely follow-up, improvement in condition, pain control, prescription issues, developing complaints, response to treatment, satisfaction with ED experience, and feedback on what we can improve,” explained Dr. Joseph O'Donnell, Director of Quality & Co-Founder Integrity Healthcare Professionals.

Dr. O’Donnell believes the current healthcare environment has created a nationwide disconnect between patients and medical providers.

“The face of our now electronic and regimented delivery of healthcare has sadly resulted in a much depersonalized patient experience. By intent, Integrity has assembled a proud group of dedicated Emergency Medicine Specialists poised to reconnect with our patients by whatever means. We are certain this sincere and transparent gesture will carry immeasurable impact throughout our community,” said Dr. O’Donnell.

Virgil Watson, SCKMC’s Chief Executive Officer, agrees that the call back program will improve the patient’s overall experience. He has already received feedback from patients who have been part of the program.

“The patient had received a call from the ED and appreciated that very much. Just to see how she was doing, to see how the care was, and if there was anything else she might need to help her recover from her situation. She thought the care in the ED was excellent,” Watson said.

Not all patients cared for through SCKMC’s ER will receive a call. The program is designed to allow the providers to choose those patients whose visit would suggest a follow up is required.

“Dr. O’Donnell is approaching the call back program in an interesting way. He does not want to make it mandatory that you call back every one of the patients that you’ve seen. He has asked every provider to pick three or four of their patients that they have concerns about, such as if they may not have adequate follow up. They are supposed to be calling those folks back. So far I’m hearing really positive things about it, so I think it’s an excellent idea,” said Jane Campbell, SCKMC’s Director of Quality and Risk Management.

Leaders from both Integrity Healthcare Professionals and the medical center recognize that many times the ER may be the only option for patients who are considered to be the most at risk, including those who are underinsured or suffer from chronic illness and require frequent visits. A significant number of these patients are admitted from the emergency department to the hospital for additional treatment.

“We are going to expand this program to not just patients that come through our ED and leave, but also patients who come through our ED and wind up being admitted. They will also have a follow up phone call to make sure they have all the little things taken care of that can help give that person a chance at succeeding with their treatment plan,” said John Jones, SCKMC’s Director of Patient Services. 

“I feel that it’s very important that the patients recognize that we care about them after they’ve been discharged as much as we do when they are here. It’s important that we touch base with them to make sure they understand the after care instructions, for instance getting your prescription filled, or getting to a follow up appointment. We touch base because that is the only way we have of assuring that it is a successful treatment plan,” Jones said.

Dr. O’Donnell echoed Jones’s feelings, agreeing that better experiences for the patient is the goal for the call back program.

“We quite frankly and simply would like to impress upon each patient how much we care. Through this process, they should feel as if we are just family calling to "check in" and make sure everything is "Ok". We feel Call Back Care creates a foothold for which we clear the path towards effective healing in our patients. This is why we practice....this is the good stuff,” Dr. O’Donnell said.