Vital
Case Study

Emergency Department Boosts NRC Scores 88%

If a hotel or restaurant has ever tried to “make it right” for you as a customer, you’re already familiar with the impact service recovery can have on your overall experience. According to one Vital client, that’s often easier said than done, especially in the emergency department (ED)

“Most ED patients are already having a pretty bad day. And when things aren’t going quite right, everyone has their own way of expressing themselves. As a nurse, this is exhausting and distracts us from solving the issue. We needed an ‘easy button’ to immediately identify and consistently respond to patients.” - Clinical Director

Being responsive to patient needs is not only the right thing to do, it’s also a business priority. With 50% of inpatient admissions originating in the ED and over 30% of ED patients being referred for follow-up care, ensuring an optimal patient experience is vital to the hospital’s bottom line.

A Holistic, Tech-Enabled Approach

To help staff best respond to patients, the team at this busy metropolitan ED implemented a multi-faceted approach to service recovery, including a physical toolkit filled with resources such as cafeteria gift cards, hospital branded merchandise, cards for handwritten messages to patients, and more. 

Staff love the physical resources. But in order to capture patient concerns in real-time and drive patient loyalty, the hospital added Vital’s ERAdvisor solution to the mix. And it quickly became their most valuable service recovery tool.

One-Tap Service Recovery

ERAdvisor is an AI-powered web app accessible from a patient’s smartphone that provides personalized updates and tools from check-in onward. Patients can view wait times and next steps, monitor test orders and results, request service items, deliver real-time feedback, recognize ED team members, receive patient education, book follow-up care, and much more from a no-downloads, no-accounts-required interface. 

ERAdvisor’s Experience Management feature has been especially helpful in helping this client achieve its service recovery strategy. Here’s how it works:

  1. While in the ED, the patient receives a text message inviting them to complete a 3-question survey. 

  2. A 4- or 5-star rating generates a message inviting the patient to leave a Google review. 

  3. In the case of 3 stars or lower, ED staff automatically receive an alert on Vital’s CareAssist mobile app. 

  4. An ED staff member immediately visits the patient to find out how they can help.

“ERAdvisor has transformed the way our department views patient experience and satisfaction. It gives our patients a way to inform us of issues while they’re still in the ED, not through a post-discharge survey. This is huge in maximizing resources available to target problems, instead of blindly picking patients to round on.”

Results

Within six months of turning on the Experience Management feature, more than 530 ED patients had used the survey to provide feedback while in the ED. On average, they have rated their experience 4.42 out of 5 stars. Also during this time: 

  1. The ED team responded to 100% of all patients who left a 3-star or lower rating in ERAdvisor. 

  2. Patients who received a service recovery visit rated their ED experience 88% higher on average on NRC surveys. 

  3. Their ED’s Google rating increased from 3.3 stars to 4.8 stars.

ERAdvisor has also had a positive impact on ED staff. Prior to implementation, they received an average of 20 recognitions per month through their hospital-wide staff appreciation program. In Q1 of 2023, ED staff received nearly 140 such accolades and in Q2 they received over 500.

“The increase in staff recognition has been so significant, people working in other areas of the hospital have started asking me what our secret is. Some even joke that we must be cheating. No, we’re just using technology that aligns with our patient experience and business goals.”

Next Steps

Hot on the heels of these successes and more, this client recently decided to expand their partnership with Vital through CareAdvisor, a patient experience solution for inpatient care. In addition to many of the functionalities included in ERAdvisor, inpatients can view their daily schedule of activities, order meals, track their progress toward discharge, and more. 

Other Vital products this client is considering include an AI-Powered Video Education solution that curates highly relevant content based on each patient’s specific condition or procedure, a Discharge Summary feature that translates discharge instructions into simple language with clear next steps, and AccessAdvisor, a solution that helps patients schedule an appointment with an in-network physician based on their discharge instructions and other EHR data.