May 15, 2020 Network in the Know

Hospital Experience Program Boosts Patient Satisfaction and Provides Critical Services during COVID-19 Outbreak

Recognizing that hospital admission can be stressful and confusing for patients and that hospital-based care is often fragmented and marred by poor communication, CDPHP created a Hospital Experience Program. Offered at no cost to CDPHP members, the program deploys an in-hospital patient care team to work in collaboration with hospital staff to coordinate members’ care and provide personalized support. The team includes clinical staff (CDPHP nurses, social workers, and medical directors) who review and facilitate members’ care, as well as health care advocates (customer relations specialists) who provide assistance with insurance-related issues.

Since its 2019 debut at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, the program has been expanded to Albany Medical Center and St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, and we’ve been collecting data and testimonials to help us determine its efficacy. Results thus far have been positive, as reflected in the rise in patient satisfaction at Ellis Hospital and the first-hand patient account described below.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have severely limited or banned visitors, so family members can no longer be by their loved one’s side. These changes have made our patient care team, which is now operating on a virtual level, an even more critical bridge between doctors, hospitalized patients, and their families. Even from a distance, the team has still been able to:

  • Offer emotional support to members, families, and caregivers;
  • Provide daily communication updates between hospital staff, patients, and families;
  • Collaborate with hospital care teams to customize discharge planning;
  • Identify any barriers to care, such as access to food, medication, or transportation;
  • Identify community resources/support services that may be needed post-discharge; and
  • Facilitate post-discharge phone calls and support.

This service is just part of the CDPHP commitment to keeping our members healthy, happy, safe, and secure.

One Member’s Perspective…

When Robert W.’s employer switched the company’s insurance plan to CDPHP at the beginning of the year, he was uneasy about the transition, unsure how the change might impact his access to care and his benefits.  That sentiment changed when he was unexpectedly admitted to St. Peter’s Hospital for a serious spike in his blood sugar levels.

The hospitalization marked his first awareness that he had diabetes, and understandably, he had a lot of questions.  “I didn’t know much about the condition, and I was concerned how it might affect my ability to work,” he said. Fortunately, the CDPHP Patient Care Team was able to allay some of his concerns.  “All the nurses were very thorough, very positive, and answered any questions I had. They shared videos with me, and sat and talked with me about how to manage my insulin shots, how to prepare meals, and the other adjustments I needed to make in my lifestyle.”

Robert also had the chance to visit with a CDPHP health care advocate, remarking “It was nice that CDPHP had an office at St. Peter’s Hospital – you don’t find many insurance companies that make it so convenient for people to get their questions answered. And the representative was very helpful.”

After he was discharged from the hospital, Robert received follow-up phone calls about once a week for three weeks to inquire how he was doing and whether he had any questions about the insulin shots, his diet, or anything else. In reflecting on the service he received from CDPHP, he said, “The experience has been very positive. I was extremely pleased with the way I was treated.”

Adele O'Connell
About the Author

Adele joined CDPHP in 2004 as an internal communications and event specialist. She then spent eight years coordinating the company’s community relations and corporate events program, in which capacity she worked with a host of non-profit organizations and co-chaired the CDPHP annual Charity of Choice campaign. Currently, she is a communications specialist and coordinator of corporate member engagement and serves on the boards of two local charities. Prior to CDPHP, Adele served as a legislative assistant for a trade association and as an acquisitions and developmental editor, specializing in educational and medical publishing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Rosemont College.

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