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Patients and Families Help Us Improve the Patient Experience by Sharing Ideas Online

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UAB Medicine goes to great lengths to ensure that the voices of patients and their families are heard, and that the issues they raise are addressed. To help us improve the patient experience, we recently launched an online system for sharing ideas to make UAB Medicine an even better place to receive care.

This new web-based platform, Crowdicity, is open to all UAB Medicine patients, their family members, and even employees. The first “innovation challenge” using the system is focused on improving communication during and after a hospital stay, but future projects will concentrate on other aspects of UAB Medicine operations. After creating an account with Crowdicity, participants can submit ideas, build on other ideas, and like or comment on suggestions shared by others.

“Instead of a survey where we just get post-care feedback, we’re actually posing interactive questions or challenges that give us a deeper understanding of what patients and families think about a particular issue,” says Chris Brainard, senior director of the UAB Medicine Office of Patient Experience & Engagement. “We know that communication is a key area that impacts the patient and family experience, so this seemed like a great focus for our pilot project using the Crowdicity platform.”

Designing Solutions

The collective intelligence gathered through Crowdicity will help UAB Medicine leadership and staff design solutions that help improve the patient experience. The new platform will not replace the post-care surveys that patients receive after hospital and clinic visits, which we will continue to rely on for more detailed feedback about individual care experiences. The better we understand your health care needs and challenges as a patient, the better we can serve you.

“We want to be leaders and innovators in the patient experience, both locally and nationally,” Brainard says. “In order to do that, we must have the ability to engage patients and their families in new ways and listen to them differently than we ever have before. Crowdicity is an excellent tool for helping us do that.”

The questions below will be asked of participants in the first Crowdicity innovation challenge:

1. What could UAB Medicine do to improve communication during the hospital stay, so that as a patient or a family member, you …

  • Have a clearer understanding of the health care information we provide?
  • Are better able to manage your health needs?
  • Feel more equipped to navigate the health care system?
  • Can effectively share information with your loved ones?
  • Feel more confident in making health care decisions outside of the hospital?

2. As a patient or family member, …

  • What health care information is most important to you?
  • How often do you believe hospital staff should communicate with you and your loved ones during a hospital stay?
  • What other expectations do you have surrounding health care communication?

“Our patients deserve the best care possible and the most positive experience,” Brainard says. “Having a better understanding of how we are doing in various areas will help us deliver on that mission.”

To create a Crowdicity account and begin sharing your ideas for improving UAB Medicine, please visit uabmedicine.org/myidea.