During any episode of patient care or healthcare delivery workflow, there are specific moments when a patient is primed to receive and act on information shared with them about their condition or their health. We call these Moments of Influence.
Moments of Influence come and go in every care interaction. In our research, we have found that most of these moments pass by quietly, quickly, and completely unrecognized by the patient or their healthcare providers. And as they pass by, each person in the care workflow misses a very teachable moment. For providers, they miss the chance for what they say and share to be understood and consumed at the very best time. Patients miss the chance to comprehend and ask questions for which the answers will have significant impact in their ability to make the best decisions for their health. The consequences of missing these Moments of Influence have a negative impact on the care delivery experience for everyone.
Identifying Moments of Influence is an easy exercise. For any care interaction, there are potentially dozens of them. In our recent study on Emergency Department workflow, we have identified over 20 Moments of Influence that are possible for the patient and even more when you extend the same concept to family members or friends who are the support team for the patient during emergency situations. To determine how many moments of influence you have in your care situations, simply start mapping out the usual stages of a common care interaction. When you begin, make sure you think all the back to the first patient encounter that ultimately triggers the care interaction. And as you conclude, don’t just stop your mapping when the patient leaves your facility. Since treatment compliance and outcomes often hinge on what the patient does after they leave you, allow your mind to think about how you can continue to find Moments of Influence for them even 30 days after a face-to-face encounter. You’ll be surprised how many opportunities exist.
Maximizing Moments of Influence is not as hard you think. If you are similar to organizations we work with, you likely let 50 – 70% of the key Moments of Influence pass you by. Don’t let this be a discouragement, but a motivation. This gap gives you a path toward patient outreach and improving your care if you take advantage of these moments. To maximize these moments of influence, follow a few basic rules.
- If you give printed or online text resources to your patients, go over it with them while you are face-to-face. Circle some words. Highlight some key points. Doodle. They are more likely to review that personalized information after they leave the hospital or exam room.
- Setup an outreach program to delivery key information to a patient over time. Avoid the 15 page “give-and-go” strategy, or wasting time sharing information with a patient who is not in a position to comprehend.
- Help your patients be prepared. What questions do you believe a patient should know before they interact with you? Share the list with them ahead of their visit.
- Let your patients see and hear you. Often we all rely on the written word to get across our message, our tone, our passions, and expertise. Find ways to incorporate multimedia, visual communication.
Need help in identifying and maximizing Moments of Influence for your facility? We specialize in maximizing Moments of Influence. Our team members are available to discuss how a Moments of Influence-driven patient engagement strategy can be a defining turning point for your organization’s care impact and bottom line. Contact us today.