Provider Spotlight

More precisely, progress towards excellence.  Excellence is a daily, never-ending journey focusing on things that are working well and identifying areas where one can improve.  Each quarter, Pritikin will spotlight a different ICR facility or ICR Team member where processes are going well, or they’ve made changes that are helping them progress towards excellence.

Exceptionally low early discharge rate

I had the privilege of interviewing Patti Ross, Boone Hospital’s ICR Director, and her ICR Team.  Boone’s ICR facility consistently has an exceptionally low early discharge rate compared to Pritikin’s national average.  Seeing Boone achieve this low early discharge rate month after month, I had to know their secret.

During our discussion, three themes surfaced as likely contributors to Boone’s excellence.  Boone’s ICR team puts a concerted effort into:

  1. Building rapport with their patients very early
  2. Repeatedly emphasizing the value and expectations of the Pritikin program to their patients
  3. Eliciting patients’ motivations and goals right from the start

Here is an excerpt from my conversation with the Boone ICR Team:

Patti: “I’d say it’s our entire super-hero ICR team that motivate patients to stick with the ICR program. Our inpatient staff discuss the value of the Pritikin program with the patients, our patient service representative makes sure we enroll as many ICR appropriate patients as possible and discusses the importance of attendance.

Our Registered dietitian (RD) calls the patients prior to their orientation visit and discusses in more detail the expectations of their participation and our physiologists and RNs deliver great patient care, providing encouragement and sometimes comic relief!”

Sharon: So you’re saying a patient will hear about the value and expectations of the Pritikin program at least three times from three different ICR team members before they even step foot into the ICR?”

Patti: Yes. Hunter, Jodi or Greg (EPs) visit patients while they are still in the hospital. They share information about the Pritikin program – what is involved, what is expected and  more importantly, how exercise, dietary changes and a healthy mindset can help them reduce their medications and reduce their risk of a second event.  

Sharon:  "Fantastic.  When is the next opportunity for patients to hear about the program or interact with the ICR Team?”

Patient Service Representative Calls Patients

Patti: “Next our patient service representative, Judy, will call the patient, review insurance coverage with them and answer any other questions the patients might have about the Pritikin program.”

Judy: "The EPs make my job easy.  They give the patients a robust summary of what to expect in the Pritikin program before I talk to them.  If I ever sense any    apprehension or uncertainty from the patient, I always encourage them to just give it a shot.”

Patti: “After Judy schedules their orientation visit, Kate our RD, will call them a few days before their orientation visit to introduce herself, remind them of the appointment, discuss expectations including to expect to be in the ICR up to 2 hours, and to focus on goal setting.”

Kate, RD: "We spend a lot of time discussing their goals on the phone call.  I make sure they know exactly what to expect and make sure to point out that repetition is key – we learn so much through repetition.”

Sharon: "Interesting that you tell them ‘we learn so much through repetition’ while they are hearing about the value and expectations of the Pritikin ICR program for the 3rd time!”

Lugine, RN: "By the time they arrive for their orientation with me, they have already gotten to know so many of our ICR team.  So, I just explain a little more about the people they’ve met who will be doing their workshops/exercise sessions. It seems to be comforting to them to already know everyone.”

Sharon: "But I’m sure you get some apprehensive patients? ICR is a huge time commitment and behavior change is hard work.  What have you seen to be effective in terms of addressing patient perceived barriers to attendance or lack of motivation?”

Patti: “My ICR team really encourage and motivate the patients.  The EPs are the primary contact for the first hour and really build great rapport with the patients.  When patients are not motivated or want to leave early, I hear them say   things like, ‘you would really enjoy this workshop or this cooking school class,’ or ‘your education is so important – why don’t you decide which video you want to watch.’  

Sharon: "It sounds like your ICR team build some meaningful relationships with their patients.”

Patti: “Yes! Also, patient to patient relationships the patients have with each other make a difference.  The comradery between the patients makes a big difference in them wanting to stay.  They love the in-person group workshops – especially cooking school.  I can tell they like the interaction of the workshops and cooking schools.  

Sharon: “I get the sense that coming to your ICR would be like a fun daily family reunion that you wouldn’t want to miss?”

Patti: “Yes! We laugh a lot. We just have fun.  Our ICR team really enjoys each other’s company and genuinely enjoy the work they do, and that permeates throughout the ICR.”