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Pastoral Care Utilizes "Smart TV" To Meet Spiritual Needs of Patients

Monday, October 26, 2015

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Baptist celebrates National Pastoral Care Week October 25 - 31, 2015. This is the perfect time to showcase how the Baptist pastoral care team has embraced technology to meet the spiritual needs of patients. Baptist Patoral Care staff include (pitured left to right):  Solon Smith, Jerry Gaggini, Heath Ferguson, Al Carden and Marty Harper.

Below is a case study written by TeleHealth Services.

The Challenge
Along with medication and medical therapies, meeting the spiritual needs of patients and family during a hospitalization can play a vital role in the health and recovery of patients. The spiritual and emotional needs of patients and families are core elements that should be acknowledged and addressed during the hospital stay. Recognizing and supporting these needs aid in holistically caring for patients and leads to improved overall patient satisfaction. However, complexities in modern health care often prevent these needs from being fully addressed. Health care practitioners cite lack of spiritual assessment training, lack of time, and a sense of being “uncomfortable” when approaching a patient about their spirituality. Hospitals are seeking creative ways to provide pastoral services to their patients and family to improve overall health outcomes and enhance the patient experience.

The Solution
Baptist Medical Center, a non-profit surgical and general medical hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, serves a diverse community and delivers comprehensive care to thousands of patrons each year. Baptist places a high value on spiritual need assessments, facilitation, and provision of these services for hospitalized patients and their families. The five-chaplain staff provides patient visitation, chapel services, memorial services, baptism, counseling sessions, prayer and scripture readings as well as response to emergencies. Their services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Baptist recognized that while they were able to offer all of these excellent services to patients and family, they wanted a more effective way to share information about these services with admitted patients and families. The leaders and pastoral care team at Baptist focused on the use of their SmarTigr interactive patient engagement solution to achieve their goals of better informing patients and family of their pastoral care services and also to enhance their patient satisfaction scores. This system is incorporated into the TVs in patient’s rooms. Easy-to-navigate, detailed menus and information screens were developed on their SmarTigr system to convey a variety of information to patients and family such as descriptions and schedules of chapel services, what chaplains do, and what is a chaplain. With SmarTigr patients can now make requests for visits from a member of a pastoral care team directly from their bedside with the press of a button. These requests are then sent directly to the pastoral care team for timely follow up, saving valuable clinical time.

The Results
Since the development of the pastoral care services menus and pages, Baptist’s SmarTigr system is actively improving the visibility and awareness of pastoral care services. With SmarTigr’s reporting and monitoring capabilities, Baptist also has the ability to track patient access to any of the system’s pastoral care menus and pages. This trending and monitoring of patient access provides important informatics to the pastoral care and service excellence teams at Baptist for improved service. The hospital noticed that as SmarTigr Pastoral Care menu access increased, the requests for visits from the pastoral care team also increased.

“Our patients are using this important SmarTigr system feature to access information and request the pastoral care team’s valuable spiritual care,” says Mary Reedy RN, MSN, the Director of Service Excellence at Mississippi Baptist. “The pastoral care team is very happy with the interactivity of the pastoral care menus on the SmarTigr system. We feel that this workflow best serves both our patients and chaplains.”



In 2014, a quarter by quarter usage analysis revealed a 147 percent increase in page traffic from Q1 to Q4. In addition, Baptist has seen a successive increase in positive responses on their National Research Corporation (NRC) survey. The data is trending upward from a 61 percent satisfaction rate in January 2014 to a 90.3 percent positive response rate in December 2014, for an average score increase of 46.8 percent.

Today, Baptist and TeleHealth Services are partnering on many projects to positively affect patient success and satisfaction levels. Mary Reedy also notes, “As a faith-based organization it is important to us that patient and family spiritual well-being are cared for just as importantly as their physical and mental health. Allowing patients and families to have direct access to our chaplains by using the SmarTigr system versus a referral system or chaplain rounding has enabled them to get this care in a timelier manner. This systematic approach has also directly improved our patient experience scores in this area!”

The vision of Baptist’s leaders and TeleHealth’s team members led a promising upgrade of their previous Tigr system to a new SmarTigr system that launched in 2013, one of the first SmarTigr implementations in the country. Since that time, the dynamic staff has increased patient engagement and education dramatically. In a hospital-driven Magnet study conducted by Tina Magers, MSN RN-BC, the hospital’s Nursing Research Coordinator, video usage has increased 713 percent since the launch of the SmarTigr system. Her study emphasizes how interactive education improves outcomes for their population.

ABOUT TELEHEALTH SERVICES
For more than 50 years, we have been the best value for designing, building, and maintaining patient entertainment, education, and engagement solutions for hospitals. TeleHealth, the largest division of Telerent Leasing Corporation (TLC), has become the acknowledged leader in the industry through our relentless attention to customer satisfaction as well as acquisition of excellent product innovation and superior service. Click here to learn more.

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