Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women has implemented a new induction process to enhance patient flow and patient experience. Rather than waiting at the hospital, patients will now be asked to wait in the comfort of their home until a labor and delivery bed is available for their scheduled induction. An induction is when a woman requires medication to begin her labor.
Previously, when patients arrived for their scheduled induction date, they would be redirected to the Women’s Assessment Center (WAC) on the 11th floor of the Pavilion for Women to wait until a labor and delivery room and a nurse were available during high census times. Occasionally, patients waited on the 11th floor for a significant length of time due to high patient volume or because their induction was delayed to accommodate patients with the highest acuity.
The new induction process establishes patient expectations earlier in the process including the possibility for unexpected delays or cancellations even if a patient’s induction is scheduled as late as one week in advance.
Communication is key to improving the care of patients and their birth experience. Two methods to provide timely notification to patients are phone calls and MyChart.
Patients will receive a confirmation call from their physician’s office regarding the time and date of their scheduled induction. The Clinical Nurse Coordinator (CNC) will send a letter to the patient via MyChart welcoming the patient to the Pavilion for Women. The day before the scheduled induction, the CNC places a phone call to the patient, answering common questions and instructing them to come to the hospital only after receiving a call from the charge nurse telling them that a bed and labor and delivery nurse are ready for their arrival. This timely notification ensures there is a nurse and a labor room ready upon admission. Patients are also counseled regarding when to call their physician’s office rather than waiting for their scheduled date and time of their induction as they may need to be assessed sooner and admitted to WAC for evaluation.
“Physicians and patients are informed that every effort will be taken to achieve their target admission date and time but unanticipated delays may occur,” said Dr. Karen Schneider, division director of the OB Hospitalists at the Pavilion for Women. “If there is a delay, the CNC will inform physicians and patients. The OB hospitalist in charge will review the induction schedules several times per day and prioritize the inductions, with medically indicated induction requests having priority over elective requests.”
Since implementing the new induction process in December 2015, the CNC, WAC and labor and delivery nursing staff have noticed considerable improvements now that patients are no longer diverted from labor and delivery to WAC to wait for an available bed.
“We’ve seen a significant decrease in patient complaints regarding wait and hold times,” said Blanca Peña, clinical nurse coordinator for Women’s Services at the Pavilion for Women. “The new induction process has optimized patient flow and the use of our bed space in both labor and delivery and WAC. It is a win-win situation that benefits our patient families and our nursing and medical staff as we strive to enhance the overall experience for both our patients and providers.”