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Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub

Transforming patient care with Slack.

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Many hospitals rely on external survey vendors to solicit feedback from patients after a stay. The Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub is out to gather information in real time to improve patient care in the moment. Slack is playing a big part in delivering this new approach.

Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Surveys (HCAHPS), mandated by the federal government, often arrive up to six months after patients have left the hospital, making it difficult to respond or address their specific needs. The results of these surveys affect the bottom line too — the federal government uses the scores to determine how much hospitals are paid.

Instead of waiting for survey results, Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub equips patients with a wifi-connected tablet during their stay. They can watch movies or order food from their favorite restaurant, and they can also ask the staff for a warm blanket or a book through the concierge app loaded on their tablet. On the back end, a custom-built app connects to Slack and the request triggers an alert in a Slack Channel monitored by on-call team members who can respond quickly.

Getting feedback in real time means we can respond in minutes and not miss the opportunity for service recovery.

Nick Dawson
Executive Director of Innovation, Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub

The Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub also receives real-time feedback from patients. The tablet home screen features expressive faces, from happy and smiling to sad and frowning. Patients can tap a face that reflects how they’re feeling and write in comments to share details. That information is also posted to Slack. In the first two months of their pilot, patients submitted more than 120 surveys, earning the Hub a higher average response rate than the HCAHPS.

“The biggest benefit is the hardest to describe or quantify,” says Nick Dawson, Executive Director of Innovation. “It's culture. Slack is both faster and more efficient while being more human and less formal. I don't think I can go back to an e-mail-first work environment.”

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