Peer Recovery: Rapid Action to Intervene

In the Peer Recovery program at RWJBarnabas Health, timing is everything. Fast intervention and patient data accessibility are vital for quickly setting substance use disorder patients on the road to recovery. With over three million patients treated each year, however, RWJBarnabas Health experienced many unforeseen collaboration challenges during their transition to full-time recovery specialists:

  • Managing call volume increases: A few patients each month wasn’t an issue for the original small team to handle. As peer recovery care flourished, continuing to manage a growing influx of calls became overwhelming (as well as unrealistic).
  • Alerting teams of readmissions: The care team needed to be notified of a patient’s readmission in real-time to ensure speedy intervention. Expanding their care capacity meant more readmissions, less quality of care, and a reduction in recovered patients.
  • Sharing new patient data: Reviewing a patient’s most critical and vital information immediately can make or break the recovery process. With no efficient way to access the data instantly, care was greatly slowed.

RWJBarnabas Health realized better goal prioritization was necessary. Through research and reflection on what they wanted the Peer Recovery Program to achieve, they established their key objectives for improving communication and technology as identifying the right patients, enhancing recovery workflows, and tracking patient outcomes.

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Patient Outreach at a Critical Time

For substance use disorder patients, mutual communication is crucial for effective patient outreach. Their needs may often be urgent and their only means of communication outside of an ED or a clinic is by telephone call.

Patient engagement and collaboration between Peer Recovery specialists and patients can improve outcomes and enhance care. Studies have indicated that patients engaged in their own medical care demonstrate lower readmission rates and morbidity, better treatment adherence, and enriched quality of life.

Coordinated Care: Driving Better Outcomes

TigerConnect’s capabilities have been carefully designed to deliver positive outcomes that help care teams administer care and communication quickly. In the case of RWJBarnabas Health, coordinated care delivery through EHR access and role-based messaging has led to higher quality care collaboration and progress toward recovery. For organizations facing similar challenges, best practices may include setting up:

  • Triggers and Alerts: Set up automatic triggers and alarms that route to the patient’s care team. Automated alerts and intelligent role-based messaging reduce steps for faster, more efficient outcomes.
  • Smart EHR Integration: Configure your EHR integration to assign and notify care teams automatically. This integration prepares teams for incoming patients and leads to better resource optimization.
  • Patient Data Accessibility: Search patient results and EHR data instantly. Better transitions of care are experienced through admission and transfer details shared with the care team in real time.
  • Direct Patient Access by Text, Video, or Voice: Give clinical staff direct access to patients through their smartphone for instant two-way communication by video, voice, or secure text. These options provide patients with a way to reach peers and give peers a way to check in on patients who may be at risk.

TigerConnect Results: Saving Time to Speed Recovery

When introduced to TigerConnect, RWJBarnabas Health quickly recognized the value that came from having staff fully connected on a single platform.

“Our response time is under 10 minutes, really thanks to TigerConnect,” says Elliott Liebling, Manager for Research and Development. “We’re one of the first interactions that a patient will have in the hospital, so to know that they can come in and see a recovery specialist and get the help they need is an amazing part of the patient experience.”

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