The Connected Care Team podcast recently had the pleasure of speaking with Brent Steineckert at Sharp HealthCare. As the Director of Access, Electronic Health Records, and Health Information, Brent oversees the integration of technology and clinical operations to make his clinicians’ lives easier, create better patient experiences, and give patients better access to their healthcare.

The pandemic wreaked havoc on healthcare providers, but in Brent’s view, one of the silver linings was that it opened the door for greater patient advocacy, enabling patients to participate and become more involved in healthcare through technology.

“Our goal over the next couple years is to empower the most underutilized member of the care team, the patient.”

– Brent Steineckert, Director of Access, Electronic Health Records, and Health Information at Sharp HealthCare

podcast improving access to care and transparency in healthcare

Improving Access to Care and Transparency in Healthcare

In the episode, Brent talks with Will O’Connor, M.D., about the concept of “webside manner” and how secure communication and collaboration solutions from TigerConnect helped Sharp HealthCare improve patient experiences and gave patients more transparency into their healthcare decisions.

Bringing intimacy and empathy to modern clinical communications 

One of the challenges with virtual healthcare is how to bring emotion to patients so they feel the same sense of caring and empathy they receive during an exam room visit. At Sharp HealthCare, they have introduced “webside manner” whereby physicians are taught by other physicians how to bring empathy and caring to their virtual or asynchronous encounters. For example, when following up with a chronically-ill patient via text message, care team members will ask patients how they’re doing. The simple interaction brings a human element to the encounter and enables nurses to act early to address situations that may arise.

At Sharp HealthCare, emotional bonds with patients are strengthened by integrating digital tools and personal interactions. This includes things like having staff members thank patients for filling out screening forms and offering to refill their medications. Physicians also take the time to share encouraging progress notes with their patients. 

Workflows that support smoother hand-off communication and better care continuum

One of the pain points Brent addressed at Sharp HealthCare was improving the communication processes for patients as they move through their care journey. We’ve all had the experience of having to recite our medical condition over and over again to each clinician we see. It can be a frustrating and draining experience. With TigerConnect, Sharp HealthCare leverages role-based communication to share key details about a patient’s condition with the right provider. This way, each clinician involved in the patient’s care is kept in the loop, making patient transfers to specialists seamless and warmer. Knowing that every specialist or clinician is familiar with their story gives patients reassurance and trust in the care they are receiving.

“Our on-call physicians use TigerConnect to communicate with each other when they’re transferring patient care…When that patient shows up or interacts with that receiving department, that specialist, they already have a leg up, they know why the patient’s coming in.”

– Brent Steineckert, Director of Access, Electronic Health Records, and Health Information at Sharp HealthCare

Listen to the podcast episode and hear all the ways Sharp HealthCare is working to improve patient experiences. Also, discover how cutting-edge communication in healthcare can influence what provider a patient chooses and enable more cost-effective ways of delivering c

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