You Make the Call - Healthcare's Mandate for Post-discharge Follow Up. Kristin Boone's Baird

You Make the Call - Healthcare's Mandate for Post-discharge Follow Up - Kristin Boone's Baird

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      You Make the Call!

      Healthcare's Mandate for Post-discharge Follow Up


      Kristin Baird

      You Make the Call!

      Healthcare’s mandate for post-discharge follow up

      Copyright © 2012 by Kristin Baird. All rights reserved.

      Published in the United States of America.

      Published in eBook format by

      Permission to reproduce or transmit in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including recording or by an information storage and retrieval system, must be obtained by writing to the publisher at the address below:

      Golden Lamp Press

      426 McMillen St.

      Fort Atkinson, WI 53538

      This is a non-fiction electronic publication. Patient names have been omitted to protect confidentiality. Hospital or organization names may have been omitted for confidentiality upon request of the interviewee or by discretion of the author.

      Ordering Information

      Copies of this electronic book can be purchased from any major electronic book vendor.

      ISBN # 13: 978-1-4566-0851-4 (electronic)

      Baird, Kristin M. 1957 –

      You Make the Call! Healthcare’s mandate for post-discharge follow up/Kristin M. Baird

      ISBN # 13: 978-1-4566-0851-4

      1. Business 2. Health Care Management

      3. Nursing 4. Patient Satisfaction


      Editor: Brittany Klokow

      Cover Design: Mark Dziewior

      About the Author


Author, consultant, and industry expert Kristin Baird is President/CEO of the Baird Group, a consulting firm dedicated to transforming healthcare culture and shaping the patient experience. This is accomplished by helping healthcare leaders first understand the patient experience within their organizations and then by guiding strategies to close the gap between the current reality and the desired service vision. Baird’s Model for Service Excellence incorporates strategy alignment, leadership development, and employee engagement, as well as frontline training on behavior-based standards.

      Having been in the trenches of healthcare for over thirty-five years as a nurse and hospital executive, Baird speaks the language of someone who has “been there, done that.” A highly sought-after consultant, she works with individuals and groups from the frontline, medical staff, and C-suite, guiding them through culture changes with measurable results in patient satisfaction and employee engagement.

      Her passion for listening to the voice of the consumer led her into healthcare marketing and business development. Already a staunch patient advocate, it was here that she found the deep-seated bond between the patient experience, loyalty, and the bottom line. During her eight years as Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for Watertown Area Health Services (now UW-Health Partners) she led an award-winning service excellence initiative. Her initiative is chronicled in her best-selling book, Customer Service in Health Care: A grassroots approach to creating a culture of service excellence (2000, Jossey Bass). Her grassroots model formed the foundation of the Baird Model for Service Excellence, a roadmap for culture transformation and patient experience enrichment.

      Baird is a prolific author and renowned industry speaker on the subject of the patient experience and culture. She has authored Raising the Bar on Service Excellence: The health care leader’s guide to putting passion into practice, Customer Service in Health Care: A grassroots approach to creating a culture of service excellence, and Reclaiming the Passion: Stories that celebrate the essence of nursing. In addition, she has authored over 200 articles on a variety of topics related to organizational culture, patient experience, and employee engagement.

      In 2009, Baird received an appointment from the Secretary of Health as an advisor to the Health Service Corps in Washington, DC. Baird’s primary success is in coaching and supporting hospitals and health systems in achieving their missions. Her work has been the topic of various articles and workshops with such prestigious healthcare organizations as Press Ganey, NRC Picker, Avatar International, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, the National Association for Healthcare Quality, the Medical Group Management Association, BerylHealth, and the Forum for Healthcare Strategists.

      Baird earned her bachelor of science degree in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and a master’s degree in Health Services Administration from Cardinal Stritch University. To find out more about Baird Group services, contact us at (920) 563-4684 or [email protected].


      Very few accomplishments are achieved in a vacuum. This work would not have been possible without the support of some very important people. Brittany Klokow not only edited the content for this book, she arranged interviews, secured consents, and did what she does best: kept my life organized so that I could take on this project. Mark Williard from BerylHealth collaborated with me on webinars that formed the basis for two key sections of this book. Thank you to Mark for articulating the business case for post-discharge calls.

      I extend a special thank you to the following professionals who took the time to interview with me and share their successes: Maryanne Bowersox, RN, Director of Telemetry Services, Chandler Regional Medical Center; Paul Clarke, Patient Experience Coordinator, NCH Healthcare System; Christy Erwin, RN, Manager of Referral Systems, Memorial Hospital and Health System; Jan Simdon, RNC, Fort HealthCare; Peg Smith, CNO, Chandler Regional Medical Center; Bev Haferman, RN, IBCLC, Fort HealthCare; Gina Tabone, RN, Cleveland Clinic; Dr. Robert Takla, Chair of Emergency Medicine, St. John Hospital and Medical Center. All your work is making a difference in the lives of patients every day.

      Finally, I give heartfelt thanks to my husband, Mark Dziewior, for the cover design. Once again, he’s put color to my words.


      Making follow-up calls to patients has always made sense to me as part of a logical progression of patient care and as a method for closing the information loop. During my years as a nurse working at the bedside, I would take care of patients while in the hospital yet wonder how they were faring once discharged to their homes. Were they doing alright? Did they understand their instructions? Did they have the help they needed? Even though I was confident in the care patients had received and the information offered upon discharge, I often had this nagging feeling inside, wondering if we should get validation that patients and their caregivers felt confident and fully prepared to manage needs at home. I strongly wished to just check in with discharged patients and see how things were going, but demands for my time at the bedside precluded me from making the calls I felt sure would make a world of difference to my patients. This compulsion for a systematic feedback loop to my patients followed me into my work as the manager of a nurse call center.

      In 1989, I was managing a nurse call center that handled 120,000 calls per year. My team of registered nurses was armed with protocols for triaging caller concerns about everything from infant teething to chest pain. The typical inbound calls were initiated by a customer with specific needs—usually symptom-based concerns—but other calls concerned physician referrals and registrations. It was not uncommon to have patients contact our call center with questions about their recent discharge instructions, medications, or follow-up appointments. It dawned on

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