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Why we’re embedding the teach-back method into our workflows

This evidence-based communication practice helps patients understand their treatments and medications.

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Teach-back isn’t new to Asante, but new targeted efforts are embedding this best practice into specific workflows. Teach-back is an evidence-based method to check for understanding of the learner.

As part of the new effort to use teach-back to discuss medications with patients, the video on this page provides a great introduction to the teach-back method and illuminates why it’s critical to Asante’s Vision to be a “trusted health partner for life.” Teach-back literally provides for the partnership we’re pursuing.

Addressing medications with patients is an area of focus that impacts quality and safety. Most notably, the patient experience “communication about medicines” domain (measures patient perception of how often we explain the purpose and side effects of new medications) and preventing readmission to the hospital for our patients. As hospital capacity is presently a precious commodity, effective connection with patients throughout their stay is critical to prepare them for a safe discharge. Teach-back facilitates that connection.

So, what work is underway now, and what’s upcoming?

  • 2020: Medication information sheet (MIS) developed, one for adult inpatient and one for Women’s Services
  • April 2021: Asante teach-back/MIS team determined pilot departments (AACH Med Surg and ICU, ARRMC Post Surgical and Medical Oncology, and ATRMC Cardiac A/B and Pediatrics E) for targeted efforts to embed teach-back into medication administration with a focus on communicating pertinent possible side-effects
  • May 2021: Surveyed pilot department nurses to inform education module
  • July 2021: Education module assigned via ALEC
  • July/August 2021: Pilot departments to cascade initiative via staff meetings
  • September 2021: Nurse competency assessments completed

As we consider the patient experience data for these pilot departments we expect positive impact to be observable by mid-February. Our patient experience coordinators have been instrumental in developing this initiative and will support defining success. Following the data as a key performance indicator, the Asante teach-back/MIS ream will strategize a scalable plan for spread of this defined work to all applicable hospital areas.

Learn more about teach-back:

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