Case Study: New Software + Nurse Navigator = Faster Time to SUI Treatment for Patients
Despite the availability of multiple treatment options, Boston Scientific research has found that patients with quality of life conditions like stress urinary incontinence (SUI) often wait 6-10 years or more to seek minimally invasive or surgical procedures.2 While part of this delay can be attributed to patient hesitance to seek treatment, physician practices also struggle keeping patients moving along the journey. To help practices manage patients along the treatment pathway, Boston Scientific partnered with PPS Analytics to conduct pilot studies at three sites that combine analytics from a patient identification and management software with the human touch and oversight of a nurse navigator. Results of the first pilot at Urology Associates, P.C. are encouraging, with increases in minimally invasive or surgical procedure rates and a reduction in days to treatment for patients with SUI.
Patient Identification and Management Software
The patient identification and management software from PPS Analytics helps practices understand where patients fall out of the care pathway that has been developed based on best practices within the disease state. The software is integrated with the practice’s electronic medical record (EMR) system and uses the more than 30 diagnosis and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes to pull patient data to the reporting portal, where it is displayed in an easy-to-use dashboard. PPS is available for a monthly subscription cost and can be integrated with many of the top EMR systems, including EPIC, Allscripts, GECentricity and UroChart. At Urology Associates, Allscripts was used.
A nurse navigator is a dedicated resource who tracks patients as they progress through the pathway and has various touchpoints with them, with the goal of helping to educate patients on their treatment options and gain more efficient access to care. It’s important for the nurse navigator to have a comprehensive understanding of the patient pathway for each disease state to know the appropriate touch points along the way. Cadence for outreach can and should be adjusted based on individuals’ communication preferences; for example, after two to three calls, an email or letter is sent. The nurse navigator can be hired by the practice directly or outsourced to a third party like Nurse Navigator Services (NNS). At Urology Associates, the nurse navigator is a full-time employee hired to track patients with SUI and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
The combination of the nurse navigator and software not only improved the practice’s efficiency but also helped patients receive appropriate treatment sooner. Key measurements used during the six-month pilot at Urology Associates included minimally invasive or surgical procedure rates as well as time to treatment. A minimally invasive or surgical procedure is defined as female sling, artificial urinary sphincter (AUS), bulking, or pessary procedures.
Minimally Invasive & Surgical Procedures Increased
With patients more informed about their treatment options and the potential benefits, there was anincrease in the number who opted to have a procedure. The percent of unique patients who opted tohave a male sling, female sling, laparoscopic sling, urethral bulking, AUS or pessary procedure increased 12 percent from baseline.1
Time to Treatment Decreased
There was a 20 percent reduction in days to minimally invasive or surgical procedures for female SUI during the pilot than last year during the same months. This means, on average, women spent 66 less days living with the symptoms of SUI.1
Results from the first pilot using a combination of patient identification and management software and a nurse navigator show that this approach has promise in improving practice efficiency and helping patients get the appropriate treatment – and therefore improve their quality of life – in a shorter period of time. Additional pilots are underway to further validate this approach. If you are interested in learning more about the software, visit https://www.ppsanalytics.com/.