Example: How a Daily Patient Progression (SNAP) Huddle Promotes Better Care and Communication

In a previous post we introduced the SNAP huddle (Status Now, Action Planning), a concise, daily multidisciplinary dialogue about patient care progression. It covers diagnostics, procedures, medications and clinical care delivery, encouraging communication about advancing patient progression and quickly overcoming any obstacles.

Here is a simple example of how this daily discussion keeps everyone responsible for patient care informed and coordinated in their efforts to provide the best, most efficient care and most satisfying experience for the patient and the family.

The following is a sample of a SNAP huddle:

Mr. Brown in room 204 is admitted with congestive heart failure. He is expected to be discharged Friday at 11 a.m. following a length-of-stay of 3.2 days. Dr. Smith is notified of the expected day of discharge. The patient’s family has been informed of the discharge date and time and will be at the hospital one hour prior to discharge. Home health has been arranged. There are no expected delays.

The following is a sample of a SNAP escalation huddle:

Mr. Brown in room 204 is admitted with congestive heart failure. He is expected to be discharged Friday at 11 a.m. following a length-of-stay of 3.2 days. The patient’s family has been informed of the discharge date and time and has indicated that they will be at the hospital one hour prior. Dr. Smith refuses to discharge the patient, stating he would like him to stay one more day to allow the family a respite.  Dr. Smith is aware the patient is stable and prepared for discharge, but feels the family needs another day of rest without providing care.

This SNAP escalation huddle would involve the executive leadership to engage discussion with Dr. Smith. The huddle might also involve the chief medical officer for support in making a decision in the best interest of the patient, family and hospital.

by Page Etzler and Lisa Cowan

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