5 Signs Your Health System’s Clinical Collaboration Software Needs Some Care

5 Signs Your Health System’s Clinical Collaboration Software Needs Some Care

How Does Your Clinical Collaboration Solution Stack Up?

What is collaborative care?

Collaborative care refers to providers being able to discuss a patient’s care, treatment, and outcome. For instance, sharing test results among physicians, nurses, and other providers is critical to successful collaborative care. Of course, this sharing of information must be done securely and consistently. When it comes to large hospital systems, different departments or divisions might use slightly different approaches to sharing information, which can lead to problems when it comes to taking care of patients. Ideally, a healthcare system should use the same clinical collaboration platform across departments and across locations.

What is a clinical communication and collaboration platform?

One centralized clinical collaboration platform can improve efficiency, saving time and costs for your healthcare facility or practice if used correctly. However, not all clinical collaboration platforms solve all problems. As the market for clinical collaboration tools expands throughout the United States, it’s important to consider how your needs are being met, even as wasted healthcare spending is surging to $1 trillion[1]. You should always keep in mind the big-picture benefits when evaluating clinical communication and collaboration solutions, as well as how they resolve short-term pain points.

What are the benefits of a clinical communication and collaboration platform?

When evaluating a solution, there are several characteristics you should expect a clinical communication solution to deliver for your organization:

    1. Providers and employees reporting the platform as time-saving and intuitive
    2. Patients reporting the platform as easy to use
    3. Security in all facets of the platform
    4. Scalability to add departments and/or features

Switching from clunky outdated methods to a streamlined clinical collaboration platform should reduce stress. The solution should work for both providers and for patients while maintaining privacy and security. It should also be easy to scale up as your organization evolves.

How does your clinical collaboration strategy stack up?

While there are many strategies to improve communication in healthcare, there are still some big issues when it comes to clinical collaboration, including:

    1. Over-reliance on EHR (electronic health records) systems. EHRs are important in keeping track of a patient’s records; however, many hospitals are overly reliant on EHRs to do more than their intended purpose. EHRs were not designed for communication, and they don’t have the capability to fully support clinical collaboration. In addition, if EHRs break down, critical communication is also hampered. Ideally, your organization should use clinical communication software that integrates EHR information while being able to “stand-alone” in the event of an emergency or outage.
    2. Miscommunication. According to the U.S. Joint Commission, miscommunication is the leading cause of medical errors[2]. A staggering 70 percent of patient safety issues leading to severe harm or even death results from miscommunication[3]. Communication between physicians and nurses was especially problematic as nurses reported feeling compelled to provide a medication, even if they had safety concerns. Adequate clinical collaboration should address the underlying power dynamic in the healthcare structure. Every care team member should be able to express his or her medical concerns in a clear and readily available manner[4].
    3. Cost and budget concerns. Most clinical collaboration tools can and should reduce time spent uploading results or tracking down physicians. But many require separate platforms or solutions to communicate securely with patients, update family members, see who’s on-call, and manage different alerts and alarms. Multiple platforms or tools can lead to more confusion and actually translate into higher costs for your organization.
    4. The platform is not secure. Clinical collaboration platforms must take security measures seriously. Not only should the tool be screened for HIPAA compliance, but there should also be an IT contact person who can clearly answer any safety and security questions. When it comes to accessing sensitive patient data on mobile devices or sending messages, security needs to be at the forefront of the experience.
    5. Negative patient experiences. Patients who can’t reach providers or staff or have trouble utilizing tools to do so can become frustrated, or, even worse, stop adhering to care plans. While all of the clinician-facing tools are important, providing the best possible patient care is the ultimate goal, and you always want patients to feel satisfied with the care they received. This in mind, communicating readily with patients and empowering them to answer back easily with questions or concerns should be an equally important part of your clinical communication and collaboration strategy.

When it comes to care team collaboration, it’s important to look for the right solution for your organization. Clinical collaboration should solve problems, not generate more or worsen existing issues.

Can one clinical collaboration software platform be used throughout an entire healthcare system?

Temple University Health System integrated all staff. Remarkably, following the implementation of the TigerConnect platform with EHR and alerts integrations, sepsis mortality rates decreased substantially — between 30 and 40 percent. Temple also reported high ROI, saving approximately $11,000 per month by eliminating pagers.

As seen by Temple University Health System and many others, clinical collaboration software provides real-world benefits that can save time, money, and lives. See what TigerConnect can do for you.

 

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References

[1] Clinical Communication And Collaboration Market Research & Clinical Advancements. 2028 VOCERA COMMUNICATIONS, TIGERTEXT. Retrieved from https://bisouv.com/uncategorized/2683182/clinical-communication-and-collaboration-market-research-clinical-advancements-by-2028-vocera-communications-tigertext/

[2] Ellison D. Communication Skills. Nursing Clinics of North America. 2015;50(1):45-57. doi:10.1016/j.cnur.2014.10.004

[3] Dingley C, Daugherty K, Derieg MK, et al. Improving Patient Safety Through Provider Communication Strategy Enhancements. In: Henriksen K, Battles JB, Keyes MA, et al., editors. Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches (Vol. 3: Performance and Tools). Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Aug. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK43663/

[4] Woods DM, Holl JL, Angst D, et al. Improving Clinical Communication and Patient Safety: Clinician-Recommended Solutions. In: Henriksen K, Battles JB, Keyes MA, et al., editors. Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches (Vol. 3: Performance and Tools). Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Aug. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK43654/

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