The transition to value-based payment has predominantly focused on preventive care, patient engagement, and other ways to improve care quality. While keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital is becoming increasingly more cost-effective, hospitals and health systems often overlook the massive savings that come from improving communications and workflow efficiencies. Simple changes can boost throughput, improve quality of care, and lower overall costs. The greatest challenge is making these adjustments across multiple care teams, all while providing first-rate care to patients.
As mentioned in HealthIT Outcome’s recent write-up, mobile technology is a key factor in taking on this challenge. Integrated, enterprise-wide mobile devices can give care teams the power to provide safe, quality care with fewer delays, fewer distractions, and increased productivity.
Traditional Clinical Communication Workflows are Ineffective
Most healthcare organizations realize the importance of efficient clinical communications, but rarely, if ever, audit their current workflows to make them more effective. For example, many providers still physically track down physicians on-site or use outdated communication technologies, such as pagers, intercoms, and landline phones to share information and administer care.
Even with the latest mobile technology being introduced into clinical settings, efficiency is not always a guarantee. Patient care teams may use different, non-interfacing apps, or ones that are incompatible with other systems. Not to mention, using personal smart devices raises the risk of HIPAA data breaches and security concerns. In short, simply adding new communications devices is not a solution.
An Integrated, Mobile Communications Platform Maximizes EHR Investment
Today’s strategy must include the consolidation of care team communications and data into a single platform. This unification will allow communications to be fluidly connected throughout the day, regardless of shift or facility. Clinicians should be empowered with more efficient tools that allow them to call other providers with the click of a button, or reach a team member based on their role. And finally, a single platform is more secure and less susceptible to bugs that can derail patient care.
The next phase of clinical communications is not moving the entire EHR to a mobile device, but rather a streamlined communications platform that pulls the information a clinician needs from the EHR or another hospital system, precisely when they need it. The result is safe, effective clinical decisions that are informed and executed without time-consuming EHR log-ins and searches that detract from face-to-face patient time. Removing these communication barriers with a highly intuitive tool presented on a familiar device also encourages greater nurse and physician adoption and higher satisfaction rates.
Just as important in the healthcare ecosystem, is the sea of data collected by hospitals and health systems on a daily basis. Integrated communication platforms can give this information meaning and offer insight into utilization rates, workflow mapping capabilities and opportunities for efficiency improvements.
Effective Clinical Communication Mandatory for Value-Based Care
Once care teams are aligned through a single, mobile clinical communications platform, less time is wasted, decisions are better informed, and care is accelerated. All of which can only mean better care and increased patient satisfaction.
By helping providers communicate and share information more effectively, the inefficiencies and workflow disorganization that frustrates all stakeholders about the healthcare experience will be mitigated. That means, the next phase of clinical communications not only supports value-based care models, but it will lessen the waste inherent in workflows to accelerate productivity, profitability, and provider satisfaction.
Read the full article in HealthIT Outcomes here.