Communication Technology’s Role in Breaking Through Clinical Workflow Challenges

Communication Technology's Role in Breaking Through Clinical Workflow Challenges

Every second counts in healthcare, especially regarding patient outcomes. Care teams don’t have time to waste on ineffective communication methods that cause dangerous bottlenecks during the patient experience, leading to potential risks and setbacks. Effective communication is the thread that connects different care team members, patients, and families, allowing for seamless collaboration and informed decision-making. Inefficient communication, on the other hand, results in critical lapses, medical errors, and delays in patient care. The consequences of these lapses can be severe, affecting patient outcomes and overall healthcare processes. An alarming 68% of clinicians have reported dissatisfaction with communication processes during clinical workflows. So, where do the gaps lie? 

 

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Challenges Within Clinical Workflows 

The overwhelming influx of patients and procedures, coupled with the extensive documentation demands exacerbated by the shortage of healthcare personnel, has led to a significant backlog in healthcare facilities. The ultimate result is typically an overstressed workforce, escalating operational costs, and revenue losses for the facility.  

One study revealed that communication inefficiencies cost the average 500-bed hospital more than $4 million each year. Additionally, these inefficient systems cause a daily loss of approximately 45 minutes for the average hospital doctor. Numerous challenges contribute to these inefficiencies in clinical workflows, including: 

  • Fragmented Communication: Outdated communication methods often lead to fragmented information exchange, resulting in misunderstandings, delayed responses, and a lack of coordination among care team members. 
     
  • Information Overload: Healthcare professionals are bombarded with vast amounts of information daily. Sorting through this cognitive overload to find critical patient data can be time-consuming and may lead to oversights. 
     
  • Security Concerns:Protecting patient information is a high priority. Insecure communication channels pose a significant risk to patient privacy and may lead to regulatory violations. 

To combat these growing challenges, healthcare leaders are turning to clinical collaboration solutions that can turn their time-consuming manual tasks into automated processes. Automating tasks such as creating physician schedules or searching through the directory to find the nurse on call can increase a team’s productivity by as much as 35-50% and help make significant enhancements to a healthcare system’s clinical workflows.  

Optimizing Clinical Workflows 

Integrated solutions are pivotal in standardizing clinician decision-making processes, delivering evidence-based information at the point of care, fostering patient relationships, automating administrative tasks, and alleviating the burdens on clinicians and staff. Access to comprehensive health data is critical to identifying inefficiencies, addressing health inequities, and influencing informed care decisions. Unfortunately, patient health data is often siloed, lacking structure and accessibility, creating workflow obstacles and hindering evidence-based decision-making. 

Healthcare organizations that take advantage of automated clinical workflows can consolidate this data into one location. Additionally, healthcare leaders who leverage a clinical communication and (CC&C) collaboration platform benefit from efficient clinician scheduling, streamlined communications, smoother patient journeys, resource efficiencies, and enhanced patient health outcomes.  

The TigerConnect Solution 

The TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform offers solutions that help revitalize communication and collaboration in healthcare settings. By improving teamwork, streamlining communication, and optimizing workflows, TigerConnect contributes to better patient outcomes, reduced errors, and an overall enhancement of the healthcare process by making it easy for care teams to access information, data, and alerts in real time.  

Key benefits of TigerConnect solutions include: 

  1. Unified Communication: TigerConnect combines various communication channels, including secure messaging, voice, and video, into one unified solution. This ensures that care teams can communicate seamlessly, breaking down silos and fostering collaboration. 
  1. Real-Time Alerts: TigerConnect provides real-time alerts, enabling care teams to respond promptly to critical situations and make informed decisions quickly. 
  1. Security and Compliance: The platform is designed with robust security features to ensure HIPAA compliance, protect patient privacy, and maintain the trust of healthcare organizations. 
  1. Enhanced Teamwork: By facilitating easy and efficient communication, TigerConnect promotes teamwork among care team members, leading to better care coordination. TigerConnect Roles and Teams eliminates the manual search for on-call specialists or staff contact information, allowing users to quickly locate the right person by their role, thereby accelerating care collaboration without requiring knowledge of individual names. Moreover, predefined groups can be efficiently alerted and mobilized for coordinated care, including the rapid response teams for emergency care, optimizing communication and response times. 
  1. Reduced Errors:Improved communication reduces the likelihood of errors, ensuring the correct information reaches the right people promptly. 

By embracing advanced clinical workflow solutions and integrated communication strategies, the healthcare industry can alleviate the strain on staff, optimize processes, and enhance the overall efficiency of patient care. Implementing seamless coordination among providers, facilities, and support staff is pivotal to navigating this demanding landscape, ensuring that the delivery of healthcare services remains not only effective but also compassionate. Download this infographic on solving clinical workflow inefficiencies with improved care team collaboration to learn more about how TigerConnect enhances productivity and makes a life-saving impact. 

Ryan Bush is a Clinical Nurse Consultant at TigerConnect with over 14 years of experience in a variety of healthcare roles including bedside nurse, clinical applications analyst and most recently a manager of nursing informatics for the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. Ryan holds a Masters and board certification in the field of Nursing Informatics.

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