This scenario likely happens to most nurses on a daily basis: A patient is having a problem, not urgent, but the nurse decides that a physician’s input is required. The nurse finds a printed or handwritten whiteboard call list, but, of course, it hasn’t been updated for that shift. The nurse needs to then scroll through a directory, search hallways or ask other clinicians in hopes that someone knows the correct on-duty physician to contact. Meanwhile, precious minutes tick away that could be spent at the point of care.
This inefficient process frustrates everyone involved, especially nurses, who have enough direct patient care duties that they cannot afford to waste time with the simple act of identifying and calling a physician. Unfortunately, most clinical communication solutions have not helped to improve the search. Even in the age of smartphones, secure texting and Wi-Fi everywhere, effective and efficient technology-enabled communication seems to elude many healthcare organizations.
This dilemma is why so many clinical communication tools are not fully adopted by nurses. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) states that user adoption is highly influenced by the perceived usefulness of the system. When it comes to nursing, if a technology or solution does not fit within existing workflows or help make processes more efficient, the investment likely will not pay off. Nurses need clinical communication technology that provides the same support that technology such as smartphones do in our day-to-day lives – tools that are intuitive and easy to incorporate into everyday workflows.
From a smartphone or desktop application, nurses want to be able to simply search for physicians by their role to identify who is on duty, rather than needing to know who they are and how and where to reach them. From their smartphone application, nurses could then tap on the role, then choose to text or automatically connect with the physician’s preferred (de-identified) number for instant communication. The nurse would never need to leave the patient’s bedside to contact the physician. In turn, the patient would see their caregivers immediately responding to their concerns, which is certain to boost patient satisfaction.
The same communication efficiency would apply to text messages as well. Physicians, many of whom now prefer to communicate by text, appreciate the convenience of having a single, integrated application where they can access both care team communications and relevant patient information to support their decisions all in one place.
This year’s American Organization for Nurse Executives (AONE) conference celebrates “50 years of inspiring leaders.” As most of us know, leaders are created, not born. We create leaders by giving them the training, encouragement, and tools they need to be successful. Communication is at the epicenter of what nurses do as primary caregivers and coordinators for admitted patients. Healthcare providers deserve the tools to help them eliminate inefficiencies, perform at their best and become tomorrow’s leaders. Learn more from our eBook, Communication Optimization for Nurse Teams.
Visit us at AONE 2017 at booth #77 to learn how TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Standard eliminates traditional clinical communication barriers for care teams with features such as Roles Scheduling Automation to make patient care more efficient and effective.