Right now, the healthcare industry is undergoing a massive digital transformation. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are adopting cutting-edge technology, becoming more safe and secure (especially when it comes to patient health information), and starting the slow, but important, shift from volume-based to value-based care delivery.
One of the most critical but often overlooked pieces of this revolution is clinical communication platforms and the power they unlock when paired with the real-time delivery of system data such as lab results or ADT orders. Improved communication across healthcare teams can significantly and positively impact a wide range of healthcare outcomes since it affects everyone – staff (both clinical and non-clinical), patients, and affiliate partners.
During the journey to modernize and improve clinical communications, healthcare organizations typically go through several “phases” as they progress. In this blog post, we’ll walk through these phases and share some first-hand experiences our customers have had with TigerConnect when addressing their communication challenges.
It’s been nearly a decade since HIPAA-compliant, secure text messaging arrived on the scene, laying the groundwork for all clinical communication platforms. Without it, physicians, nurses and allied health professionals risk a serious HIPAA violation. These fines can range anywhere from $50,000-$250,000 for a single violation up to one million dollars collectively for the organization. While it’s incredibly important for compliance reasons to have secure texting in your healthcare facility, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The more advanced cousin to secure texting solutions is the clinical communication platform, which seamlessly blends communication and system data to enhance workflows and care coordination across the health network.
In this pre-phase, buyers should look for advanced solutions that offer powerful texting capabilities as baseline functionality like group messaging, message recall, message lifespan, delivery confirmation, priority messaging, message archiving, and more. The solution should also allow designated IT administrators to establish user-management guidelines, set security policies, onboard users easily, and if needed, provision devices. Again, and most importantly, look for a solution that will help you navigate to future phases of clinical communication as your needs grow.
“We deployed TigerConnect to give our care providers a more efficient, secure communication tool, and quickly realized that we had a powerful care coordination solution. TigerConnect improves our care team approach within our ACO and helps us take a more patient-centric approach by allowing our providers to quickly identify and communicate with the correct specialists within the ACO. We’ve not only reduced costs, but we’ve also maintained below average industry readmission rates.”
— Faron Thompson, CIO at Innovation Care Partners (ICP)
Healthcare communications work best when users can easily find and message the staff member they need when they’re needed. Role-based messaging does exactly this. It lets an ED nurse reach the Cardiologist on call by simply messaging the role – no name or phone number required. When tied to the shift schedule, this “role-based messaging” can have a profound effect on patient throughput and the quality of patient care.
This second phase could be characterized in a single word – integration. Here are the three most critical factors of this phase:
“TigerConnect is just the solution we needed to help us coordinate care in a seamless, effective manner and improve overall workflow, ultimately helping to enhance our patients’ safety and satisfaction.”
— Martin Fee, M.D., Chief Medical Information Officer
“Our productivity has definitely increased with TigerConnect, in a number of different ways. Response times have dramatically changed here at Temple. Before, we would go onto the On-Call Schedule, identify who was On-Call and send them a message. Often times there was no response. Now, when a TigerConnect is sent, you can actually see when that person has read the message.”
— Joe Alfonsi, Director of Temple Access Center, Temple Health
We’re firm believers that virtual care will play an integral role in the future of healthcare overall. With popular consumer applications like FaceTime and Skype, it’s easier than ever to connect with friends and family. Patient expectations are already beginning to shift as technology advances are made in the healthcare industry. Wearables and remote monitoring technologies, as well as telehealth options, are making remote care possible, and with these advancements, patient expectations are quickly shifting.
In this most advanced and evolving phase of clinical communications, care providers are able to invite their patients into the conversation and focus on that critical period right before a patient is discharged and the days after they leave the facility. The most advanced patient communication solutions allow conversations by text, voice, or video that can be initiated by the health professional and can include patients, family members, and the primary care physician, who can ask questions, share photos, and read attachments.
Overall, virtual care has the power to reduce costs, reduce readmissions, and improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. Working your way through these phases will help ensure a successful and effective clinical communication deployment.
For a more in-depth view of the technology and benefits at each phase, along with a set of blueprints and benchmarks to maximize your success, download our “Navigating the Phases of Clinical Communication” eBook.
Your Guide to Navigating the Phases of Clinical Communication