Optimizing Clinical Communication and Workflow Efficiency

Optimizing Clinical Communication and Workflow Efficiency

Delivering best-in-class patient care begins and ends with efficient, effective communication. Used well, clinical communication improves care outcomes, drives clarity throughout diagnosis and treatment, and reduces issues for caregivers and patients. Used poorly, bad clinical communication means rework, disruption, frustration, and poorer outcomes for the patient.

Here at TigerConnect, enhancing clinical communication is at the heart of what we do. It’s in our DNA. To make your job easier, and your patients healthier, is the reason we built our products in the first place.

There’s just one problem — even powerful software is not a silver bullet. You need the right workflow, integrations, and processes around using that software to truly transform how you communicate.

Here’s how to do that.

Fit the Technology to the Process, Not the Other Way Around

Although we love clinical communication solutions like TigerConnect, it doesn’t make sense to choose the technology before understanding how your clinical communications are going to work. You need to sketch out and plan your processes and requirements long before you choose the right technology.

This means understanding all of the ways medical information gets into and out of the system, how data is going to be used, which integrations are needed, how updates are handled, meeting confidentiality, HIPAA requirements, and much more.

Talk to caregivers, business analysts, and people who use clinical communications to understand where there’s friction in the system that can be addressed. You need to dig into the details so you can come up with a strategy and processes that will empower your staff, not limit them.

Ensure the Technology Integrates with Your Other Clinical Systems

No software works in isolation. Almost every healthcare provider uses electronic health records, imaging, security software, and other technology as part of how they manage medical data. It is vital that your communication software integrates effectively with all of the other systems you use on a daily basis.

Test Your Processes and Clinical Communication before Committing

It’s crucial that your clinical communications work well. You should develop focus groups and testers that can look at every part of your communications planning and technology to identify areas in your workflows where poor communication is causing slowdowns. Complete limited-scope, test implementations in small, non-critical parts of your healthcare organization. Thoroughly test to identify problems before completing a full rollout of any process or technology.

Meet All Your Clinical Compliance and Data Protection Needs

Protecting medical data is vital. Make sure that your technology and clinical communication processes meet all the requirements for data encryption and management:

  • Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act
  • Move to “value-based” healthcare
  • The Affordable Care Act and relevant changes
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • International healthcare and data compliance requirements outside the US

You need processes and technology that help your healthcare staff work better, together. Involve key people, stakeholders, and testers from the inception of your clinical communications project. Build the process first, then choose the technology. Ensure proper integration with all your other systems, and choose technology like TigerConnect that can demonstrate and track record of success for both large health systems as well as smaller facility types.

Will O’Connor, M.D. is the Chief Medical Information Officer at TigerConnect. As a physician executive with more than 20 years of healthcare experience, Will is a passionate advocate for rapid advancement across the healthcare industry.

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