Reimagining Communication Workflows Series: Part 1 – How Common Communication Deficiencies Impact Care

Reimagining Communication Workflows Series: Part 1 - How Common Communication Deficiencies Impact Care

Achieving the goals of improved outcomes, reduced costs, and a better patient experience calls for new care delivery systems, advanced technology, and adherence to best practices at every point of the patient journey. It also requires all care providers to communicate clearly and completely across the care continuum.

As part of our ongoing series, we will be discussing how new clinical communication and collaboration technologies are reshaping those traditional healthcare communication models.

First, we will be exploring how patient care can suffer when there is a breakdown in communication.

The Problem

Communication breakdowns have long been the root cause of errors and adverse clinical outcomes. Research has shown that effective clinical communication and collaboration strategies lead to better outcomes, reduced errors, fewer redundancies, and more efficient care. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry has been remarkably slow to adopt modern communication methods, in part due to regulatory mandates that have restricted the use of new communication tools.

As a result, nurses are often overwhelmed by phone calls, voicemails, and frequent interruptions by colleagues, patients, and patients’ loved ones. At the same time, physicians are forced to repeatedly log in and out of the electronic health record (EHR) and other clinical applications to access the latest patient information.

Further, physicians must frequently use outdated communications tools such as
pagers, voicemail, and even faxes to share information with colleagues.

Healthcare organizations simply cannot improve or compete in the modern healthcare marketplace by relying on such ineffective communication tools.

A Better Way

A comprehensive, integrated mobile communications platform is the answer.

A true clinical collaboration tool must streamline common workflow processes and enable care team members to communicate instantly and securely, regardless of their location. It should provide them with point-of-care access to a vast array of information, such as EHR data, laboratory information management systems (LIMS), nurse call systems, scheduling services, and answering services. Most importantly, it should enable providers to spend more time with patients and less time trying to track each other down.

TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Pro, the enterprise-wide clinical communications platform from TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Standard, is designed to do just that.

Let Your Communications Flow

TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Pro advances healthcare organizations to the next level of clinical communications. Designed to serve as the central hub for the care team, TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Pro centralizes system-based patient information, enabling physicians, nurses, and support staff to access a wide range of information that is normally accessible only via disparate workstations. This includes clinical data, shift schedules, nurse calls, EHR alerts, medical images, medication lists, and lab test results.

In practical terms, it means that hospitalists can instantly identify and contact on-call specialists, ER physicians can easily share images with on-call cardiologists, and discharge coordinators can mobilize social workers, pharmacy, and physical therapists to expedite discharge.

TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Pro Features include:

Users can initiate phone calls to colleagues with a single tap from a message thread or user profile, saving valuable time when trying to reach specialists, primary care providers (PCPs), nurse supervisors, pharmacists or others. Click-to-Call also shields phone numbers for privacy, respecting a common preference among physicians.

Role-based scheduling automation
Staff can easily identify and communicate with on-call specialists and other individuals without referencing a computer, whiteboard or work schedule. In fact, they don’t even have to know the person’s name. Organizations can assign staff members to specific roles or functions, such as “on-call cardiologist” or “unit secretary – 4th Floor,” making it easy to identify and message the correct specialist or tech.

Staff have instant visibility into future shifts for more effective planning.

Care teams
Users can create care teams around individual patients or rooms to make handoffs easier. New team members have immediate access to previous discussions between other members of the care team, ensuring no important information is missed.

With TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Pro, breakdowns in communication are alleviated. Outcomes are better, costs go down, and most importantly, the experience for the patient improves.

To learn more about TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Pro, download the Reimaging Communications Workflows eBook here.

Up Next: Improving Consult Turnaround Times for Patients

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.