Reimagining Communication Workflows Series: Part 3 – Communicating Critical Test Results in Real-time

Reimagining Communication Workflows Series: Part 3 – Communicating Critical Test Results in Real-time

Achieving the triple aim of better 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.

In our last post, we explored improving consult turnaround times for patients. In this article we will be exploring how real-time messaging leads to improved communication for lab techs and clinicians.

The Problem

Ordering physicians should be notified as soon as critical lab and test results are available. But reliance on ineffective communication methods causes potentially harmful delays. Too often, a tedious volley of pages, phone calls and voicemail messages ensues between nurses, the unit secretary, the lab and the ordering physician the minute a stat lab is ordered—with no way for senders to confirm whether the message was received. When valuable time is wasted, delays in diagnosis and treatment can have devastating consequences.

Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Tri-Cities, WA sought a mobile solution that would enable nurses, physicians, and lab technicians to instantly share critical lab and test results without relying on phone calls or pagers. The 270-bed, not-for-profit medical center is often short on beds and needed a care collaboration tool that would help reduce unnecessary and delayed admissions of non-critical patients.

Part of the problem was its lab result notification process. If a patient lab result was logged and noted as “critical” within the electronic health record (EHR), the nurse would receive a phone call and then would have to pass the call along to the appropriate doctor. This process could take hours.

A Better Way

By integrating TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Standard with its Epic EHR platform, Kadlec can now route automated data from its Epic EHR through its Infor Cloverleaf Integration Suite, and push it out directly to the doctor’s mobile device. Doctors receive an alert on their mobile device the moment abnormal results are entered into the EHR, and can easily share the information with other specialists, even those outside of the hospital system.

Where to Start

TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Standard is an easy-to-use messaging app for smartphones or workstations that helps organizations improve care team communications and collaboration while achieving HIPAA-compliance.

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 – Standard benefits include:

Achieve HIPAA Compliance
TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Standard’s secure and encrypted, HITRUST-certified application protects patient information and meets HIPAA guidelines, even guaranteeing your organization against fines.

Replace Outdated Technologies
Save time and improve communication efficiency by alleviating phone tag, unanswered pages, and disruption to patients and care team members.

Manage Users and Enforce
Policies Maintain full control with the administrative console for managing users and devices while setting and enforcing security policies.

Optimize Workflows
Enable staff to quickly communicate and coordinate with other departments for consults, transfers, medication reconciliation, and more.

Integrate with Existing Applications
Save time and reduce steps by integrating TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Standard with paging systems, answering services, and LDAP/Active Directory.

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

Up Next: Improving transitions of care

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.