Rethinking Care Team Communication at Providence Saint John’s Health Center

Rethinking Care Team Communication at Providence Saint John’s Health Center

The TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform has helped Providence Saint John's cut length of stay by 20%

At Providence Saint John’s Health Center, time is everything. As a Comprehensive Stroke Center and STEMI receiving center, where speed is a determinant of patient outcomes, Dr. Russ Kino, medical director of emergency services and chief medical informatics officer, knows all too well the challenges of coordinating care during the daily whirlwind of activity. With busy schedules and diverse roles across their clinical teams, “trying to have a synchronous conversation is really impractical for our workflow,” he explains.  

In a recent HIMSSCast episode, Dr. Russ Kino, along with Will O’Connor, MD, chief medical information officer at TigerConnect, explore how integrating with TigerConnect helped Providence Saint John’s better manage clinical communication and streamline workflows with text-based platforms. 

 

How Providence Saint John’s Health Center Unified Clinical Communication

 

The need for streamlined communication in fast-paced environments 

Managing communication in Providence Saint John’s emergency department was becoming increasingly complex with 23 call panels of nearly 400 positions covering almost all specialties. Physicians had varying preferences for being contacted, either by text, phone call, or through their office – making it challenging for ED coordinators to keep track and accommodate. Additionally, the usual phone call system often led to a frustrating cycle of phone tag, as consultants might be busy with patients or procedures, causing delays and inefficiencies in urgent communication. 

The solution was integrating a standardized communication platform that could adapt to their pace and ensure critical information flowed freely and securely – enter the TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform. 

“TigerConnect really fit the bill for us,” Dr. Kino notes. With HIPAA-compliant, asynchronous messaging capabilities accessible via mobile phones, teams are able to connect instantly, regardless of location or preferred communication method. “The benefits have been really quite remarkable,” Kino continued. 

TigerConnect facilitates role-based and group messaging and simplifies connecting with the right on-call specialist or nurse without needing to know their names. This ensures real-time, accurate information transfer and minimizes the risk of burnout among off-duty staff by avoiding unnecessary contact and alerts. This approach maintains seamless care coordination by reducing confusion and delays in time-sensitive care scenarios. 

Providence Saint John’s has reduced patient length of stay by 20%, improved the overall quality of care, and fostered a more collaborative care environment by streamlining communication with TigerConnect. 

The ripple effect of improved communication 

Dr. Kino highlights that good, streamlined team coordination is the foundation for patient outcomes and hospital success alike.  

Patient Safety – Efficiency underscores safety. The quicker patients move through the care continuum, from admission to discharge, the better their chances of a positive outcome. This rapid coordination is especially crucial in emergencies like stroke or heart attack, where every second counts. 

Patient Satisfaction – In addition to this, patients want to be seen quickly. By reducing communication delays, TigerConnect helps reduce unnecessary waiting, directly translating to higher patient satisfaction and faster patient throughput. When patients see their care being managed efficiently, their trust in the healthcare system strengthens. 

Financial Outcomes – Reducing the length of hospital stays doesn’t just benefit patients; it has a tangible positive impact on a hospital’s financial health. Shorter stays mean more efficient use of resources and the ability to care for more patients. With elevated capacity to enhance efficiency, the hospital’s bottom line benefits greatly. 

Safety, quality, and financial bottom lines all align with moving the patient through the continuum of care more efficiently. Being able to communicate and send important information quickly speeds up patient movement and accelerates their discharge. 

HIPAA-Compliant Messaging for Efficient Clinical Communication 

One of the standout features of TigerConnect, as underscored by Dr. Kino, is its adherence to HIPAA-compliant messaging. With features like the auto-delete functionality that removes messages after 10 days, ensuring they remain undiscoverable, the hospital is able to uphold strict standards of patient privacy and data protection. This allows for the secure transmission of sensitive information, like EKG images, maintaining compliance with HIPAA regulations while facilitating efficient communication among healthcare providers. 

By embracing a solution that ensures efficient, secure, and reliable communication, Providence Saint John’s has significantly enhanced the quality of patient care. The integration of the TigerConnect CC&C platform has not only streamlined communication but also positively impacted patient safety, satisfaction, and the hospital’s financial health. This underscores the potential of innovative communication tools to revolutionize care delivery and outcomes in healthcare settings. 

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