People who have worked on a care delivery team have a different definition of the word “collaboration” from their peers in the corporate world. While collaborating on the design of a product, for example, is broadly analogous to collaborating on a cancer diagnosis, the difference is in the details. Both processes involve people working together to achieve a collectively desired outcome. That’s where the similarity ends, however. For this reason, it is usually a mistake to deploy a standard corporate communication platform for use in a healthcare setting. Instead, a purpose-built clinical communication and collaboration solution for the clinical environment is a better choice.
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Horizontal communication and collaboration solutions like Microsoft Teams are designed for a wide variety of corporate use cases. They are suitable for enabling teams to take care of day-to-day group tasks and quick chats. However, using communication solutions not built for healthcare to communicate about or with patients can put you and your patients at risk. Not all communications solutions are HIPAA compliant out-of-the-box. HIPAA compliant clinical communication and collaboration solutions deliver basic features from secure messaging to more advanced capabilities such as voice and video communication.
A solution used by a care delivery team must be HIPAA compliant. If it isn’t, there can be a range of consequences, including fines. Most consumer-facing collaboration tools are not HIPAA compliant. More broadly, it takes deep healthcare knowledge to create a clinical communication and collaboration platform with the specific, vital functionality required for patient care.
Microsoft Teams does not ship with healthcare-specific workflows, such as “request physician consult,” “transfer patient,” and so forth. A purpose-built solution offers workflows that enable better communication, collaboration, and care outcomes. For example, a specific patient discharge workflow can result in a more efficient discharge process, without unnecessary delays. A purpose-built clinical collaboration platform is designed with insight into common healthcare workflows, such as the number of patients that move in and out of healthcare organizations every day.
Purpose-built clinical communication and collaboration solutions can integrate with other clinical systems, such as nurse call, alarm management, patient engagement, and EHRs. Microsoft Teams does not ship with such enterprise integrations ready to go and requires a custom integration which can be a prohibitively expensive proposition.
In contrast to non-HIPAA compliant solutions, a purpose-built clinical communication solution offers a number of advantages in a clinical setting. TigerConnect products come with pre-built integrations with nurse call systems, which can perform patient room callbacks. They connect with alarm management functions or offer their own. They also integrate with a healthcare organization’s EHR to bring context into clinical communication.
Purpose-built clinical communication solutions offer telephony integration, which is essential in a healthcare environment. TigerConnect, for example, which has PBX integration, is able to replace PBX calling apps such as Cisco Jabber, Skype for Business, Avaya Equinox, and Microsoft Teams. TigerConnect is similarly able to replace cordless phones with smartphones or smart devices from Ascom, Cisco, and Spectralink—all of which facilitate faster and better care coordination and delivery.
Clinical collaboration can get better with the right communication and collaboration toolset. Generic collaboration solutions are not optimal. TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration offers a purpose-built collaboration solution that integrates with other telephony systems and essential clinical systems.