Healthcare Moves Ever Closer To a Cloud-Based Future

As the gravity of lost revenue from COVID-19 hits home, hospitals and health systems are looking for any avenue they can find to offset the massive loss in revenue that came as elective procedures dried up and costs mounted for equipment, overtime, and other sources. In order to save on maintenance, upgrade, and scalability costs, many of these health systems are shifting toward cloud-based software and communication solutions to help reduce costs by accelerating care delivery and optimizing every minute of clinicians’ time. Spend a little, save a lot.

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The High, Hidden Costs of EHR Texting Modules

It may be tempting for IT teams to use the built-in, perceived-convenience of the EHR texting module, but the real problem is that these texting modules do not function as true, clinical communication solutions, and thus deliver limited utility. Most are not scalable like cloud-based software, nor do they offer the feature-rich, purpose-built communication and collaboration solutions that care teams need to collaborate effectively.

Clinicians have experienced firsthand the bottlenecks of relying on EHR texting modules for secure, dynamic, and instant communication.

  • Lack of functionality
  • Service gaps during EHR outages and downtime
  • Collaboration barriers
  • No role-based messaging
  • Lack of scheduling integration

On-site solutions afford IT control, but they also bring their own set of issues, requiring routine hardware and software upgrades, physical space, energy, and higher TCO in general. Worst of all, if these physical servers go down for any reason, all care team workflows and communications come to a screeching halt, ITs job gets a lot tougher in a hurry.

In addition, EHR texting solutions also inherently lack collaboration functionalities that may be necessary for the healthcare facility. After all, the EHR was always designed to store patient information and facilitate billable procedures, not enable communication and collaboration among care teams and patients.

Finally, with cloud solutions, conversations can happen outside of the patient record for greater freedom and more candid sharing of information among staff.

Heading Toward the Cloud

Cloud software is most effective when it’s used to optimize workflows, patient outcomes, and communication.

  • Complete, all-in-one, integrated solution
  • Robust functionality, features, and integrations
  • Multi-facility access beyond the four walls of hospitals
  • Network effect by connecting providers, patients, and families
  • Cloud-based software eases the burden on IT and brings value to staff through:
  • Better ease-of-use
  • Broad access for all staff across facilities
  • 100% scalability
  • Real-time, role-based messaging
  • An extensible API

Platform Dependability

Implementing a native cloud-based platform instantly offers better uptime and will remain fully operational, even during EHR downtime when texting modules lag. Cloud-based software means vital communication won’t fall through the cracks.

Cloud-based platforms also offer security and compliance for added peace of mind. Clinicians can provide better care without getting hung up on workflow bottlenecks, and through this increased reliability and collaboration, staff comes to trust the solution to deliver in both business-as-usual situations as well the most urgent code events.

Better Transparency

Using a single app for all staff interaction allows the entire care team to communicate and collaborate across the health system. This is especially useful when multiple EHRs are in place – staff can communicate and share information seamlessly.

Unlike most EHR secure texting solutions, which can take up to 10 minutes per user, provisioning with cloud solutions is both quick and simple for clinical and non-clinical staff It also offers more team transparency. Working alongside multi-inbox, inter-enterprise messaging, and convenient desktop-mobile sync, cloud software enhances communication clarity.

Optimizing Workflows

Role-based messaging through cloud-based platforms lets staff interact with who they need to at any time. This ability to reach the right team member instantly can greatly improve overall care quality and the patient experience.

Message continuity allows clinicians to inherit patient-centered conversations for the assigned role, delivering more efficient workflows and transparency. Message and delivery escalations also provide important information front and center, as do alerts and alarms.

Provider Communication

For those on the care team, cloud software could one day lead to widespread pager replacement. Facilities are already beginning to move toward modern technology like HIPAA-compliant secure text messaging and native VoIP voice and video calling.

In addition, VoIP and direct-dial features mask the caller’s phone number affording privacy and greater convenience for care providers. Setting a conversation lifespan can also help organize communication and declutter the conversation.

Patient Communication

A cloud-based solution typically may not require patients to download yet another app or memorize logins. A simple text-based interface is one that they’re always used to.

Choosing what is most convenient for them, patients may communicate via video, voice, and secure text. These conversations can also take place through methods like group, broadcast, and scheduled messaging.

Critical Integrations

Finally, cloud-based platforms don’t aim to eliminate the EHR, but to integrate and work in tandem toward advancing communication, workflows, and care team collaboration.

Cloud-based solutions are interoperable with any EHR and can be integrated with numerous functionalities like scheduling, nurse call, and paging systems, as well as answering services.

Going Cloud

Choosing to transition to a fully cloud-based platform as your communication and collaboration solution may come with numerous questions. Not to worry; TigerConnect is here to help.

Please feel free to contact us to request a demo or learn how upgrading your clinical communications platform reduces costs for your organization while improving workflows for your entire care team.

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