Communication and collaboration tools transform clinicians’ workflows
The evolution of clinical communication and collaboration tools
CC&C platforms were created to allow providers and clinicians to communicate securely in real time, as text messaging is not a HIPAA compliant form of communication. These tools provide a quick and efficient method for nurses, providers and auxiliary staff to reach a hospitalist when needed.
The next development was the consolidation of multiple modes of communication, including voice over IP, on a single device with nurse call alarms and telemetry alerts. Additional functionality has been added to many CC&C platforms, including the development of electronic health records and integration capabilities for barcode medication administration.
CC&C Capabilities Transforming Clinician Workflows
CC&C platforms benefit healthcare organizations by creating process improvements for clinician workflows and improving communication, leading to both faster care and faster exits, a major factor in the return on investment of technology. Three specific features make workflows more efficient:
- Role-based calls eliminates the need to scroll through a directory of names. Instead, a clinician can view a patient’s information in the CC&C platform to find the associated healthcare team, which can be searched through roles. This allows nurses or other clinicians to reach the people they need faster without worrying about who is working a specific shift. Association of applications, like role-based calling, lighten the cognitive load on the clinician by enabling seamless switching between clinical applications without having to repeatedly tap a smartphone to access the right app for a clinical workflow use case .
- Dynamic directory provides an escalation path to ensure that a clinician’s message is answered. This feature relies on response rules to automatically direct a call to a patient’s specific care provider. It takes into account the schedules and hours of response service and can alert the clinician when a particular person is available.
- Active response reduces noise due to overhead paging. This CC&C feature allows you to create rapid response groups, such as a stroke response team. In emergency situations, the platform can send an alert directly to members of this predefined group, allowing them to activate quickly while eliminating the extra noise of airborne alerts, which can be alarming to patients.
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Benefits of CC&C tools for healthcare during the pandemic
Effective communication has become particularly critical during the pandemic. CC&C platforms allow healthcare facilities to set up special broadcast groups, such as a cluster comprising supply chain teams, enabling real-time communication faster than voicemail or text when more PPE is needed.
Some hospitals have even used CC&C capabilities to allow patients and their families to communicate when visitors are not allowed. For example, with mobile clinics, CC&C tools ensure fast and secure communication between the mobile area and the main hospital location. The pandemic has spurred innovation due to the need for real-time communication and flexibility in space.
CC&C Best Practices for Implementation
Some healthcare organizations want to deploy iPhone devices for their clinicians, but it’s important to first consider how the technology will be used and how to automate the management of the devices. Successful deployment of CC&C platforms requires discussion between IT and clinical staff.
A clinical mobility workshop can help a healthcare organization understand both its clinical and business needs to develop a CC&C strategy that will work for both parties.
LEARN MORE: How can a clinical mobility workshop improve patient care?
It’s also important for a healthcare organization to make sure it has super users who like technology and mobility to help other clinicians who may be struggling.
One way to measure the success of a technology deployment is to determine KPIs, such as average discharge rate or response time, and monitor how that KPI evolves over time. Seeing these improvements can provide motivation for further adoption or increased use of CC&C tools.
This article is part of Health technology‘s MonITor Blog Series. Please join the discussion on Twitter using #WellnessIT.