Reclaim an hour or more with integrated mobile communication
It’s no wonder a recent survey shows that 70 percent of nurses report feeling burned out. As patient care demands, care complexity and regulatory uncertainties compound with inefficient clinical communication workflows to create a lethal cocktail for burnout and patient safety concerns.
In these workflows, nurses waste vital time searching fruitlessly for actionable information in the electronic health record (EHR). Or, they wait endlessly for a physician to return their voicemail, page or text message to proceed with care delivery, unsure if the physician has even received the notification.
Eliminating the searching, voicemail or pages, while offering the ability to communicate across teams using a unified, mobile clinical communication platform can improve efficiency and collaboration, reduce burnout and, in effect, return a minimum of one hour back to a nurse’s overflowing workday.
Here are five examples:
- Patient admission from the ER
Admitting a patient from the ER can be time-consuming and frustrating for nurses, physicians and all clinicians due to phone tag and the unit clerk working as an intermediary between the ER physician and the receiving provider who needs handoff information. With a unified, mobile clinical communication platform this process can be streamlined through secure text messaging and access to crucial patient information from the EHR on a mobile device at the point of care. From a smartphone, the ER physician can contact the receiving provider directly by text message and attach the handoff information. The receiving provider can then call the ER physician directly from the app having already reviewed the information, shortening the conversation and making the transition more efficient. Time savings: 20 minutes to 2 hours
- Contacting EVS staff
Few hospitals can afford to have unoccupied rooms when patient care is in high demand and operational costs continue to climb. Too often, however, finding an available environmental services (EVS) technician to clean and prepare the room for a new patient is a multi-step phone-call and pager-driven process involving several parties and confirmations of availability. Instead, the unit secretary can simply text the EVS staff as a group with the specific request and location. A technician in the group can then simply confirm availability with his or her estimated time of arrival, information that would be shared with the requestor. Time savings: 10 to 20 minutes
- Critical incident notification
Perhaps nowhere is time more crucial than when assembling a care team for a clinical emergency, such as a stroke. With clinicians located across the facility or in other buildings, contacting and communicating this information can be tedious, requiring repeated phone calls or overhead speaker announcements, which may go unnoticed. With a unified, mobile clinical communication platform, once the stroke protocol has been set in motion, the unit clerk can forward that priority message to the stroke team. A truly integrated communication platform allows the unit clerk to see who has read the messages and makes it easy for care team members to text quickly with their estimated arrival times. Effective clinical communication systems allow the recipient of the priority message to hear a distinct sound from the device until the message is read. The platform eliminates unnecessary phone calls, uncertainty about who has seen the notification and their status, and better prepares the team before arriving at the patient’s side. Time savings: 10 to 30 minutes
- Lab results status request
In emergency or urgent care situations, waiting on lab results can be highly frustrating and lead to nurses frequently checking the EHR for results and then requesting status from the lab technician. Meanwhile, the patient may be waiting for crucial medication or treatment. The needless extra steps could be eliminated with a push notification-based clinical communication platform integrated with the organization’s laboratory system. The nurse can instead communicate with the lab tech by text message and view results from a mobile device. If results are abnormal, the lab tech can notify the nurse and the ordering physician from the same platform to save additional steps. Time savings: 5 to 25 minutes
- Care coordination
Clinical communication is especially crucial at discharge if the patient is at a higher risk for readmission, which can be financially penalized under Medicare. A post-discharge appointment with that patient’s primary care physician is critical to avoid a readmission, but hospitals too often have the patient schedule the visit, which can be time consuming or forgotten. A discharge summary and care plan also needs to be shared with the primary care physician. An integrated clinical communication platform eliminates the risk of the patient not following through with an appointment or sharing the post-discharge summary. Through the platform, a care manager can execute both of these tasks as the patient is leaving the hospital, which ensures the patient will be seen as soon as possible, avoiding a potential readmission. Time savings: 10 to 20 minutes
Nursing is challenging enough without putting up additional obstacles that only add toil to their day. Instead, a unified, mobile clinical communication platform streamlines many of their most time-consuming daily tasks, saving time, reducing burnout and improving patient experience and outcomes.