On a typical day, hospitals already operate at near or maximum capacity. When a critical event occurs, whether a high-acuity patient case, natural or man-made disaster, or cybersecurity incident, a hospital’s ability to adapt and respond determines whether they can maintain critical operations.
To build high resilience, safeguard the continuity of services and ensure the best patient outcomes, hospitals are taking a more proactive approach to managing critical events. In particular, the new approach is powered for peak operational response and addresses three key areas of impact for hospitals: clinical, safety and security, and high-impact IT incidents, as outlined in the graphic below.
The Statistics are Real
According to a report by the American College of Emergency Physicians, 93% of 247 emergency physicians surveyed say they are not fully prepared for patient surge capacity in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, or mass-casualty incident.
Further heightening the risk to healthcare facilities is the rise in man-made incidents, including active shooter events. According to a recent survey, 32% of healthcare professionals believe the odds of an active shooter incident occurring at their facility is high or very high.¹ Hospitals are also facing increased rates of workplace violence with healthcare and human services workers five times as likely to be attacked or assaulted on the job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition, approximately 62% of hospital executives reported a cyberattack in the past year and more than half of those reported losing patient data.²
Despite the frequency and severity of natural and man-made disasters, everyday hospitals continually strive to increase workflow efficiencies and improve patient outcomes in a cost-effective way. Communication and collaboration are core to achieving these standards, yet it's one of the most challenging aspects of providing healthcare. According to the Joint Commission, 37% of all sentinel events are caused by a communication or assessment issue.
Build High Resilience
The long-lasting, negative implications of a failed response can reach far beyond operational excellence, financial stability and brand reputation to touch patient lives as well as hospital staff. By leveraging a critical events management system, hospitals can better respond to clinical, safety and security and high impact IT incidents.
Powered by technology, a critical events management system is designed to serve as an efficient co-ordination hub, automated to streamline workflows, enhance a team approach and save time when seconds matter.
For high-risk cases such as STEMI patients, patient health is contingent on the speed of treatment and ability to quickly assemble a team of specialists. A break-down in communication, inefficient workflow or a hand-off error can have a negative impact on the delivery of care, placing lives at stake. Yet, according to the Joint Commission, 37% of all sentinel events are caused by a communication or assessment issue.
For STEMI cases this can lead to a door-to-balloon time of more than 90 minutes – in these cases time is muscle. Hospitals that leverage communication and collaboration tools are able to pre-activate their STEMI team, either from the field or from triage. This is essential in getting the patient to the right place, at the right time, and ensuring quick intervention.
Leveraging this approach not only improves clinical communication and care team collaboration but during natural or man-made disasters, it can drastically reduce response times and de-escalate incidents. With emerging safety and security risks, hospitals need a reliable, immediate way for staff to call for help and a quick, efficient way for responding teams to immediately gain situational awareness and location-detection.
When cybersecurity incidents or high-impact IT incidents occur, safety systems and EHR systems aren't accessible, internal and external communications fail, and hospital throughput and efficiency immediately decline.
Systems that are automated and feature multi-channel, two-way communication are critical in ensuring staff receive relevant, up-to-the-minute messaging that may be configured to factor in staff roles and proximity to the event or facility as well as provide a way for staff to report incidents.
By taking a critical management approach, hospitals can increase response team activation and mobilization, reducing the time it takes to resolve incidents, while reducing alert fatigue and the impact on operations.
Learn if your hospital is powered for peak operational response during a crisis, whether a high-impact clinical, IT, or safety and security incident. Download the whitepaper, Build a Highly Resilient Hospital.
¹Jacobs LM, and Burns KJ. "The Hartford Consensus: Survey of the Public and Healthcare Professionals on Active Shooter Events in Hospitals." J Am Coll Surg. 3, no. 225 ( Jul 2017): 585-625
²Ponemon Institute and Merlin International. "Impact of Cyber Insecurity on Healthcare Organizations," Infographic, 2018.