The intricate web of communications that support patient flow from admission to discharge play a critical role in optimizing patient throughput and ensuring the best, timely delivery of patient care.
From patient intake, to bed management and patient placement, care management, scheduling and delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions to discharge planning – any communication breakdown can compromise care. According to The Joint Commission, communication failures are a leading cause of sentinel events.¹
To address this, many healthcare providers are implementing initiatives to streamline workflows and create quicker, more efficient communications, which has been linked to improved collaboration, better patient outcomes, as well as increased ROI.
Recent technology advances, including mobile devices, apps and innovative high-tech solutions support these initiatives by enhancing secure clinical communication and care team collaboration, providing an instant and secure way to connect all members of a patient's care team through a single platform.
Technology has also evolved to include security measures that meet the strictest standards, including HIPAA compliance. This ensures sensitive patient information is secure, prevents costly fines and protects the hospital from negative brand impact.
"Without secure clinical communication and care team collaboration, each patient touchpoint could require at least five additional steps, adding hours to the workflow, door-to-doctor time, and length of patient stay," said Eric Chetwynd, General Manager, Healthcare Solutions at Everbridge.
Communication paths such as phones, e-mail and pagers can lead to delayed responses due to unanswered e-mails and pages as well as phone tag between care teams.
Several studies have also suggested that better coordination of care and communication between acute and post-acute care providers may have the most potential to reduce readmission rates.² This can be attributed to the coordination of care by a team that knows the patient and has mapped out the appropriate care and services.
Poor discharge communication between departments, room turnaround, transport issues and the timing of physician discharge rounds can delay the discharge process and can also lead to the underutilization of available bed(s).
The very nature of caring for multiple patients, who are located in different rooms within a hospital unit requires hospital staff to be mobile. At the same time, caring for these patients also requires coordinating with many members of a patient's care team, across the hospital as well outside of the hospital. This includes scheduling, pharmacy coordination, and delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions as well as discharge planning.
By leveraging a secure clinical communications and collaboration platform, healthcare providers can streamline care coordination among providers inside and outside the facility, enabling greater responsiveness and efficient staffing coverage, which leads to the delivery of more timely, better care and improved ROI.
To learn how you can create an environment that enhances collaboration and increases workflow efficiencies download this whitepaper, Care Coordination: Many Touchpoints, One Strategy for Success.
¹The Joint Commission, Sentinel Event Alert 58, Communication Failures a Major Contributor to Adverse Events in Health Care, September 12, 2017.
²King BJ, Gilmore-Bykovskyi AL, Roiland RA, Polnaszek BE, Bowers BJ, Kind AJ, The consequences of poor communication during transitions from hospital to skilled nursing facility: A qualitative study, J Am Geriatr Soc.,61(7):1095-102, July 2013.