When most healthcare stakeholders think of clinical communication trends, secure text messaging is often the first thing that comes to mind. While this is certainly important, it’s only the first step toward enabling enterprise-wide clinical communication – which is critical to providing team-based care with faster responses, fewer interruptions, and less paperwork.
Here are the five trends that Halo expects to define clinical communication and collaboration in 2019.
- Actionable Communication. A single patient typically generates 80 MB of health data each year, whether it’s lab results, EHR notes, or alerts. It’s critical for health systems to get the right information to the right person at the right time. A true Clinical Communication Platform™ that leverages a health system’s real-time scheduling data can route messages to a role, not an individual. This pushes messages to the staff who are caring for a patient in the moment, accounting for the nuances of shift changes, clinical rotations, and dynamic care team models. This enables faster and more informed decision-making, which improves outcomes and boosts patient satisfaction.
- Appropriate Use. Clinical communication is not the same as emailing or texting friends and family. Clinical messaging is for immediate communication, so wording should be concise, specific, and efficient. Staff should pay attention to spelling and read over messages before hitting Send, to ensure accuracy and prevent errors. Finally, avoid unnecessary messages. While “Thank you!” may be a fitting response in many professional settings, in a health system it is an interruption to the care delivery process.
- Network Resilience. Adopting a Clinical Communication Platform is more than implementing new software. It’s also working with a trusted partner to evaluate network readiness and provide the reliability, capacity, and security that clinical staff can count on. As health systems consider the addition of hundreds (if not thousands) of new mobile devices that support messaging, voice, system alerts and scheduling, they also need to consider minimizing dead zones, increasing Wi-Fi access points, and maximizing network load.
- Device Selection. Health systems need devices that can withstand drops, bleach cleanings, and 12 hours of constant use (which includes the ability to hot-swap batteries without losing power). Medical-grade communication tools from vendors such as Zebra may be more expensive than consumer-grade smartphones. However, the ability to endure the wear and tear of a hospital or medical practice gives them a lower overall total cost of ownership. A clinical communication and collaboration partner will help your system deploy the appropriate devices for each business unit.
- Enterprise-Level Collaboration. As the care continuum expands, health systems need a clinical collaboration strategy that reaches beyond the four walls of the hospital. Patient care increasingly requires communication with clinical providers or non-clinical community partners located in another department, building, or even another region. Siloed, on-premise messaging tools cannot support this level of collaboration.
Is your health system ready to move beyond hospital-based text messaging and implement a Clinical Communication Platform that’s available to all members of the care team? Request a demo of Halo today.