Covid-19 and natural disasters highlight the need for
- COVID-19 highlights gaps in hospital technology and processes, showing disaster planning isn’t enough.
- Clinical response to COVID-19 can be hampered when technology disparities limit clinicians’ ability to keep up with rapid changes and urgent communications.
- Clinical collaboration platforms allow for technology consolidation and access to a single truth about patients.
- Moving from documentation and fragmented technology to innovative clinical collaboration platforms requires strong leadership.
In a recent article for Healthcare Innovation, Halo Health Chief Medical Officer Angel Mena, M.D. wrote about the technology disparities among hospitals.
Effects of Clinical Technology Disparities
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, technology was a top priority across the healthcare industry. A 2018 study showed that hospitals waste about $12 billion per year that could be helped by improving communication. Another study found 57% of 7,149 malpractice cases involved miscommunication between two or more healthcare providers.
It’s highly common for hospitals to depend on fragmented technology and documentation. During urgent and emergent situations, emails, texts, and virtual meetings are used to disseminate urgent and essential information. But not all systems are secure. Using a single secure platform for communication and collaboration ensures all clinicians are on the same page and updated on rapidly changing protocols and recommendations.
Opportunities to Improve Hospital Technology
Implementing a role-based communication system allows the activation of a code team, with the click of a button. This sends information to multiple clinical staffers, including on-call clinicians, by relying on scheduling data integrated in the solution. Using role-based communication takes out the wait time, mistakes, and confusion. This approach lessens miscommunication and long response times.
The use of various methods of communication and gaps in collaboration processes lead to privacy concerns as well. Platforms for communication and collaboration follow HIPAA compliance procedures and keep information in one place.
In times of COVID-19 and other extreme circumstances, including hurricanes, extreme weather, and other disasters, in-person meetings and updates aren’t always feasible. Hospitals are constantly moving between teams and workflows, so a collaborative platform for quality and effectiveness makes sense.
The COVID-19 pandemic magnified long-standing technology deficiencies. Hospital leaders must recognize technology limitations and have an opportunity to address disparities by overhauling outdated systems and implementing a collaborative platform.
To learn more, read the full article in Healthcare Innovation.