- The COVID-19 pandemic has required hospitals to extend their reach into their communities
- Community connection will continue to be crucial in supporting patient care
- Hospital communication systems are essential to this effort
The COVID-19 pandemic has required healthcare organizations to extend their reach into communities like never before, and hospital communication systems have to support healthcare organizations in this effort.
It has been a long time in the making. As stated by Ryan Smith, CIO at Intermountain Healthcare, “I think the pandemic forced us to wake up quite a bit toward consumerism in healthcare. We’ve been talking about that for the better part of the decade, but it feels like it’s really here now.”
Anjali Taneja, executive director of Casa de Salud, expounded on this concept saying, “There’s a need for healthcare to be deeply empathetic, to have a great situational awareness of what’s going on around us, to see our patients affected by these pandemics and to provide psychological safety within our teams – and with and for our communities.”
Improving communication and connection with the community is a multi-fold objective for healthcare organizations.
- Clinicians have to be aware of the factors impacting patient populations and,
- They have to be able to come together internally, to communicate and collaborate, to effectively address and support those factors during care delivery
The second part of that objective is often challenging.
Consumer Demand, The Diverse Care Team, & Hospital Communication Systems
Maintaining connection amongst the care team has become increasingly difficult, as care team members extend across organizations, but their hospital communication systems often don’t.
Who is available for consults? How do I reach them? These are just a few of the most common clinical communication frustrations. They create delays in care that not only put patients at risk but make meeting consumer demand and expectations exceedingly challenging.
A large driver of patient satisfaction relates to feeling that the care team is in communication with one another – that everyone is on the same page with what is affecting the patient medically and any outside factors that may be influencing the patient’s medical situation.
However, due to fragmented hospital communication systems, this is often not the case.
Patients are left asking, “if my care team can’t communicate, how can they adequately support my care?” In this way, fragmented communication creates distrust and impacts everything from care delivery to loyalty and referrals.
Hospital communication systems need to connect health systems with their affiliates, to empower all clinicians at all organizations to be able to securely communicate across a broad and disperse network of care.
Improving Clinical Collaboration & Hospital Communication Systems
It’s not surprising, that clinical communication improvement initiatives are on the rise.
However, knowing how and where to start assessing hospital communication systems isn’t always clear.
To help in this effort, a Halo Health webinar discussed:
- How to evaluate existing communication infrastructures
- Setting up a project charter for success, including roles and responsibilities
- Components of unified communication and clinical communication improvement
- How to evaluate hospital communication systems in a crowded market
Watch the webinar to learn more.