- COVID-19 required quick adaptation by clinicians for collaboration and communication.
- Hospital pagers serve as a mere alert system without the necessary capabilities to streamline collaboration and improve patient outcomes.
- Collaboration platforms provide a centralized place for patient information where providers can discuss and refine care plans.
- Collaboration platforms are beneficial for all involved in the healthcare system from clinicians to IT.
In a May 2021 article, Halo Health CEO Jose Barreau discussed the takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic related to collaboration and communication. In the article, he shares how the hospital pager was once an innovative solution, but it has become obsolete over the years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined a known concern with hospital pagers, but now more than ever, the upgrade is mandatory.
Collaboration Platforms Are Long Overdue
While hospital pagers were a welcome discovery 70 years ago, they are now outmoded and interfering with proper collaboration. Jose emphasizes that hospital pagers are not up to par and often require additional tools that lead to fragmented communication.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, depending on hospital pagers led to gaps in patient care and clinicians not having complete patient history and status.
Even with these significant limitations, a 2017 study found 80% of hospital-based clinicians are still using pagers. The same research showed many used text messages to supplement pagers.
Hospital Pagers Aren’t Enough
Clinical collaboration platforms are the next step to addressing shortcomings and staying up to date with the new and rapidly changing needs of clinicians.
When clinical collaboration platforms are used, communication is simplified yet effective. Each provider is able to discuss and refine a patient’s care plan in one place. Providing a platform for clinicians to access and seamlessly communicate directly leads to positive patient outcomes, quality care, and reduced hospital readmissions.
Clinicians can depend on collaboration platforms to send and receive requests, and know if it is a high priority without looking or finding a phone. Jose points to the decreased distraction and improved patient experience through this change.
Furthermore, IT professionals will work with technology that adapts to the times, from pandemics to technology upgrades. In times of team development and growth, collaboration platforms grow alongside healthcare systems, allowing for easy integration into various workflows.
Thankfully, improving collaboration platforms appears to be a goal in healthcare. Jose references a survey by the PwC’s Health Research Institute, which showed over 90% of provider executives, life sciences executives, and health plan executives said improving clinician experience is a priority for their organizations in 2021.
With improved collaboration platforms, time is saved, patient information is centralized, and communication is efficient.