I had lots of great conversations last week at HIMSS19 about the vital role of clinical communication in improving the delivery of healthcare. In past years, IT professionals walking the tradeshow floor were focused on simple secure texting and BYOD solutions to prevent their nurses and physicians from using unsecure messaging on personal smartphones. Now, we’re seeing a transition in the clinical communication and collaboration space, from quick fix solutions to comprehensive platforms that deliver serious results. If you saw our booth at HIMSS (how could you miss it?), you saw some of the results our customers have achieved with Voalte Platform.
- More efficient workflows. When your communication platform integrates with other vital hospital systems, the result is greater efficiency. University of Kentucky HealthCare integrated clinical communication with physician scheduling to help care teams reach providers more quickly via secure text message. By making on-call schedules immediately visible within Voalte Platform, University of Kentucky saved an average of 7 minutes on each RN-to-provider outreach. A staff survey indicated a savings of about 40 minutes per day per caregiver. When Avera Health integrated Voalte Platform with the electronic medical record, discharge orders could be sent directly to the entire care team when a patient was ready to go home. The result was an improvement in average time to discharge of 25 minutes per patient. Considering the cost of an empty bed at $167 per hour*, and 25,917 annual discharges at Avera McKennan Hospital, those crucial minutes could save $1.8 million per year.
- Higher patient satisfaction. Greater efficiency not only improves the way care teams work, but also affects patient experience. When Frisbie Memorial Hospital replaced pagers, legacy phones and overhead paging with Voalte smartphones, unit coordinators were able to send nurse call alerts directly to the appropriate nurse’s smartphone, eliminating the delay of overhead paging and call-backs. Pre- and post-implementation studies showed a 6% increase in HCAHPS scores relating to patients getting help as soon as they wanted it, after pressing the nurse call button.
- Better patient safety. Ultimately, higher-quality care is the goal of any new technology. When University of Washington Medicine’s Valley Medical Center implemented a new EHR mobile app and upgraded to Voalte Platform for clinical communication, the new workflow involved indicating “Busy” status when administering medications. Post-implementation, the hospital saw med admin errors drop by 23% due to fewer interruptions during patient care. Our participation in the Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS also provided examples of how a clinical communication platform supports patient safety initiatives. As part of the Mother and Infant Mortality use case, we integrated Voalte Platform with Smiths Medical monitoring and GuardRFID location-tracking devices to ensure alerts were directed to the appropriate caregiver’s smartphone along with the location where the alarm originated for the quickest possible response. The use case also demonstrated how an urgent Code Pink alert goes to the staff’s smartphones when a baby is moved from a designated location.
I’m always impressed to hear the innovative ways our customers are using Voalte solutions. These leading hospitals are embracing new ways of working to generate truly remarkable results. To hear directly from one of our customers, register now for a HISTalk webinar on March 6, 2019. Nemours Children’s Health will discuss “Pairing a high-tech clinical logistics center with a communication platform for quick patient response.”
Trey Lauderdale is Founder and CEO of Voalte.