I recently spent two days with approximately 150 nursing leaders at the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives’ (WONE) annual convention in the Wisconsin Dells. This southern region of the state lies along the Wisconsin River and is noted for Ice Age−era sandstone formations carved out by glaciers some 15,000 years ago. Today, the area is known as the “Water Park Capital of the World,” with theme parks, nature trails and campgrounds. For two days at the end of April, it was also a great gathering place for some of the state’s top healthcare executives to discuss the latest challenges facing their nurses.
Of course, Wisconsin is also home to Epic, the electronic health records (EHR) giant. So it was no surprise that Matt Kieffer and I held many conversations at WONE with nurse leaders who want to integrate mobile communication with access to the EHR. Nurse executives are eager to move beyond simply recording data in the medical record to integrating with nurse call and physiological monitoring systems, and connecting their mobile caregivers across geographical locations.
Voalte smartphones provide the perfect platform for Epic Rover and other mobile apps for documentation, barcode verification and important alert notifications. We spent a lot of time at WONE demonstrating how Voalte Platform™ integrates with various nurse call systems to deliver alerts directly to the appropriate nurse, enabling a quick response to patients and alleviating patient safety issues such as fall risks.
While Voalte Platform was the only smartphone solution showcased at WONE, the importance of smartphones for clinical communication and collaboration was evident not only in our conversations but also in some of the show’s educational sessions.
- In “Managing for Success in the Multigenerational Workplace,” Mark Taylor discussed the generational differences among the ranks of today’s nurses. One of those differences involves the digital connectedness of Generation NeXt, or Millennials, versus Baby Boomers. Today’s nursing recruits have “grown up digital,” and are accustomed to finding the information they need at the tap of a fingertip. For new and future nurses, smartphones are critical for connecting to the people and information they need. The good news is that the intuitive touchscreen and simple user interface of smartphones make them attractive and easily adoptable for more experienced nurses as well as younger “digital natives.”
- Another session, “The HCAHPS Hospital of Choice,” by Brian Lee of Custom Learning Systems, focused on the timely topic of patient experience in an era of value-based purchasing. Many of Brian’s focus areas related to the importance of seamless – and quiet – caregiver communication, such as staff responsiveness, care transitions and a quiet healing environment. (See our infographic on the high cost of low HCAHPS scores for more on the impact of smartphones on patient experience.)
I always enjoy getting out of the office and speaking with the people who can benefit most from Voalte solutions. Hearing directly from the nurse executives attending WONE, it’s clear that we offer powerful benefits to some of their most pressing challenges, from mobile communication to integrating systems to patient satisfaction. Matt and I didn’t have a chance to visit the water parks of the Wisconsin Dells, but we did enjoy our conversations with clinical leaders from across the state.
Jeff Green is Area Sales Manager with Voalte.