I’ve been on the road a lot lately, meeting with leaders at healthcare organizations throughout the country. One big change I’ve noticed is how the market is accelerating the removal of pagers and legacy devices, and replacing them with smartphones for caregiver communication.
Hospitals are now fast-tracking clinical collaboration and communication projects they have been considering for some time. Many are also moving forward with a more meaningful, comprehensive Mobile Communication Strategy that encompasses the components necessary for success:
- Alarm and alert notification via middleware
- Point-of-care communication using shared smartphones
- Physician communication based on a “bring your own device” (BYOD) model
This is a shift from three or four years ago, when hospitals were taking a piecemeal approach that mixed and matched disparate strategies for alarm management, nurse communication and physician communication.
As my friend John Elms, President of Connexall, said in a guest blog post recently, “At this point, every healthcare organization understands the importance of implementing new technologies for electronic health records, alarm management and clinical communication. Now it’s time to focus on how the industry integrates these systems in a way that optimizes the investments in technology and ensures patients are receiving the best – and safest – levels of care.”
For the industry as a whole, this next phase of clinical communication adoption and integration is crucial to improve patient care and meet multiple goals and initiatives:
- Managing alert notifications in a way that reduces alarm fatigue for nurses and improves patient safety. Voalte and Connexall (both KLAS Category Leaders) partner to deliver actionable, relevant alarms and alerts from physiological monitors, nurse call, the electronic medical record and other systems directly to the appropriate caregiver.
- Improving response to nurse calls for better patient satisfaction and safety. More efficient workflows help mitigate the risk of falls and save steps when nurses can respond quickly, call back to a patient’s pillow speaker, and determine what the patient needs before entering his or her room.
- Including the entire care team in a unified directory to simplify care collaboration. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and others can manage patient care more efficiently by replacing cumbersome page-and-call-back loops with secure text messaging from a comprehensive directory.
As we enter into a more meaningful dialogue about the impact of a healthcare communication platform on patient care, I expect to see positive results for clinicians, support staff, physicians and, most importantly, patients. I couldn’t be prouder of the role Voalte is playing to help accelerate these improvements.
Trey Lauderdale is Founder and CEO of Voalte.