When Voalte started putting smartphones in hospitals for care team communication, our Services team was focused primarily on the technical aspects of each project. We tackled challenges such as optimizing Wi-Fi networks, assessing VoIP readiness and installing software.
Nearly 10 years later, our focus has changed significantly. Of course, our Professional Services team still ensures the technical connections are in place for Voalte Platform to run smoothly. And our RF Engineers and Project Managers still work closely with customers to support a successful implementation. But as Voalte solutions have become more clinically relevant, we’re increasingly working with our customers’ clinical teams to build out more efficient workflows, create advanced alarm routing, and integrate with foundational systems such as the electronic health record (EHR).
We’ve also seen a major shift in end-user training over the years. Previously, we focused on teaching nurses how to use smartphones, from checking the volume to charging the battery to swiping to answer a phone call. Now our Implementation Consultants and Clinical Workflow Solutions teams collaborate on complex day-in-the-life assessments to improve existing workflows and customize processes for each customer’s particular needs. (See Beth Holman’s recent blog post, “A personal approach to end-user training.”)
Every hospital, and in many cases, every unit, is unique. Appropriate workflows vary from hospital to hospital, and each facility needs new processes that support the latest technologies. Rather than simply handing out smartphones to the staff, hospitals must create guidelines on when to send a text message versus placing a phone call, for example, or how to respond to different types of alarms and alerts. Security is a critical area that needs to be addressed, with strict policies to protect private information. And as hospitals integrate smartphones with barcode medication administration, physician scheduling and other solutions, standard procedures and workflows are necessary to optimize patient safety and hospital staffing.
As Voalte evolves, we’re growing our Professional Services team with these needs in mind. We’ve hired nurses with hands-on patient care experience who can collaborate with nurses to pinpoint communication challenges and design the Voalte Directory in a way that supports efficient workflows. Our Clinical Solutions Managers are pioneers in healthcare alarm and event management, and are the best in the business at designing strategies to avoid alarm fatigue while speeding response to patients. (Hear what James Jones of UW Medicine’s Valley Medical Center has to say about working with the Voalte team below.)
While 10 years ago our most important requirement was meeting the technical requirements of each project, today we’re dedicated to digging deeper into each customer’s clinical requirements. If you’re looking for a communication platform to connect your care teams, remember that it’s no longer good enough to simply put smartphones in the hands of physicians and nurses. You also need the professional expertise to ensure those smartphones are improving patient care and process efficiencies.
Oscar Callejas is VP of Operations at Voalte.