No patient wants to lie in bed listening to stressful, unnecessary noise. Yet ringing phones and overhead paging are common sounds in hospital hallways, despite being counterproductive to a healing environment. Question 9 on the HCAHPS survey asks patients about the noise around their room at night, and it consistently earns the lowest satisfaction scores of all survey questions.
What’s the alternative? With Voalte smartphones, clinicians can send and receive secure text messages instead of voice calls or overhead paging about 90 percent of the time. Texting is asynchronous, meaning it doesn’t require two people to be available at the same time, so it’s easy to see why clinicians prefer it as the most efficient form of communication. And when you replace 90 percent of ringing phones and overhead paging with secure text messaging, the end result is a quieter environment that’s more conducive to healing.
Another area where smartphones have the ability to help improve HCAHPS results is response time to patient requests. Many hospitals still rely on a unit secretary sitting at a central station to relay nurse calls with a voice call to the intended nurse. Instead, the hospital can use their alarm management system to route that alert directly to the nurse’s Voalte smartphone, allowing her to respond immediately and improve response time to the patient. (See our latest white paper, “Staying Ahead of the HCAHPS Curve.”)
The large screen of a smartphone also makes it easy for caregivers to scroll through and view all their alerts, and respond accordingly based on priority. Hospitals can choose different ringtones for each type of alert to convey priority audibly.
With no limit to the number of alerts a smartphone can hold, caregivers don’t have to clear past history and can make sure no tasks are missed. These improved nurse call workflows go a long way in boosting the number of patients who report on the HCAHPS survey that they “Always” received help as soon as they wanted.
If your healthcare organization is still relying on outdated wireless phones and pagers to communicate, now is the time to make a switch. Smartphones redefine the standards for clinical communication, and equip hospitals with the right tools to help raise HCAHPS scores and improve your overall patient experience.