With chronic diseases and healthcare spending on the rise, the patients’ expectations from hospitals are at an all-time high. Do you know? U.S. hospitals waste more than $12 billion annually as a result of inefficient clinical communication, and that communication errors are directly responsible for $1.7 billion in malpractice costs over a five-year period, as well as nearly 2,000 patient deaths. Stats like these are what lay the foundation of a transformation that is required in the healthcare industry with respect to clinical communication. Healthcare systems need to move from being mere providers to streamlining clinical communication to dramatically improve the efficiency of care and enable better patient experience – at reduced costs. Since patient experience has become the core responsibility of every healthcare provider, today’s hospitals need to base all their decisions on clinical communications and collaboration systems that make patient health information and treatment schedules accessible and available to all legitimate stakeholders and systems.

Clinical communications and collaboration system benefits

Clinical communications and collaboration systems co-ordinate activities among physicians, clinicians, nurses, and other staff, and enable them to share patient information available across text, documents, telemetry, images and video. This seamless communication helps in reducing the response times between hospital staff and patients, improves care transitions and patient throughput, and reduces the discharge times of hospitalized patients. By bringing together an array of conventional communication systems used at hospitals, such as email, PBX, paging and, VoIP and modernizing them through mobility, cloud and IoT, clinical communications and collaboration systems reduce the risks that arise due to communication gaps in hospitals.

Advancements in technology and the increasing adoption of smartphones is enabling these clinical systems to become more widespread in the day-to-day lives of healthcare service providers. By integrating with clinical scheduling solutions, they help throw light on a clinician’s availability and the right course of treatment in order to quicken the response time and improve the patient experience. Here’s why your hospital needs a clinical communication and collaboration system:

  1. Process automation:Very often, healthcare systems that aim to bridgecommunication gaps overlook the gaps between IT systems. A clinical communication and collaboration platform, when integrated with other key IT systems, drives a high degree of interoperability, facilitating efficiency improvements that reduce referral leakage, re-admissions, and care delays. Role-based scheduling automation allows everyone in the health system to quickly look up and contact on-call staff and specialists. This way, you can save considerable time that was once spent routing calls through an operator. Since access to the right care giver is easier, the care delivered is faster.
  1. Timely alerts: A lot of times, healthcare providers are unaware of aspects of the patient life cycle. With no insight into who attended to the patient, what treatment was given, and what condition the patient is in currently, the patient experience is lackluster. However, a clinical communications and collaboration system sends electronic notifications to automatically alert clinicians when certain events that have the potential to result in areadmission. Providers can receive critical alerts from the EHR directly on their mobile devices and get details of urgent requests for delivering the most appropriate care quickly – thereby cutting down on staff fatigue and improving care efficiency.
  2. Staff optimization: With as many as 26% of patients reporting receiving conflicting information from various doctors, clinical communication takes on added significance in the context of re-admissions. A unified clinical communication and collaboration platform puts all care teams on the same page, so everyone involved in a patient’s care is updated on every treatment and recommendation. Healthcare staff no longer have to struggle with outdated technology that results in inconsistent and untimely care. Using a clinical communication and collaboration system, staff can get detailed messages via secure text instead of waiting for call-backs to receive essential patient information. By reducing the time it takes to coordinate care, clinicians can spend more time with patients which can not only improve job satisfaction, but also patient safety and throughput.
  3. Mobility: The mobile capabilities of a clinical communication and collaboration system are known to enhance communication between care providers, provide insights and improve response times. Hospital staff can remotely monitor patient health using their smartphones and send text reminders regarding essential follow-up care. Such interventions can enable providers to proactively spot emerging issues before they escalate to hospitalization. Since the system connects providers for direct collaboration, there is great clarity on who is responsible for overseeing the patient’s next steps. Images and test results can be securely forwarded from one provider to the next, and critical diagnosis and treatment information can be instantly viewed, thus reducing wait times and duplicate treatments.
  4. Empowered patients: A direct impact of poor communication between care providers is an increase in response and wait times as well as re-admissions. However,a clinical communication and collaboration system allows healthcare staff to be updated about patient health, diagnosis and treatment schedules. It is one of the easiest and simplest ways to achieve immediate productivity gains; patients can witness reductions in wait times, length of stay, improved healthcare outcomes and highersatisfaction time and time again. It doesn’t take much research to prove that direct communication leads to faster patient care; a clinical communications and collaboration system not only empowers patients but also helps boost the hospital’s bottom line.

Enhance care workflow

Improving patient outcomes has become the primary goal of every healthcare organization today. Clinical communication and collaboration systems are helping them meet these needs. By focusing on improvising care quality, care transitions, clinical workflows, and patient experience, clinical communication and collaboration systems help in saving response and wait times and improving the overall efficiency of care. They reduce the manual efforts required in sharing clinical test results and documents and other medical reports between clinicians and doctors, and physicians. With the clinical communication and collaboration market expected to register a CAGR of 15.5%from 2018 to 2028, it’s about time you invest in one, and enhance the workflow for your physicians, nurses and other care team members.