What Does the Future Hold for Clinical Communication?
Caregivers have long used smartphones and tablets for basic aspects of clinical care, such as texting and emailing. However, the lack of integration with clinical workflows and electronic medical records has prevented more widespread adoption of mobile clinical communication.
The good news is that most healthcare organizations have realized that leveraging smartphones as enterprise-supported clinical devices is a logical next step to empower caregivers and patients alike, improving outcomes and boosting efficiency. These organizations are also realizing that the devil is in the details – successful implementation depends on development of an effective clinical communication strategy and alignment to the EMR.
What does the future look like?
The vision that many clinical executives have is similar: With a single handheld device, a caregiver can confidently deliver care with real-time access to a patient’s care team, critical information, extensive clinical context, alerts and notifications – all at the bedside. Critical Lab Values arrive by actionable text to multiple caregivers simultaneously. Patient engagement is improved by routing requests to the most appropriate caregiver based on need. Integration of barcode scanning technology provides error reduction during medication administration.
While this future state remains only a vision for many health systems, the interest in implementing mobile and clinical communication technology is accelerating nationwide.
Healthcare organizations have more incentive than ever to harness technology that will streamline clinical communication as the industry adopts value-based purchasing under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). With the evolution of The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals and the new influence patient satisfaction scores have in determining reimbursement rates, hospitals are actively seeking new approaches to improving effectiveness and efficiency.
In addition, increasing integration of handheld clinical devices and mobile health applications is an important step forward in clinical care. These exciting new technologies offer the potential for a healthcare organization to achieve dramatic advances in efficiency and quality.
Patients, providers, and payers all stand to gain from unifying mobile clinical communication.
Today’s new technologies have the potential to empower both patients and caregivers in the pursuit of the best possible care, delivered with maximum efficiency. When implemented in the context of an overall clinical communication strategy, these mobile solutions can integrate clinical information, reduce medical errors, and improve both clinical and business outcomes.
For more insight, download: A Better Care Environment is Calling: The New Age of Clinical Communication.