How Role-Based Communication Improves Clinical Collaboration
By Chris Lowder, Senior Solution Architect at TigerConnect onDecember 28, 2021
Many factors go into delivering excellent healthcare, including practitioner skillsets and modern healthcare technology like clinical collaboration platforms. Finding the right provider at the right time is critical to success, especially when patient experience is taken into account. Making this happen in real life is not so simple, either. Quickly and efficiently collaborating with the right care team member has long been a challenge. Delays in care coordination affect the quality of patient care. Delays and disconnects are unproductive for care teams and unprofitable for healthcare organizations.
The struggle to locate the right doctor or nurse at the right time can be attributed to well-intentioned but obsolete reliance on pagers and phones. Modern clinical collaboration platforms offer a solution. With its ability to quickly locate and message clinicians by role or group, the process of coordinating care becomes significantly faster.
St. Luke’s University Health Network Video Testimonial
Learn how St. Luke’s leveraged role-based messaging to support clinical workflows.
Understanding the Drivers of Delayed Patient Care Responses
What causes delays in responding to patient needs? Frequently, the problem is that the care team doesn’t have the correct information or can’t locate the right person. As a result, the delivery of care slows down. Consider the following typical example. A hospitalist orders a neurology consult for a patient. In most hospitals, this involves the hospitalist looking on a clipboard to find the name and phone number of the neurologist on call. The hospitalist then calls or pages the specialist and requests the consult.
The problem is that the neurologist listed on the clipboard may be off shift. Or, they are no longer the specialist on call. As the patient waits, the hospitalist has to figure out whom to call. There could be thousands of events like this transpiring every day in a large hospital, representing massive inefficiencies and a hidden source of financial loss.
How Clinical Collaboration Platforms Solve the Problem
The TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration platform establishes a new, efficient way to connect care team members. Instead of consulting a clipboard, clinicians can find the right neurologist on call by searching for the role instead of a physician’s name. When the hospitalist needs a neurology consult, they can simply look up the neurologist in the roles directory.
All messages will live with the role, not the current on-call neurologist. When clinicians do not need to know the name or contact information for the specific neurologist on call, care coordination can happen faster and more efficiently.
The Teams function has a similar workflow, with the addition of multiple individuals. For example, there could be a “Discharge Team” that includes all the people who participate in the patient discharge process. When it’s time for a patient to be discharged, a care team member can alert the “Discharge Team” using the Teams function and notify everyone on the team. This saves a significant amount of calling, paging, and missed connections.
Typical Roles Functionality
Using the roles function in clinical collaboration software enables care teams to deliver better, faster patient care. It becomes easier to identify the right contacts across a healthcare organization. The increased speed of reaching the right contact improves response time to patient needs.
With TigerConnect roles, clinicians can search for a role and message the current role owner. Text, voice, and video options are available to coordinate patient care securely.
TigerConnect also offers automated role-based alerting as part of the roles functionality. A role can be notified or prompted to take action as part of a clinical workflow with role-based alerting. For instance, if a doctor orders a lab test, the “Critical Lab Result” workflow could include a step that notifies that nurse on duty for the patient that the lab result is available.
How St. Lukes Uses Roles
The St. Luke’s University Health Network significantly benefited from adopting roles. The hospital wanted to streamline its workflows and processes. In particular, they sought to use new advances in technology to reduce issues like long operator hold times and reliance on hallway conversations in delivering care. They also wanted to deploy communication on a self-service basis.
TigerConnect roles functionality now enables St. Luke’s clinical end-users to reach the right specialty services without having to know a specific staff member’s name or phone number. The hospital has linked its staff directory and scheduling software to over 700 roles. This makes it possible to instantly reach clinical and non-clinical staff across departments and facilities, resulting in faster, more efficient care coordination.
Roles functionality can be transformative in improving the pace and quality of care delivery. It saves care teams time, cutting down on inefficiency and reducing patient waiting times. Watch the video to learn how St. Luke’s University Health Network leveraged role-based communication.