How Clinical Collaboration Has Evolved Over the Years and Why It’s Important Now
Communication allows information to be shared between people. This is especially important in healthcare where that information could mean the difference between life and death.
Technology such as telephones and public address systems were used to communicate vital information to clinicians before the advent of pagers in the 1950s made immediate communication possible. Hospitals use simulcast networks to broadcast messages to modern pagers, which can be more reliable than cellular networks and reach clinicians even if they’re located in a cellular dead zone within a hospital. However, typical pagers allow only one-way communication and short messages. Clinicians must find a phone to respond, and that’s not always straightforward or efficient.
A nurse might receive a page with a number, call that number back for more information, and be unable to receive the necessary information quickly if the person they need to speak with is no longer at the desk.
Gaps in the flow of communication can cost valuable time and make clinician workflows inefficient. Clinical communication and collaboration tools on mobile devices can make it easier to reach the right person when needed and ensure that a message is received by someone who can act upon it, supporting the flow of vital information. This ultimately benefits patients whose care may rely on quick communication between clinicians.
What Are Clinical Communication and Collaboration Tools?
“Mobility is more important than ever in clinical settings. Hospital systems are actively looking to replace single-purpose devices such as pagers with modern communication methods like secure messaging that provides patient context,” say Mike Goad, senior healthcare mobility solution architect at CDW•G, and Remy Morgan, senior inside solution architect with CDW’s mobility practice, in a CDW blog. “Workers in healthcare rely on smartphones and tablets to exchange information and complete work tasks on the go — an especially important consideration for workers who operate throughout an entire floor, building or even campus.”
Functionalities such as role-based calling, dynamic directory and active response make clinician workflows more efficient. Role-based calling allows a clinician to look at a patient’s information in the CC&C platform to find the associated care team, which can be searched via roles. Dynamic directory provides an escalation path to ensure that a clinician’s message receives a response, while active response enables the creation of rapid response groups. The platform can send an alert directly to members of the group, eliminating the need for noisy overhead paging.