As a huge sports fan, I can admit to sporting all red, white, and blue apparel every few years when our American athletes compete on a global stage. I’ve even become a diehard fan of events I know little about, like table tennis and race walking (yes, really).
What compels nations to come together as one and millions of people around the world to gather around their TVs every evening? It’s the opportunity to watch the best athletes in the world go head to head. At this level of elite competition, even the smallest adjustment—a slightly tighter turn at the wall of the pool or a landing that sticks on the gymnastics floor—can translate to a big edge and make the difference between a finishing in first or second place.
Tiny details, oftentimes just tenths of a point or hundredths of a second, can have a big impact on events for which these athletes have trained their entire lives. In many ways, this reminds me of healthcare. While not necessarily athletes in the traditional sense, our doctors and nurses have the training, experience, and tools to improve patient outcomes, and have spent years perfecting their craft. But the details of any single care episode can have a tremendous impact, and seconds can sometimes even mean the difference between life and death. With stakes like these, communications details can’t be overlooked. A misstep like a communication delay or failure can prevent a successful handoff between clinicians, mean important test results get overlooked, or a patient doesn’t get treated as quickly. Patient care and patient satisfaction can suffer. Speed and accuracy are key to clinical communications performance at the highest level, and that’s where Spok comes in.
Spok helps healthcare organizations streamline their routines and increase their speed to connect care team members with each other and with clinical messages to improve patient outcomes. Here are seven maneuvers to help make you win communication gold at your hospital:
1. Follow the rulebook for secure texting: Just like athletes must follow the rules of the event in which they compete, healthcare organizations must adhere to HIPAA. Prevent the spread of protected health information (PHI) with a secure texting application like Spok Mobile and give staff the appropriate training.
2. Shave time off your test results’ run to the ordering physician: Patients waiting to go home look about as happy as athletes sitting on the sidelines waiting to perform. Inefficient handling of results also contributes to higher costs of care and longer lengths of stay. A critical tests results management (CTRM) solution can send information securely right to ordering physicians’ preferred device.
3. Don’t miss your safety target in patient monitoring: The buzz that gets athletes off the starting blocks works because there’s just one. Clinicians have to grapple with the din of many buzzes and beeps. This cacophony can cause alarm fatigue and lead to delayed response to potentially dangerous alerts. One way to improve alarm management is fast-tracking alerts and nurse call requests with integrated systems that send actionable alarms directly to the right on-duty providers.
4. Learn to pass the ball and ensure multiple players support your team: Hospitals know that the name of the communication game is device diversity. Healthcare organizations who are the most flexible support smartphones, tablets, WiFi phones, pagers, and other end-user devices in their communications infrastructure. This sets them up for connected passes no matter what equipment the clinicians prefer.
5. Help your nurses respond to patients quickly: Patients expect a fast response to their calls for assistance. In addition to reducing patient stress and increasing satisfaction survey scores, a nurse call solution that leverages mobile devices helps nurses spend more time at the bedside. Help your nurses reduce wasted effort and run a smooth shift.
6. Get to your event on time with the most up-to-date scheduling information at your fingertips: When staff and schedule information is inaccurate or not readily accessible, critical messages can go to the wrong person or to the wrong place—an office phone instead of a smartphone or pager. At best, this is inefficient. At worst, this may be life threatening. Make sure your clinicians don’t miss critical messages with up-to-date employee web-based directories and on-call scheduling information.
7. Improve your code call sprints with integrated emergency notification: Your staff and patients depend on fast, accurate notification of critical information in an emergency. A solid emergency notification solution will help you quickly and reliably notify and confirm team member responses, without calling trees, sticky notes, and confusion. Whether you need to coordinate staff for a code STEMI, a severe weather alert, or a large influx of patients from a disaster, manage the emergency with speed.
Click here to chat with me or a fellow Business Solutions Advisor (BSA) about how Spok can help you become a communication champion.
And enjoy cheering on your favorite athletes!