How to Support Care Team Communications

Hospital and healthcare system communications are multifaceted and highly complex—and often poorly integrated. This creates challenges for care teams that need quick and seamless communication across multiple departments, clinical systems and even facilities.

The best way to tackle these challenges is with a communication infrastructure that is:

  1. ​​Purpose-built for healthcare
  2. Able to provide interoperability between various clinical systems
  3. Flexible enough to adapt as technologies advance and workflows evolve

In order to support meaningful conversations and exchanges of information across a care team, from doctors and nurses to therapists and the pharmacist, hospitals and health systems need to look at themselves as a single entity instead of a collection of individual departments. The goal is to connect the islands of information in a way that incorporates groups of people, their schedules, their devices, and provides effective escalation paths for critical messages.

“The hospital itself is an integrated system. The model used for delivering critical care is a team-based model,” said Dr. Nat’e Guyton, a former critical-care nurse and the chief nursing officer at Spok. “When the entire team is on the same page, on the same platform, and has the same communication tools, it increases quality and efficacy, producing better outcomes for patients.”

Nat'e Guyton“When the entire team is on the same page, on the same platform, and has the same communication tools, it increases quality and efficacy, producing better outcomes for patients.”

Dr. Nat’e Guyton
Chief Nursing Officer at Spok

An integrated, enterprise-wide clinical communication platform allows hospital leaders, staff and caregivers to spend less time worrying about how to share information and more time improving quality and delivering care by:

  1. Helping care team members track down doctors, nurses, and other providers
  2. Integrating disparate clinical systems
  3. Meeting business requirements while keeping up with advancing technology

The business of healthcare is too complex for hospitals to risk cobbling together systems that cannot match the benefits of a robust, integrated, enterprise-wide communications platform. “An enterprise communication solution that is purpose-built for healthcare, interoperable, and flexible is a game-changer for hospitals because it effectively supports how clinicians and staff work and how people communicate when they work,” said Gunderson. The ultimate payoff of implementing an integrated enterprise communication solution is the “power that it has to change lives, the power that it has to save lives,” he said. “When you think about detecting critical events and messages, applying intelligent rules on the information you have about the preferences and the makeup of that organization, and then within seconds delivering that message to the right person with the right context so that they can make informed decisions about their next steps— that is really a compelling capability.” 

Looking for more information on making care team collaboration easier? Check out these resources:

eBrief: Members of a patient’s care team need a communications infrastructure that supports their work on multiple device types across departments. It must facilitate access to important patient information easily to be truly effective. Hospitals are looking to solve this pressing communications issue with enterprise-wide technology that is purpose-built for healthcare—designed with interoperability in mind and flexible enough to accommodate changing workflows and care team needs. 
Three Keys to Unlocking the Healthcare Communications Challenge

Video Case Study: Communications is a foundation of patient care. University of Utah Health Care has improved communication among clinicians and with patients, increased the efficiency of multiple departments, and sped response in emergencies where every second counts. 
University of Utah Health Care

Blog: To create the best patient outcomes, technology partners need to focus on how the technology interacts with the caregivers who use it, as well as with other technologies and systems in the environment. It’s all about enabling workflows that produce desired patient outcomes. 
Enabling Better Care with Workflow-Driven Technology