Communication Where You Are: Spok Care Connect at Vail Health
Patient care doesn’t happen at a desk, or even in a static location: Care teams are always on the move and need to be able to communicate effectively on patient care from wherever they might be.
With Spok Care Connect, Vail Health has transformed its clinical communication from manual, paper-based processes to automated workflows built on a single source of truth for contact details and scheduling. Spok puts information at the fingertips of caregivers and staff, and allows them to have real-time situational awareness of what’s going on with every patient on the floor.
Not only does a clinical communication platform increase staff productivity and provide clinical decision support, but it also results in improved patient safety and satisfaction. As Ryan Kolzcak, IT manager at Vail Health, eloquently states: “The patients’ lives are better because of it.”
Cassie Dirks, BSCN, RN, CCRN: We used to get our on-call directory via a piece of paper that would often have handwritten notes on it. We would see multiple updates to it throughout the day that would have to be communicated out manually, via phone call or text message, or something of that nature, so each department would have a different understanding of who was on call where.
Ryan Kolczak: We had paper copies. We had Rolodexes. We had sticky notes on walls, and it just wasn't effective. Training to new staff was a barrier. And at our emergency response level, we just were unable to reach people unless they were right at their computers. And people, especially clinicians, they don't live at their computers. They're with the patients. We needed a way to notify them of situations where they were, instead of where they might be.
Darrell Messersmith: Our doctors and nurses don't want to have two or three different applications, or places to go find notices and find information. If there's something that's important, they want to have that routed to them on a device that they're carrying with them, and they want that message to come at the right place, at the right time, to the right person.
Elizabeth McDaniel, RN, BSN, RNC-OB: Spok makes things easier for us to ensure that we all know exactly where to go when we're looking to get ahold of a provider or any of the staff that's on call. Definitely makes the team more efficient. It keeps them well informed of what's going on; it’s easy to access the information and have available at their fingertips.
Cassie: It allows our providers more time and space to engage in their processes with the patients that they're currently taking care of while having awareness of what's going on with all of their patients on the floor.
Elizabeth: Spok has been very helpful to clinical workflows in general to make the process more smooth and efficient. I think that's been the biggest benefit for my team—is being able to find the information you need and get someone that you need to quickly.
Darrell: The value of a single vendor for enterprise communications would be to have a single platform to configure these messages that come from our EMR, from patient monitoring systems. And having a single vendor, a single platform is much more efficient for us. We don't have to support multiple platforms, and our nurses and doctors will get their notices and their communication in one application, in one place.
Cassie: And we're able to connect about our patients, discuss our patients, keep all of that communication within one single system, so it adds an enhanced level of protection for our patients as well, because there's no communication occurring outside of the one unified platform.
Ryan: So I never lose sight of the fact that technology I’m deploying, ultimately, betters the life of the patient. Anything that doesn't do that, does not stay around in a hospital long. And the Spok product enables that: from my physicians, to my nursing staff, to the support staff in all aspects. The patients’ lives are better because of it.