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Improving Physician and Caregiver Communications

Help Busy Physicians and Caregivers Improve Healthcare Communication by Connecting More Easily

The Joint Commission’s review of sentinel event data has consistently identified poor communications as a leading root cause of serious injury or death related to patient care. Physicians, nurses, and other caregivers often have trouble reaching one another to coordinate patient care. As healthcare mobility continues to increase, hospitals need sophisticated secure messaging software to keep pace with their complex clinical workflows.

Spok Device Preference Engine

The Spok Device Preference Engine (DPE) is a solution that helps ensure HIPAA-compliant messages are routed to the right people on their preferred devices. The solution considers factors such as message priority to route a text-based or voice message to the intended recipient on her preferred device for that situation. The system can also add in escalation contacts in the event a message is not received and acknowledged in a pre-defined timeframe.

Spok Device Preference Engine allows users to create routing profiles, which can vary in complexity. For example, users may create profiles called “Low,” “Normal,” and “Urgent.” When the user’s status is set to Urgent, all calls go to a smartphone.

However, when users are busy rounding on other patients, they may instead prefer text-based messages on a smartphone, using the encrypted Spok Mobile® secure messaging app.

Adding Escalation For Current Console Users

For those users of Spok’s console or web directory system, adding Spok Device Preference Engine will introduce escalation capabilities to your current messaging environment. DPE integrates with the database you already have in place for console or web, and will layer users’ escalation preferences on top of the devices they currently use to receive messages.

Improves Your Existing Clinical Workflows

  • Improves patient care by connecting staff more quickly for important conversations
  • Reduces time spent calling around for doctors or waiting for responses
  • Allows current Spok console or web directory users to add escalation capabilities to their current messaging environment
  • Offers full Spok Mobile integration for secure messaging to smartphones and tablets
  • Works by calling one local phone number instead of a long-distance call center to save money
  • Uses existing directory and on-call schedules to ensure the right people are contacted properly*
  • Supports a myriad of communication devices, such as smartphones, cell/office/home phones, pagers and more*

*Requires a specific version of the Spok platform

Talk to an Expert at Spok

A Real-World Example

When Physicians Can’t Communicate Easily

A patient came to the Emergency Department complaining of a small infection on his arm. The ED doctor saw the patient and determined he needed to be admitted. The ED doctor left a voice mail for the hospitalist who would be caring for the patient, expressing concern about the infection. The hospitalist did not get to the voice mail message for two hours. By that time the infection had spread to the patient’s entire arm and the situation was serious.

Fortunately, the patient recovered. But incidents like this have focused hospitals’ attention on the need for caregivers to actually have a conversation around coordinating care. Why didn’t the ED doctor talk to the hospitalist? Because frankly it’s not easy to contact the right doctor at the right time in these types of situations without a solution like Spok Device Preference Engine.