Healthcare Isn’t Like Other Industries When It Comes to Communications

April 28, 2010 Topic: Benefits & Outcomes 

Given the serious nature of their role, hospitals need to approach communications differently from other industries. Because of this, a different type of communications infrastructure is required.

Why is this? Consider the following:

Communications can mean life and death: First and foremost, communications are mission-critical in a hospital. We are not talking about a message going to voicemail or someone missing a meeting. Lives are on the line.

  • Highly mobile workforce: Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers are always on the go. They spend the majority of their time delivering care and not bound to a desk phone or computer.
  • Dynamic and complex directory: Patient information is transitory, and doctors may or may not be employed by your hospital, so creating an accurate directory that is continuously updated is a challenge.
  • Emphasis on paging/messaging to a variety of endpoints: In healthcare, there is certainly a large emphasis on paging and other types of mobile messaging. This is actually becoming more complex with an ever-widening variety of communication endpoints, particularly smartphones.
  • More data from machines and systems (nurse call, patient monitoring, etc.): Hospitals have more data coming from machines and systems than most organizations. You have significant potential to redefine workflows within your facility by delivering this data directly to mobile staff on the devices they carry.
  • Frequent group communications: Group communications in healthcare are also prevalent. Examples include crash teams and those involved in various codes who need to be notified quickly. Notifications may have to go to roles rather than a named individual. An example of this would be the on-call cardiologist receiving an alert instead of Dr. Smith the cardiologist, who may not be on call.
  • Traceability/audit trail is essential: Traceability of everything that happened during a time- critical situation is of utmost importance, so a full audit trail is required.

The Six Ways Leading Hospitals Use Unified Communications to Improve Patient Care, Safety, and Satisfaction

Given the clear need for accurate, streamlined communications, below are the ways your hospital can leverage today’s unified communications capabilities to improve your patient care, safety, and satisfaction.

  • Dramatically reduce the time needed to rally code teams (e.g., code STEMIs)
  • Respond quickly to unexpected situations
  • Speed response times to patient requests and a myriad of other alarm and update-driven situations
  • Reach the right people at the right time on their preferred devices—including smartphones— for all communications
  • Automate contact center communications to provide a foundation for efficiency and improved information sharing
  • Automate everyday workflows to improve efficiency

Real-Time Location Tracking

Nurse Call Systems

Integrated Wireless Telephone

Healthcare Outcomes