March 22nd, 2018 by admin
Mitel Phone Systems for Medical
Our partners at Mitel (ShoreTel) describe how Mitel phone systems for medical organizations improve patient care in their latest article, "Collaboration Tools Help Medical Teams Improve Patient Outcomes."
On a Friday night, a cancer patient is admitted to the hospital with severe pneumonia and fluid-filled lungs. Through most of Saturday she gasps for breath before the doctor on-call arrives. Though she is in pain, the physician is hesitant to call in the pulmonologist, who's busy with a more critical case.
By evening, though, he requests a consult. The nursing staff tries to reach the specialist but can't connect with him for several hours. When he arrives at last, he immediately orders the patient's lungs be drained.
What went wrong here? One could argue a lot of things, but inefficient communications and poor collaboration top the list. Would putting better communications tools in the hands of medical professionals have made a difference? How would it have changed the patient outcome?
Let's rewind and see.
With more robust communications tools, the staff admits the patient on Friday night and immediately sends an emergency text to the patient's primary care physician. In turn, she texts her practice's on-call doctor and asks him to examine the patient.
Although the pulmonologist is held up in ICU, the covering doctor asks the specialist and attending nurse to join a quick conference call. From the nursing station, the doctor and nurse use a desktop computer to connect. The pulmonologist joins the call from his smartphone. It takes just five minutes for the team to agree on a clinical plan.
Reduce Frustration, Improve Patient Care
The lesson: Cutting even a few minutes from the time it takes to connect medical professionals can vastly improve patient outcomes and the patient experience. Not only that, but it improves the healthcare providers' bottom lines. A hospital risks losing up to 2 percent of its Medicare reimbursement if it doesn't achieve required patient satisfaction levels.
In fact, the financial consequences of inefficient communications are so serious that The Joint Commission (TJC) identified improved effectiveness of communications among caregivers as one of its goals for 2018.
Hand-offs between healthcare professionals – when the patient is transferred from one department to another, or from one caregiver to another – are prime opportunities for errors. It has become such a pain point that TJC issued a Sentinel Event Alert and accompanying infographic focused on inadequate communications hand-offs.
One of their tips for improvement: Caregivers should communicate face-to-face, using video conference tools if they can't be in the same physical space, to allow for the time and opportunity to ask questions. "If information is coming from many sources," TJC urges, "combine and communicate it all at one time, rather than communicating the information separately."
Enhance Collaboration with Technology
Unified communications (UC) solutions offer collaboration tools that enable healthcare professionals to take quick, accurate and effective actions. So do you want to know how our Unified communications makes it possible for medical professionals to significantly improve patient outcomes? Do you want to learn how with patient information and tools such as email, webchat, SMS, video and voice fully integrated solutions, collaboration is just a click away and connect staff quickly?