In a time of acute healthcare staffing shortages, streamlining onsite communications and addressing information gaps at the point of care are key to increasing staff productivity and improving patient outcomes. .
While the COVID-19 pandemic has strained the healthcare system, staffing shortages in the sector are structural rather than a short-term problem. The shortage is exacerbated by the fact that the turnover rate for nurses is significantly higher than in other industries. Burnout is a key contributing factor to poor retention of nurses, a problem that has only worsened during the pandemic.
At the same time, the demand for acute care services continues to increase year on year these days. The situation presents a significant risk to the standards of care the community expects to receive and the profession expects to provide. Yet it is not possible to stem the flow of industrial workers in time to avoid a crisis. The key to preserving standards of care is to use technology to make the existing healthcare workforce as productive as possible.
Addressing inefficiencies embedded in on-site alerts and communications is critical to improving healthcare delivery, as miscommunications can lead to medical errors. Fast, accurate and effective communication between colleagues is important for rapid caregiver response to a range of issues, including bed status alarms and falls. This enables healthcare professionals to consume and act on time-sensitive information more effectively, to maximize their productivity. It can also reduce alarm fatigue, better coordinate dispersed teams, reduce the risk of errors, and close information gaps that can impact coordination and workflows.
Health care is about communications; every aspect of what happens in a healthcare environment is intertwined with a series of communications, and often they are absolutely urgent. If you have built-in communication inefficiencies, staffing shortages basically get worse. This inefficiency cuts across the care paradigm to the point where someone misses out on the care they need.
Ascom’s built-in workflow intelligence consolidates contextual alerts from multiple systems into a unified communications platform. This bridges information gaps between points of care and extends the reach of actionable insights and orchestration that support better-informed clinical decisions. Traditionally, healthcare and patient monitoring systems have been discrete and containerized, requiring staff to juggle an inconsistent array of alerts. Ascom’s on-premises healthcare solutions are open, vendor-neutral and standards-based. They can integrate with a wide range of healthcare devices, systems and applications to deliver contextualized alerts in a consumable format. Rather than expecting healthcare providers to tear down and replace legacy systems, adopting integrated and unified communications on premises allows them to better leverage existing infrastructure and investments.
In addition to closing digital information gaps and improving immediate patient care, enhanced communications can also provide analytics for reporting and actionable insights to improve long-term workplace efficiency. This can include capturing delays in staff members responding to alerts and those not understanding chokepoints in communication and workflows. Unified, context-aware, real-time communication and collaboration tools ensure that alerts are not generated at the bedside, but rather escalated to the appropriate team member and escalated accordingly through the use of tables Routing. Providing contextual messages to all staff is far more effective than generic bedside alerts or simply sending alerts to a screen on the wall. A growing body of research also points to the importance of the “quiet hospital” and intensive care unit, with reduced ambient noise helping both staff productivity and patient recovery.
Gain more insight into how your organization can achieve better collaboration through care coordination and rapid response team management here.