Redefining Healthcare Communication
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Good communication is as important in healthcare settings as it is in any other industry. From the operating room to the recovery room, it is vital that information about a patient moves seamlessly between each setting within a hospital. The need for clear communication starts before a patient steps into a hospital and continues after they have been discharged.
The Challenges of Healthcare Communication
The number of operating room staff members that are involved in managing a single patient can range from 15 to 30. As a result, it can be difficult to ensure that information flows easily between all members of the team. The physical environment of a hospital also increases the difficulty of communication. Many hospitals have large footprints, and their layouts can often feel disjointed. Staff involved in the care of a single patient can be physically distant from each other, which makes it difficult for them to efficiently pass on information. To overcome these challenges, hospitals must find ways to seamlessly enable teams to discuss important aspects of each case in real time, without overwhelming staff, with information that is not relevant.
ConnectOR is often compared to other feature-rich communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Like these ubiquitous messaging tools, which are used to facilitate communication in many industries, ConnectOR allows healthcare staff to communicate in real time. It allows the perioperative team to provide real-time information to the staff members that care for a patient before and after they leave the operating room. These staff members can provide valuable, time-saving feedback to the surgical team in the stages leading to the actual surgery.
ConnectOR builds on the insights that Slack, Microsoft, and other major communication tools have mastered in the corporate world and modified them to the hospital ecosystem. In a healthcare setting, issues such as confidentiality and security of information are of the utmost importance. The ConnectOR development team has taken these considerations into account to create a communication tool that is perfectly suited to the hospital environment.
How Does ConnectOR Work?
ConnectOR's communication module has a similar design to Slack. Each staff member has access to various different virtual case rooms, which correspond to the individual surgery cases that they are involved in treating. OR staff are automatically assigned to case rooms based on their personal daily OR schedule.
The main advantage of ConnectOR is that it puts staff members working on the same case in contact with each other. There is no need for members of the perioperative team to track down staff members in the recovery room or pass along messages that could be garbled in transmission.
By organizing each case into its own chat channel, ConnectOR ensures that staff are not overburdened with communication that isn't relevant to them. They can immediately go to the channel for the case they are currently working on to ask questions or check for updates. Healthcare staff can access ConnectOR on both mobile and desktop devices. No matter where they are located within the hospital or surgical center environment, staff have the information they need for patient care at their fingertips.
Communication In a Vacuum Will Fail
In order to create a successful communication tool that can solve OR challenges, it must seamlessly integrate with other parts of the OR management workflow (e.g., scheduling, family notifications, and equipment and instrument accountability). So, being a healthcare communication tool is more than a HIPAA compliant version of Slack or Microsoft Teams that corporate users are using today. This is also why many of the stand-alone texting-only platforms that are HIPAA compliant used by different facilities/hospitals can’t make a meaningful impact in improving OR workflow management. To remove the systemic challenges around OR delays, staff have to be able to able to act on the outcomes from the communication. For example, an outcomes can be
“hey, this patient is missing a consent form, so we need to push back the case by 30min,”
in which case, the entire OR schedule will need to be rearranged and that information will need to be simultaneously communicated to all impacted parties. Without a seamless connection to scheduling, the outcome of this important communication is delayed. Another example of an outcome can be equipment-related, where the staff identifies the need for new instruments during the pre-operating check; that information needs to be shared with the scrub tech managing the equipment checklist in the OR. Again, there has to be a seamless way that this instrument information is added to the surgeon's preferance card.
By integrating outcomes from the conversation into the OR workflow, hospitals can benefit from significant improvements in the ability to overcome bottlenecks, reduce downtime, improve patient safety, and improve hospital profitability. ConnectOR is completely redefining the way hospitals think about their OR and connecting all the dots with its multi-module solution that spans, communication, scheduling, equipment accountability, family notifications, and analytics. Hospital administrators and staff members have known about these challenges for years, but there hasn't been any easy and intuitive way that has connected all the dots until ConnectOR.
[Video] "Connecting the Dots"
Want to learn more about ConnectOR? Please contact us at email@example.com.