Top 3 Technological Inefficiencies in Healthcare Communication

Posted on Aug 26, 2014
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TOP 5 (3)Hospitals are losing money due to technological communication efficiencies, according to a new report.

The Imprivata Report on the Economic Impact of Inefficient Communications in Healthcare highlights roadblocks to communication methods that could cut down on time and resources.

“Efficient communication and collaboration amongst physicians, nurses and other providers is critical to the coordination and delivery of patient care, especially given the increasingly mobile nature of today’s clinicians and the evolution of the accountable care organization (ACO) model,” the report’s executive summarystates.

The report took into account the responses from 400 healthcare professionals, who indicated five major reasons internal healthcare communication is lacking:

Pagers are not efficient. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed indicated pagers are not efficient, accounting for the biggest reason for time wasted in communication among colleagues. While pagers have largely been erased from the communication scene outside of the healthcare industry, they remain in hospitals as technology and compliance continue to work on methods of securely working together.

“For healthcare IT leadership, the ability to satisfy the clinical need for more efficient communications technologies must be balanced with safeguarding protected health information to meet compliance and security requirements,” thereport states. “As a result, the industry continues to rely primarily on pagers, which creates inefficiencies that can have a considerable economic and productivity impact.”

Text messaging is not allowed. Thirty-nine percent said time is wasted because text messaging, in some healthcare institutions, is not allowed.

“Respondents overwhelmingly agree that significant time is wasted during each workflow — primarily because of the inefficiency of pagers and the lack of adoption of secure text messaging — which has an estimated annual economic impact of about $1.75 million per U.S. hospital and more than $11 billion industry-wide,” the report indicates.

The report goes on to state that “it is incumbent on IT to meet provider demand for more modern and efficient communications technologies while maintaining patient privacy and complying with security and regulatory requirements.”

Wi-Fi is not available. For healthcare facilities that do not have widely available or efficient Wi-Fi, communication among healthcare staff can suffer. According to the Imprivata Report, 37 percent of survey respondents indicated that was the top reason for time wasted when communicating with colleagues.