Communication breakdown is a leading cause of medical malpractice cases. Communication problems were the primary cause of 65 percent of sentinel events between 1995 and 2004 according to The Joint Commission. In 2005, The Joint Commission found that 70 percent of sentinel events were in fact caused by communication breakdowns. Care Coordination among care givers is extremely important to achieve cost efficient, quality health care. Communication among care givers is the key for care-coordination to occur. Health care personnel are very mobile, which creates a challenge for instant communication. There are several barriers to communication in the health care field. These include: lacking easy access to an individual physician contact number and preferred contact method, relying on another person to relay the message, being pressed for time, and lacking an easy solution for instant communication across diverse methods of message delivery.
Our Product Overview and Benefits
Improve Hospital Performance Measures through Better Communication
✓ Nurse-to-Nurse and Nurse to Physician Communication through one application
✓ Decrease Length of Stay & Increase Throughput in ER through Efficient Communication
✓ Decrease Exposure and Liability from Delayed Communication
✓ Improve Discharge Planning and Post-Hospital Care through Better Communication
✓ Secured Messaging with Auditable HIPAA-Complaint Message Log
✓ Highly Scalable and Rapidly Deployable
✓ Easy Communication between Physician Offices & Hospitals for Better Discharge Planning
✓ Cost Savings Benefits from Direct Communication
Instant and Streamlined Communication among Health Care Givers:
Nurses do not have to go through unit secretary, hospital operator, physician’s office front desk, or physician’s office answering service. Nurse’s callback number is provided automatically with every page sent to the physician by the nurses or other physicians directly (through page-specific physician or page on call). Nurses do not have to go through your hospital operator and unit secretary. Operator-assisted or unit-secretary assisted calls to the various departments within the hospital by nurses, physicians, and other personnel will be eliminated, as they can use our application directory and make calls directly.
Improve Quality and Decrease Length of Stay with Better Care Coordination:
Hospitals and specialists can communicate with each other instantly and thereby improve care coordination and decrease liability that can result from delayed care for critically ill patients and can also decrease length of stay of patients.
Increased Throughput in the ER through Efficient Communication:
Streamlined Health Care Communication Portal where ER physicians and ER nurses can directly contact on-call physician and increase throughput in the ER.
Decrease Exposure and Liability that can result from Delayed Communication:
Radiologists/nurses/specialists can directly contact the physicians to give stat or abnormal results and decrease liability to the hospitals resulting from delayed communications.
Improve Discharge Planning and Post-Hospital Care:
Case managers and nurses can directly communicate with physicians, physician offices, nursing homes, and home health care nurses for better discharge planning and post-hospital care.
HIPAA-Compliant Secured Messaging:
The messages are SSL/AES encrypted, messages accessed outside the application have a have time delayed expiration, and the message inbox is password and PIN-number protected. The messages cannot be forwarded outside of the application to prevent data leakage.
Highly Scalable and Rapidly Deployable:
Our multi-tenancy model and database structure allows us to add any number of tenants, and our pre-configuration features makes it rapidly deployable.
Cost Savings from Direct Communication:
Nurses save up to 30–60 minutes/shift by using our efficient communication platform. This can result in up to $1.5 million/year savings in nursing costs for a 200-bed hospital. Operator-assisted or unit secretary-assisted calls to the various departments within the hospital by nurses, physicians, and other personnel will be eliminated, as these professionals can use our application directory and make calls directly. This can result in up to $200,000 savings in operator and unit secretary costs for a 200-bed hospital.
Easy Communication between Physician Offices & Hospitals:
Physician offices don’t have to fax any records and then call to schedule or confirm a procedure at your hospital; they can directly send data and communicate with the work center through our application. Hospitals can obtain records from physician offices or send records to physician offices, or they can obtain post-hospital discharge appointments.
Contact Us to learn more about above listed features and many other features not listed above.
- Analyses reveal that multiple root causes contributed to each sentinel event—with most organizations (84 percent) citing a breakdown in communication—most often with or between physicians (67 percent).
The Joint Commission Sentinel Event Report 26, 6/17/2002
- Lack of solutions to implement The Joint Commission recommendation to implement processes and procedures designed to improve the timeliness, completeness, and accuracy of staff-to-staff communication, including communication with and between resident and attending physicians.
- “Safety and quality of patient care is dependent on teamwork, communication, and a collaborative work environment”.
The Joint Commission Sentinel Event Report #40, 7/9/2008
- Miscommunication among caregivers when responsibility for patients is transferred or handed off plays a role in an estimated 80 percent of serious preventable adverse events.
The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Care, News Release October 21, 2010
VConnectMD offers a single application that can facilitate instant communication throughout the hospital system, between the hospital system and physician offices, among physicians, among health care personnel, between pharmacy and physician offices, and between patients and physician’s office, physicians, or physician extenders. All these benefits are achieved in spite of taking into consideration individual preferences for care providers.
The physician’s contact information, contact preference, forwarding option, call routing preference, and call schedules are assembled and maintained in the VConnectMD. With this information, VConnectMD automatically displays to the user the call routing preference of the covering person, using a sophisticated call routing algorithm, so that each message is sent to the right person, at the right time, by the right delivery method, every time using Page On Call or Page Specific Person or Inter Office Communication features. In an emergency situation the user can directly make the Computer to Computer Call or a VOIP call and the phone number of the physician is not revealed to the caller.
- A single portal for contact, to send a message or documents, or converse with all related care providers based on patient scenario, operational needs and care provider’s individual preferences.
- Reduced issues of delayed care and delayed admissions, decreased length of stay of patients, and decreased ER waiting time.
- Facilitates instantaneous Physician to Physician communication and Nurse to Physician communication.
- Provide auditable records of calls placed, messages sent, calls/messages received with read receipt.
- Reduced risk of exposure to malpractice lawsuits.
- A web enabled platform for Unified Communication in Healthcare.
How it Works
- Our application is completely web-based, secure and HIPAA-compliant.
- The participating PCP office, specialist’s office and hospitalist’s office should subscribe to our applications and update their ‘on-call’ schedules for communication among such care givers and personnel of such entities.
- The designated scheduler of various departments/divisions will be responsible to regularly load and update the ‘on-call’ schedules for service/ER and team alert groups like Code Blue, STEMI Alert and Stroke Alert. We can also load and update on call schedules for a nominal fee.
- Our Automated Answering Service with live operator back-up will completely replace the existing answering of the participating physician offices. We can also provide near live transcription of messages if the physician would prefer to have a transcribed message as well as a voice message. The cost will be same or lower than their current answering service, but efficiency and accuracy will be much higher.
- The participating hospitals should give access to the nurses, case managers and physicians using our application.
- The hospital should upload the patient list along with the assigned/preferred PCP, specialists, hospitalists, case manager and nurses if the hospital wishes to avoid manual entry of patient details and for the user to access such information on a given patient. This can be done via HL7 link or other standard alternative methods.
- The calls to the physician offices from the non-participating hospitals, physician offices, pharmacy, patients and others are handled by our automated answering service.
- Most of the required information is fed into our application during on-boarding. The only information that needs periodical updating is the on-call schedules and updated patient list along with the assigned providers.
- Each individual physician office’s designated scheduler can update their on-call schedules using any computer.
- Individual users can send or receive messages or make calls using any web-enabled device (e.g. a smart phone, tablet or a desktop computer). This will eliminate the middle person like operator, unit secretary, front desk person or an answering service operator to relay messages.
- Individual users can check their on-call schedules, messages, ‘change on-call’, change preferences/call-back number, forward calls/messages and access contact list/help list/phone directory using any web-enabled device (e.g. a smart phone, tablet or a desktop computer).
Bottom Line: Your overall process efficiency will increase the care coordination through automation and improved communication. As your nurse can focus on more important patient care, overall quality of service improves, which improves your client satisfaction.