Nurses are the frontline caregivers and are the common link connecting patients to all aspects of their care during their hospital stay. Nurses spend only about 20-30 percent of their time in direct patient care. There is growing evidence that more nursing time per patient-day will result in better patient outcomes.
According to “36-Hospital Time and Motion Study” (The Permanente Journal/ summer 2008/ Volume 12 No. 3), Care coordination (communication with providers regarding the patient care) accounts for about 20 percent of nursing time (86 minutes per 10-hour shift). The benefits of timely and efficient communication between team members are well documented. Indeed, many failure-to-rescue situations can be traced back to communication delays or omissions. The efficient flow of information regarding patient care and status updates could reduce wasted time and the potential for errors.
Conventional contact methods are highly variable, with each medical staff member employing a unique and often complex algorithm to determine exactly who to contact and, then, how that doctor should be reached at any given moment in time. Accessing physicians requires maintaining multiple phone lists, contact instructions and call schedules — all of which must be referenced and interpreted with each physician-contact attempt. Breakdowns are commonplace, resulting in thousands of hours of wasted time.
Care Coordination is a vital role of the nursing staff. In order for nurses to be most effective, it is critical that they have access to communications technologies that deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. Nurses spend significant amount of time using conventional methods of communication, trying to reach a physician or send a message. Effective communication helps avoid costly errors, saves time and allows nurses to deliver the quality care that patients deserve. Ideally in an emergency situation, the nurse calls the physician directly and updates the patient’s status and gets instructions regarding the patient care.
- Nurse has to track down each physician’s phone number involved in patient’s care.
- Nurse has to Call the physician’s office or answering service herself or rely on the unit secretary to make that call.
- The phone line at the other end or the phone receptionist may be too busy to answer the call or put the caller on hold.
- Once the message is given to the person taking the message, hope that the message is not lost in translation or routed in time to the right physician or physician extender.
- The physician or physician extender then has to respond back.
- No auditable record of messages sent or calls made. In addition, the sequence of communication events with timestamp is not captured.
The above conventional contact method is time consuming, not always accurate, causes disruption in proper care coordination and is prone for errors, which could prove to be costly in an emergency situation.
VConnectMD standardizes physician-contact processes via a single portal. The physician’s contact information, contact preference, forwarding option, call routing preference and call schedule is assembled and maintained in our application. With this information, VConnectMD automatically displays the covering person(s) for the selected person(s) and highlights and auto checks the person’s name based on Call Type, Call Location and Call Reason selected by the sender, so that the message is sent to the right person at the right time by right delivery method.
- Message sent to the right person almost instantaneously.
- Automated system records and print outs for each successful message delivery for Quality Assurance Audit.
- The message is automatically routed to the right person, based on physician preference, Call type, call reason and call location. For example stat call is delivered to the physician and routine calls delivered to Physician extender based on physician’s preference.
- Multi physician paging: In an emergency situation, multiple physician’s involved in patient’s care can receive critical status of a patient, simultaneously instead of nurse having to make separate phone calls to each physician, to give the same message.
- Through Team Alert Paging feature all Code Blue Team or a STEMI team can be paged concurrently.
- In special circumstances, the call routing algorithm can be over ridden by the nurse, to reach a specific physician for direct care coordination
- In an emergency situation, the nurse can directly talk to the physician and save precious time though “Click to Talk” feature within VConnectMD. The Nurse can even initiate a conference call among the different treating physicians to discuss and co-ordinate care on a critically ill patient.
- Read receipt for all sent messages.
- Message Log is available as a permanent record for future reference.
- With the message delivered at the right time by the right method to the right person, Nurse has more time at hand for direct patient care.
- Mobile application for secure texting on the go for busy ER physicians.