Meg Shaw, a nurse on a hospital’s rapid response team, completes an examination of a patient recovering from surgery. The patient’s primary nurse had requested rapid response team assistance after being alerted that her patient had a low oxygen saturation and subsequently observing that her patient’s speech was slurred.
Meg contacts the patient’s attending physician, Dr. Fox, who asks that Meg request an emergency consult from the on-call neurologist.
After ending the call with Dr. Fox, Meg pushes the Call button on her Vocera Badge and says, “Call on-call neurologist.” Notice that she doesn’t have to locate the on-call schedule or know who the on-call neurologist is by name.
The on-call neurologist, using Vocera’s mobile app on his smartphone, sees the call is identified as originating from a rapid response team member and answers immediately.
“This is Dr. Phillips,” he says.
“Dr. Phillips, this is Meg Shaw on the rapid response team,” Meg says. “I’m at the bedside of 70-year old Gabriella Martinez, a patient of Dr. Fox. She’s recovering from surgery and it looks like she’s having a stroke. She’s having difficulty speaking and is not moving her left arm and leg. Dr. Fox is requesting a STAT consult please.”
“Let’s move her to the neuro ICU,” said Dr. Phillips. “Get a STAT MRI. Check her coags and CBC if they’re not already on the chart from this morning. I’m on my way.”
Time Is Brain: You Don’t Have 30 Minutes
In an earlier era at this hospital – and at many hospitals even in this digital age – it wouldn’t have been so easy for the care team to contact the on-call physician. Traditional processes are intensely manual and fraught with opportunities for communication delay or failure.
Somebody might have had to search for the on-call schedule, or called the PBX operator or the emergency department to ask for it. They would have obtained the on-call doctor’s name and pager number, paged the doctor, and waited an unpredictable amount of time for the doctor to call.
Sometimes they would find out the hard way that the schedule they had accessed wasn’t current, only after delays created by calling a doctor who had swapped shifts and was not actually on call.
Challenges of Manual On-Call Scheduling
In the traditional approach to managing and updating a hospital’s on-call schedule, physician practices and service lines send on-call information for the month to the medical staffing office – often in different formats and using variant terminologies.
In the medical staffing office, an assistant compiles that information into a centralized daily schedule and converts it to a format that may or may not be easily accessible to the entire staff. Then the information is posted on a server or via hard copy at unit stations. Each time a schedule is revised, the master document must be manually updated and reposted.
The challenge with this approach is that users might not have access to the most current information. Care team members might have trouble locating the accurate schedule and might call the wrong provider if the posted schedule is not up to date. This can delay patient care and frustrate physicians and care team members.
Integrate Systems for Provider Scheduling and Clinical Communication
When a hospital automates on-call scheduling and integrates the information with its clinical communication system, care team members can easily and efficiently connect with the right on-call provider.
QGenda On-Call is a cloud-based, hosted application that provides a single source of truth for multiple department schedules. It lets organizations create, manage, and update accurate, current on-call schedules, and unify provider on-call schedules from third-party scheduling tools such as Excel and AMiON. And when a provider swaps or changes an on-call assignment, QGenda On-Call instantly reflects the change.
When a hospital integrates QGenda On-Call with the Vocera Platform, clinicians have immediate access to the right on-call provider from a smartphone, wearable Vocera Badge, or desktop. Calls or texts can be automatically escalated to the next physician on the schedule if more than one is available for a given specialty, courtesy of the platform’s dynamic master directory.
1 Vendor, 1 App: 6 Communication Workflow Tasks Made More Efficient
Vocera and QGenda share a commitment to helping care providers focus more of their time on caring for patients. Below are six clinical communication workflows that are enabled by a Vocera–QGenda On-Call integration.
Call or text an on-call physician without knowing his or her name, pager, or phone number.
Communicate with consulting specialists and primary care physicians who may be offsite without changing communication platforms.
Coordinate plans across multiple care team directories, staff assignment systems, and on-call scheduling applications.
Track and share patient status, treatment plans, and other critical information securely and privately.
Communicate with, and route alerts and alarms to, clinical groups like rapid response or code teams.
Send an urgent broadcast voice message to a stroke team, rapid response team, or any group instantly.
Learn More about QGenda Solutions
In addition to QGenda On-Call, QGenda offers a full complement of physician scheduling solutions. These enable you to build and manage optimized provider schedules faster, improve payroll accuracy, and streamline and simplify the processing of time punch and pay code information.