A physician needed to perform emergency surgery at a hospital that was in the same large integrated delivery network she worked in, but not her home hospital.
As she set out to prep for the case, she needed to contact the care team, including the on-call ER doctor, surgery team, and the person in charge of room scheduling. She needed to find and obtain supplies.App #1 (and a pen)
The physician turned to her iPhone and contemplated: Which app should she start with?
An app from one vendor would let her access clinic schedules, patient lists, test results, and more. She searched that app for the patient’s name and found orders. By looking at the orders, she was able to identify the attending physician. She found a pen and a scrap of paper and wrote down his name.App #2 (and a pen)
Next she opened a proprietary on-call scheduling app for which schedule management was handled by an administrator. She used that app’s search function to find the facility and then scrolled through directories by specialty. The lists were long and her time was short. She located the physician and wrote down his phone number.App #3
She knew she could access a secure messaging app from a third vendor through the proprietary app (app #2). She thought for a moment about messaging him but decided a call would probably be more efficient.App #4 (and a pen and a bit of walking)
So she opened a fourth vendor app, the one she needed in order to make phone calls. She searched for the physician’s name in the app, found it, and wrote down his number. She punched it in and the call went into voicemail.
Running out of options, she started physically walking the hospital to find the resources she needed.
She didn’t know which operating room was scheduled for the procedure. In the security office she saw monitors covering the operating rooms; she determined which room looked cleanest, and figured chances were good it was the right one. She went to that room and started setting up.
As it turned out, she had the wrong room and had to move down the hall with her supplies. Eventually she found a member of the nursing team who was able to provide a print-out with complete information about the patient and care team for that shift.App #5 (and some memorization)
One piece of information she still needed was the contact information for the patient’s primary physician. This doctor was not part of her hospital system and not represented in the hospital’s EHR. She opened a fifth app – Google – and ran search to find that physician.
With some stealthy navigating, she found the physician. She repeated the number aloud to hold it in her head as she punched it in.
Meanwhile, the patient awaiting emergency surgery continued . . . to . . . wait.
There’s enough complexity going on for care teams in a hospital without communication hurdles making it harder. Caregivers shouldn’t have to bounce from one app to another, be forced to retain names and phone numbers in working memory, or have to walk the hospital to find what they need.
A doctor, nurse, or any care team member should only need to use a single app to communicate.
Below are six communication workflow tasks involving the act of phoning people or groups that you can do easily with a single app from Vocera. Can you do this with your clinical communication software?