Challenge: Inaccurate Care Team Data Hinders Effective Communication and Coordination
Caring for patients is a collaborative process, involving multidisciplinary teams that include a variety of physicians, nurses, and ancillary department staff. Achieving effective communication and collaboration within these teams is a challenging task. In fact, identifying the appropriate care providers for hospital patients has been perceived as the most pressing communication need for both physicians and nurses.1 Although Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are relied upon heavily to support patient care across the continuum, research featured in Applied Clinical Informatics (ACI) shows that commercial EHR implementations do not provide adequate tools for care team designation.
For example, although an EHR may include accurate information about a patient’s physicians, it may also include numerous nurses who have not removed themselves from the care team at shift change. In fact, the ACI study suggests that patients who experience a multi-day hospital stay can have more than 30 clinicians providing care, making it difficult to identify who is on a patient’s care team at any given moment.
Inaccurate and incomplete care team data significantly limits the effectiveness of electronic communications, including voice calling, secure text messaging, and clinical decision support, such as the automatic routing of stat orders and critical test results to the appropriate clinicians. Health systems that have invested in mobile communication platforms are unable to fully maximize their impact if they can only reliably reach a subset of their care teams.
Goal: Accurate and Timely Communication Across the Care Team
Augmenting the EHR with care team information from an additional source can help solve this problem. Vocera® Staff Assignment provides accurate care team data for roles such as “Room 101 Nurse” and “Transport Team.” These assignments enable Vocera users to call and send secure text messages and urgent alerts to role-based groups, ensuring they reach whoever is currently filling that role. Users don’t need to know who is on shift at a particular time – Vocera intelligently handles that translation.
Synchronizing data from the EHR with data in Vocera Staff Assignment provides an accurate, reliable source of information about a patient’s current care team, so team members can easily identify and communicate with one another. Users can refer to the information in the EHR, access it in Vocera Staff Assignment, and leverage it for mobile communications.
Solution: Care Team Sync
• Combines provider data from the EHR/ADT system with shift-based nurse and other staff assignment data from Vocera to provide a unified, real-time view of a patient’s care team.
• Improves the accuracy of EHR data, which is often unreliable because it includes multiple care team members, particularly nurses, from different shifts.
• Eliminates duplicate staff assignments in the EHR and Vocera.
• Improves the accuracy of Vocera Staff Assignment data, enabling additional members of the care team to use Vocera for voice calls and secure text messaging, and to receive alerts and alarms from the EHR and other clinical systems, inside and outside the hospital.
• Provides a consolidated source of patient care team data to support reporting and quality improvement initiatives.