Care team communication and collaboration has always been vital to patient care. But it’s even more critical today as health services delivery becomes more complex. Often, multiple providers are involved and care extends outside of clinics and hospitals to people’s homes.
The patient safety ramifications of poor care team communication are highlighted in the IDC white paper “The Mobile Professional in Healthcare: Improving Care Team Collaboration through Unified Communication and Collaboration (UC&C).” It also points out that health professionals use an average of three devices during their workday and need tools that work seamlessly across those devices. One of the key findings in the paper is that health organizations are increasingly taking advantage of cloud services to address these challenges and improve care team collaboration, while saving money.
Indeed, today’s cloud and mobile technologies make it easier than ever to coordinate health services across organizations and communities—and deliver patient-centric care.
Patient-centered collaboration can now start even before the patient arrives at a hospital or clinic. For example, a regional ambulance service in Austria is using a solution from icomedias to capture patient data on tablets and share it in real time so that hospital staff can know the patient’s emergency condition prior to arrival. Whereas before emergency medical personnel had to fill out up to 600 fields on paper forms, they can now use touch, voice, or pen capabilities to quickly capture field notes. They can also take pictures of a patient wound, for example, and it will be instantly integrated into their report.
“The emergency medical service is about saving lives in extremely critical situations—every second counts,” says Klaus Pessenbacher, Chief Physician MD and Head of Emergency Medical Services, Federal State Government of Styria, Austria. “Using the mobile solution HYBRID.FORMS by icomedias, we document all measures taken in a reliable, legally compliant, and quick way. By replacing paper with digital forms, essential information can be sent to the hospital before the patient arrives. Forms automation reduces risks, saves money, and we gain more time for our core life-saving tasks.”
Another great example of a mobile solution for improving care team collaboration and productivity comes from Rapid Circle. With its solution, health professionals can have their own personal home page that’s consistent and adapts across all their devices. Rather than having to open up a bunch of different applications to do their work, health professionals can see their text, voice, and email messages on their customized home page. They can see the status of their patients, shift handoff notes, the availability of specialists, and more. They can even create their own apps to help with things like exchanging work shifts. All of this makes it faster and easier for care teams to work together and stay up to date on patients’ conditions and needs.
These are just a few examples of the exciting ways that health organizations and technology vendors are taking advantage of today’s mobile and cloud technologies to make it easier for health professionals to collaborate in real time—with the ultimate result being patient-centered care. Check out more customer stories and Microsoft partners.
And stay tuned for my next blog in the coming weeks, which will share some great examples of another crucial element of care coordination: patient empowerment.
Written by Christian Maranitsch Published on September 18th 2015 on Microsoft Health blog