Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, gave nursing a reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture with the title “The Lady with the Lamp,” making rounds of wounded soldiers at night.
Although Florence Nightingale will be fascinated by our modern technology across the healthcare system, she would be sorely dissatisfied with the current state of nursing. The tools/technology or burn out due to overtime or rudimentary schedule or clinical communication system. More importantly, the present generation’s hesitancy to be a nurse is alarming to the healthcare eco-system.
Nurses deliver 90% of healthcare services care; they are mostly unseen in the decision-making process for improved tools and technology. Making matters worse, nurses are overworked and provided inadequate, outdated tools for their daily job functions.
Nurse leaders should advocate for the latest and greatest scheduling and communication technology and enable nurses to take care of patients rather than efficiently manage non-essential work.
Here are three essential things to examine as you do so:
Effective Team Communication within hospitals
Reliance on outdated communication methods such as pagers, fax machines contributes to nursing burnout. While a clinical communications platform can’t solve all of the challenges nurses face, it can help streamline approved processes to allocate more time with patients and less time trying to reach physicians and other care team members.
Advocating for smartphones enabled with a mature clinical communication application can ease the frustration created by inefficient healthcare processes. The familiarity of secure text messaging, voice, and video chat will help drive adoption and mobilize your nursing staff. A practical clinical communication allows nurses to dedicate more time to patient care.
Remote communication reaching isolated communities
The COVID-19 pandemic boosted telemedicine into the healthcare eco-system. It’s a useful tool to reduce unnecessary hospital visits, reduce risks of cross-infections, and still provide clinical care. Leveraging the same technology is telehealth nursing care, and can be deployed in emergency and non-emergency situations.
Using telemedicine technology, nursers can triage set-ups. Moreover, nurses can monitor a patient’s oxygen levels, heart rate, respiration, blood glucose, and more. In non-emergency situations, nurses can get their patients’ blood pressure readings or glucose readings, for instance. They can also instruct patients as to how to dress a wound or treat a minor burn.
Centralized Command Center
One of the newest healthcare ideas, centralized command centers, promises improved patient experiences, and better ways for RNs and doctors to manage clinical capacity. The command center software applications such as dashboards can provide the physician schedule information across multiple specialties.
Command Center information would reduce the time spent finding a physician on the floor rather than combining them through multiple software.
In fast-paced healthcare settings, where changes are happening across the board in trauma and emergency settings, hospitals have difficulty managing on-call coverage and reaching out to on-call provider when required for patient care.
Imagine a scenario where a nurse tries to reach an on-call hospitalist for a patient’s critical result. Typically, the nurse would have to go through multiple departments and tools to leave the provider’s a callback message or number.
Developing a solid plan for an on-call schedule displays an organization’s focus on consistency and reliability towards patient care.
Enterprise Shift Scheduling Software
A single platform to manage the complex need of shift administrators, providers, and enable HIPPA based clinical communication.
- A mobile app for providers to have accurate On-Call schedule and notification or alert when the on-call schedule changes. The app should also allow the flexibility of the provider to make any schedule changes.
- A mobile app for shift administrators to have accurate on-call schedules across the facility and make changes quickly as the need arises.
- A read-only roster to be displayed in multiple locations for staff to know the on-call providers for each specialty.
- An enterprise scheduling and clinical communication app for shift planner to efficiently manage the on-call and regular shifts.
Managing the patient flow and maximizing optimization requires understanding the staff skill-set.
Building a successful cross-functional team requires:
- A team should include providers of different skills. An example can be a hospitalist team that can have a combination of attending and app physicians.
- A team should have the flexibility of adding more providers for surge readiness or when the demand arises.
- A team should have consistent team-mates and schedules. Ex. can be Clinical Team for specialized care like Trauma Care, Role-Based team like ICU Nurse, Critical Team like Code Blue.
- Not every specialty requires the same number of physicians or team. Building a team on demand and without any constraint for the number of providers will maximize providers’ efficiency.
On-Call Connect Information
Provider’s privacy of information is as crucial as HIPPA data.
- A nurse across different specialties should have the right information for the on-call schedule physician. Calling a provider who is not assigned will have a detrimental effect on an employee’s happiness.
- A nurse requiring to connect an on-call scheduler should not know the provider’s cell number; instead can look up the On-call schedule and connect with the physician.
A shift planner should understand the seasonal factor to determine clinical capacity.
An on-call strategy based on seasonal factors can be:
- Time of year when cold and flu may require more on-call staff.
- Vacation time e.x. Thanksgiving and Christmas might have less staff and hence require more on-call physicians.
Phone tag is one of the significant reasons for provider dissatisfaction in healthcare. Voicemails are left, and colleagues get frustrated. Thus, providers use different ways to contact other medical staff using different fast and efficient methods but not secure, such as standard text messaging.
Standard text messaging is not connected to the hospital’s staff directory, which causes the provider to go to different fragmented software such as team chat or a shared excel file to find the contact information.
Additionally, calling a physician when the provider is not working increases provider frustration and impacts care coordination.
Five critical criteria to remove communication error in healthcare enterprise settings are:
For efficient communication when required, knowing which medical staff is working and where is essential. For e.x. when a nurse needs to discuss a critical patient result with attending, knowing which provider to connect to or a nurse taking care of a patient in ICU needs to communicate with an on-call physician quickly without combing through different software.
A digital schedule where all the staff has access to provider contact information without compromising physician privacy from a different hospital location will benefit the provider and patient care quality.
HIPPA Messaging Platform
An increase in the cyberattack targeting all industries, including healthcare, all hospitals software such as EHR, Practice Management, Scheduling Software needs to have security and HIPPA compliance enabled
As providers connect with other care team members, patient information shared across the text messages must be secured and HIPAA compliant environment in the cloud. For efficient cross-clinical communication, staff can message privately or in groups and can share files images related to patient care.
Easy to use App for Medical Staff
The providers are currently feeling the pain of learning technology and using multiple software to be efficient. The staff needs a simple easy to use mobile app where they can apply for leave, make schedule changes, and connect with the team for clinical communication for voice or video call and chat.
An integrated app will allow the staff to be alerted or notified for any clinical communication or schedule changes and enable a provider to focus on a most critical task, taking care of patients.
Creating Flexible Team
Well-implemented team-based care can improve the comprehensiveness, coordination, productivity, effectiveness, and value of care and the satisfaction of patients and medical staff.
To achieve this potential, the transition to team-based care requires, for most practices, profound changes in the culture and organization of care.
A key pillar for team-based care is an interaction among colleagues in a single integrated app, and exchanging the patient information is a secure and HIPAA compliant platform.
Along with building team-based care, the team should also allow for flexibility to add staff when required and ensure that the right providers are available for the right time without patient flow.
Find out how Dockyo Advanced Scheduling can assist with efficient communication across healthcare settings.
With a low employment rate, healthcare enterprise faces challenges to have adequate medical staff coverage for better patient care. As a result, the hospital shift planner is looking for various options to reduce the locum budget and improve employee engagement quality
Here are a few strategies that can help with internal sourcing:
Enterprise shift schedule.
Shift planners should invest in online healthcare shift scheduling software with information about the provider’s availability across the enterprise health system. Shift administrator should be able to use a larger pool of providers when a shift is sourced and can see which provider is available for additional work with less budget than hiring a locum.
Inform provider on regular shifts or shift changes
Providers should have a mobile app with accurate information about the current schedule and when a recent scheduled shift has changed. Providers should have the ability to swap, trade, or drop shift when needed and informing the scheduler for changes to have a change sourced
Leverage gamification for better employee engagement.
Companies with a fair employee engagement process have more chances to have a shift secured by internal medical staff. Gamification triggers motivation across the medical staff and encourages providers to perform better and drive better productivity.
Few examples of gamification are
- Providers can bid for a shift.
- Providers can win a Superhero provider for a month for most working on a source shift
- A provider can donate a percentage of overtime shift back to the medical community and matching donation to be added by the hospital board.
Invest in the right communication tool.
Employees should always have a tool to communicate and collaborate across when needed. Providers should have the means to send SMS to the team securely, or the scheduler can call the OnCall physicians without displaying the provider contact information. A provider should have the flexibility to notify the scheduler via a shift scheduler app without sending email and constant follow up for a response.
Focussing on the above strategies should reduce the locum budget and improve patient care quality by leveraging internal resources who know hospital processes and systems.