Importance of Effective Communication in Healthcare

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FOUR Reasons Efficient and Effective Healthcare Communication is Critical

Good communication builds good relationships.  Efficient and effective communication is fundamental to all teamwork. In healthcare collaboration, communication is even more important. Lack of timely and secure communication and collaboration could result in many different bad outcomes not only for patients but also for organizations caring for patients.

  1. Increased Malpractice cases: In fact, Crico Strategies’ reports that healthcare communication failure was a factor in 50 percent  of medical malpractice cases. Specifically, communication regarding patient condition was cited in 26 percent of cases.
  2. Increased medical errors: The Institute for Healthcare Communication has reported, “Research conducted during the 10 year period of 1995-2005 has demonstrated that ineffective team communication is the root cause for nearly 66 percent of all medical errors during that period.” Furthermore, the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare found that “an estimated 80% of serious medical errors involve miscommunication between caregivers during the transfer of patients.”
  3. Lack of timely collaboration among different providers: A recent Commonwealth Fund study reported that “Fewer than half (49 percent) of U.S. primary care providers receive information from specialists about changes to their patients’ care plans or medications…”
  4. HIPAA related penalties: Healthcare providers are also subject to more HIPAA related fines than ever before. Organizational attention to HIPAA compliance by safeguarding patient information and treating it appropriately is no longer optional. Hucu.ai bridges the communication gap with fully featured HIPAA compliant messaging Free, including attachments and images.

In a typical post acute care setting, professionals are struggling with effective and efficient communication. Nurses on duty have difficulty tracking down the multiple physicians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals involved in a patient’s care. They spend time emailing, faxing, and phoning that could better be spent caring for patients. And that is after taking the time and energy to track down the appropriate referrals and contact information. While collaboration is critical in healthcare teams, the tools available have lagged behind the needs.

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Each facility has implemented a complex EHR (Electronic Health Records system)  which isn’t integrated with EHRs used by partner organizations. HIPAA compliant text messages have been unavailable or expensive.

Improving Communication in Value Based Care

Healthcare teams can certainly continue to use 1-1 old tools like phones, voicemails, faxes, paper, etc. However, now there’s one solution in all of healthcare communication apps, that allows different healthcare workforce to effectively communicate with each other in a 1-1, 1-many and in context of a patient (patient-centered messaging). Hucu.ai provides such messaging capabilities for FREE. Innovative post acute care physician groups and skilled nursing operators are downloading the mobile app (available both in iOS and Android) and improving communication and collaboration immediately. Hucu.ai offers the following capabilities:
  • Unlimited FREE user licenses for your organization 
  • Unlimited FREE user licenses for staff not working in your organization but your organization is collaborating with
  • Unlimited FREE patient profiles and related storage
  • Send/Receive HIPAA compliant messages
  • Share real-time availability with other caregivers or team members 
  • Send attachments (.pdf, .ppt, .xls, .jpg, etc.)
  • Share  photos, videos, links, etc. 
  • All shared media is stored in Hucu’s secure cloud, without wasting individuals’ phone storage
  • Receive push notifications when others send messages via direct 1-1 messaging or via a group channel
  • Create public and private channels 
  • Build patient centered channels and collaborate with teams across different entities 
  • Appreciate and recognize collaborators 
  • Enable professional communication channels so that personal communication is separate (“work is work and personal is personal”)
  • Admin reports and dashboards for amazing insights around your best and “not so best” team members so proper incentives can be put in place to retain good employees 
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In a recent “Trailblazers in Value Based Care” interview, Dr. Bader Almoshelli of Community Physicians, a multi-specialty provider group, said, “It’s tricky to navigate, but for anyone looking to position themselves to stand out in value based care, the #1 focus has to be the patient. That is the bedrock of any healthcare proposition. Beyond that, to achieve success in value based care, yes, it’s about the outcomes and metrics. But to achieve that, there has to be a certain level of sophistication with regards to care coordination.

It comes down to the team. The way the team is successful is through meaningful communication. To achieve the outcomes we want, communication is the lynchpin to hold it together. For better or worse, it’s a disconnected and disparate system throughout the healthcare continuum and really more in post acute care than anywhere else. 

Meaningful communication is useful to the providers and impacts patient care directly. It’s more than checking the box and providing data just because you’re supposed to.”

Post Acute Care is being redefined by organizations like Community Physicians to provide a higher quality of care as the new step down unit of the hospital. As the complexity of patients has increased dramatically, Community Physicians is bringing hospital level care to Skilled Nursing settings. This enables more value based care to be delivered in patient centered practices. Community Physicians brings specialists in cardiology, nephrology, physiatry, and transitional care to work in teams serving patients in post acute care facilities. By having an integrated team of specialists, Community Physicians is able to provide hospital level care using leading edge clinical communication solutions.

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Tim Martinez, CEO of MPAC Healthcare talked about their role in another episode of  Trailblazers in Value Based Care. “We have to be very efficient in providing patient centered care, … lot of it comes down to communication and collaboration. Our providers become what I would describe as “the quarterbacks” on site with the patient. They are there first and foremost to provide care to the patient, whether it’s our Nurse Practitioner providing medical care or our Clinical Social Worker providing mental health care. They are there to support the facility staff. We bring a higher level of clinical capabilities to that staff so they feel supported. We’re also there to collaborate with the existing medical team who are often not on site. We sit right in the middle, so communication and collaboration is key to assure that we’re all working together to drive the same goals.”

The Future of Post Acute Healthcare is Patient-Centered Communication

As innovative post acute care organizations focus on the patient, they are finding that the right technology is incredibly valuable to efficient and effective patient centered communication and collaboration. Easy to use tools like Hucu.ai enable affordable HIPAA compliant communication for healthcare professionals. Improved communication improves collaboration driving better outcomes and resulting in enhanced quality of patient care. Join our email list here to get additional updates from hucu.ai.

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