Successful collaboration is only possible when you have strong means of communication to back up your care team anywhere and at all times. As our culture becomes more and more dependent on real-time on-demand connections, this communication is intensifying. Healthcare professionals cannot escape these growing demands, as delivery processes require constant interactions between healthcare practitioners. Care teams who do not communicate well with each other, not only lack dynamic care collaboration but also put patients in harm’s way at the same time.
The Importance of Care Collaboration
Communication and collaboration go hand in hand. Organizations with lack of communication and team effort double the risk for medical errors. These errors can potentially escalate into fatal patient injuries or untimely patient deaths. Medical errors caused by lack of communication are rampant across the U.S healthcare sector. Insufficient communication and exchange of key information is the root cause of medical errors or malpractice claims. As mentioned in a recent 2018 study, communication breakdowns across hospitals and medical practices accounted for 30% of all malpractice claims, having resulted in 1,744 deaths and $1.7 billion in malpractice costs over the course of five years.
Therefore, communication and the key role it plays in building team collaboration cannot and should not be overlooked by care organizations. Critical information can easily be lost via handwritten notes, emails or text messages. Miscommunication and a team that isn’t on the same page can be costly to the patient’s life. This is crucial, as effective communication and care collaboration is key for reducing medical errors and saving patient lives. When care teams communicate well, there is increased collaboration among them and they can execute patient care plans far more responsibly and efficiently. More collaboration between physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers results in more awareness of each other’s expertise and responsibilities which continuously improves the quality of decision-making processes within organizations.
Effective Communication Produces Healthy Outcomes, But How?
Poor means of communication can prove fatal to patient health. However, an efficient medium for communication is conducive to healthy patient outcomes. It improves the exchange of information between care professionals, keeping them updated on changing patient conditions amid hectic workflows and allows for more timely interventions. Secure communication platforms offer confidentiality, as staff feel more comfortable sharing critical information, and this increased safety and instant access to co-workers reduces their work burdens. Better communication systems make staff more productive in their roles, bring them together as one team, and increase clarity with a patient’s plan of care. In short, good communication is key for care collaboration and teamwork, as this will help them improve their care processes and avoid medical wrongdoing.
Where Does That Change Come From?
This change needs to come directly from an organization’s leadership and their firm commitment to improving their internal communication processes. They must uphold patient safety above all else, and must acknowledge the serious repercussions of communications gaps plaguing the healthcare system. Gaps in communication must be addressed, and not overlooked by healthcare leadership. They must create opportunities within their organizations, where there is open communication between different groups, and where they can collaborate and work together from that point. Moreover, leaders must model transparent, collaborative communication that encourages each team member to be accountable for high quality care.
Collaborative Technology: The Answer to Healthcare Struggles
The pandemic dealt a sharp blow to collaboration within healthcare organizations due to lack of physical access previously experienced. More importantly, it brought our attention to communication inefficiencies still dominant across the healthcare sector. In fact, it highlighted the opportunity for more virtual, technology enabled collaboration to assist in day to day care coordination. Thus, organizations must seek alternative solutions by adopting a comprehensive strategy on collaboration. Collaboration is without doubt, key to quality care, and this is one of the best starting points for any organization wanting to improve their internal workflows.
In recent years, technological advancements have changed the way healthcare systems operate and have taken their operational efficiencies to new levels. Despite these innovations, many care organizations remain unaware of how existing collaborative technologies can help their organizations. Care communication tools, with secure cloud-based systems allow care providers to connect and collaborate on patient health in one virtual platform. These tools can be accessed from both mobile and desktop devices. With patient-centered channels for communication, all the care workers involved with a specific patient are on the same page and this lets them work well together as a team. This helps avoid any discrepancies, potential errors in miscommunication and enables timely and proper exchange of information.
The Best Way to Get Started: Simply Start
Poor collaboration is proving costly to health systems all over the world, but luckily, accessible collaborative technology such as Hucu.ai is helping care teams address this challenge common across the care continuum. Hucu.ai’s advanced care communication app helps care organizations streamline their internal communication workflows within and across organizations, thereby increasing collaboration efforts and improving job satisfaction levels among providers. Our communication platform is amplifying interprofessional care collaboration in healthcare, as it connects teams across health professions, shifts and even locations. Hucu.ai allows health care workers to work with each other, with patients, their families, outside caregivers and other members of the healthcare community in one place.
This is the very foundation of inter-professional collaboration in healthcare. Hucu.ai envisions care teams that collaborate together and produce the highest quality of care possible for their patients. A team that is well-connected is far better equipped to share critical information on time between the necessary providers, and give patients more accurate diagnosis. Consider a patient suffering from chest pains who walks in an emergency room and a heart attack is confirmed. Post emergency surgery, the patient stays in the ICU for a day where nurses look after him or her in 12-hour shifts, before having the patient transferred to a cardiac unit. During his stay, different people might check in on him/her, such as the primary care physician, the cardiologist, and even the endocrinologist and pulmonologists since the patient has diabetes. Physical therapists, dieticians and social workers might need to step in later on. All of these people hold important information pertaining to the patient’s condition, and these people will rarely come across each other in the same room. What they lack is direct connection with each other in real-time. Fortunately, communication apps like Hucu.ai enable instant communication and collaboration between multiple providers on the go. Interprofessional collaboration via Hucu.ai brings care teams together and makes everyone feel like an important part of the team.