How To

Inside Secure Messaging: Reaching On Call Physicians & Surgeons

October 20, 2015 | Uniphy Health

Secure texting apps that enable physicians and clinicians to achieve their care coordination goals are most commonly being integrated into hospital’s digital health strategies. EHR integration is essential for secure texting enabled, mHealth apps’ robust care coordination features and functions. In this post, we explore how secure texting apps enable clinical care teams to better communicate with on call physicians and specialists.

Sending Consults

Residents in training most often struggle to reach consultants and arrange for timely consultations or discharges. Using secure texting apps with consult request features, residents can communicate with specialists and access the EHR in significantly less time than before. There are cases where secure texting apps reduced delays between surgeons and other physicians/care team members by an average of 5.5 hours per surgeon daily.

The consult function of secure texting apps is typically located on these apps’ dashboards. Using the consult function, clinicians and physicians can find surgeons and specialists based on name, specialty, areas of practice, insurance participation, and location. Users should be able to send a consult in no more than 5 steps. The app should deliver a confirmation to users when their consult request has been read. Consultation request recipients should also be able to review the consults that were sent to them using the consult function.

Contacting on call physicians

Paper listings of on-call physicians are often inaccurate, and frequently lead to care delays. Secure texting apps that offer on-call system integration eliminate this challenge for care teams. With such an app, departmental staff record and adjust on-call physician lists through the app’s admin dashboard. Users can then access the on-call lists of hospital departments on their app. In just two steps, users should be able to locate on-call physicians, access their contact information and communicate within the app. Access to this mobile connected on-call list simplifies clinicians’ workflows by allowing them to quickly identify and communicate with on-call physicians. This can result in speeded care delivery and lowered referral leakage.

Clinicians who use secure texting apps to send consult requests and identify on-call physicians more efficiently communicate and coordinate patient care. SMS applications that fail to secure text and image messages can not safely support such care coordination improvements, because of the clinical data systems integration that supports these two functions. There are many other functions and features that secure texting applications used for care coordination purposes offer. This checklist explains the features and benefits of these apps.

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