Healthcare Infomatics On Improving Coordinated Care With mHealth App

June 4, 2014 | Uniphy Health

Check out this in-depth analysis of Practice Unite’s app for coordinated care, written for healthcare IT and informatics professionals.

Smartphone app has improved efficiency through better communications across the medical staff

“Communication breakdowns in healthcare affect care teams and their patients at every stage of the care process, from diagnosis to treatment. Without a network to enable rapid connectivity and remote communication, clinician efforts are hindered while quality of care, patient satisfaction and cost efficiencies suffer.

To quantify the effect that communication breakdowns could have on health systems, The Joint Commission, a healthcare system standards and oversight organization, has indicated that nearly 80 percent of serious medical errors and medical mistakes are caused by poor communication between healthcare providers or healthcare teams, especially when a patient is transferred from one facility to another.

Undoubtedly, the time it takes for clinicians to reach each other drains staff productivity and creates delays in decision-making regarding critical patient-related issues. To this end, just a few years ago, officials at the N.J.-based LibertyHealth Jersey City Medical Center estimated that medical staff spent about 15 percent of their day (or a month every year) trying to get hold of other physicians rather than taking care of patients.

Additionally at the 300-bed facility, surgeons reported 2-4 hour delays between the time that consults were requested and the time that they were notified, while residents reported up to two days’ lag time in getting response on consults. What’s more, after procedures, surgeons also faced difficulties communicating their findings and recommendations to referring physicians, who were often disconnected from the hospital’s communication system.

These numbers were derived from interviews conducted by Practice Unite, a Newark, N.J.-based subset of Navio Health, a healthcare communications vendor. Over a year ago, Navio Health’s core product, Practice Unite— a customized, HIPAA-compliant smartphone application designed to improve communications and speed up workflow—was implemented at Jersey City Medical Center, with the goal of solving this increasing healthcare communication issue…” Read more

“In any industry, communication is always a challenge, as no matter the sector, communication is the key to holding together the workflow,” says Stephen Li, Jersey City Medical Center’s CIO. “In healthcare, with all the changes that we’re witnessing, that communication challenge gets magnified because of the regulatory changes that are coming right after one another. Pagers are still common, but you have to wait until someone gets back to you. As such, society has embraced smartphones as the center of their communication,” Li says.