Replacing Pagers with TigerText Improves Physician to Physician Communication
Aug 30, 2017 TigerText
With Labor Day coming up next week, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the meaning of labor, what it means to TigerText, and the healthcare industry in general. While there are many positive connotations when it comes to labor (as in one’s work), labor can also be a negative (as in laborious). Recently, TigerText CEO Brad Brooks examined “toil” in healthcare and how it can impede care, drive up costs, and demoralize physicians and nurses:
“Hospitals continue to rely on antiquated communications and workflows that don’t scale. Whether the 2,000,000 pagers still in use, old IP nurse phones coupled with whiteboards used for scheduling, or third party human answering services that triage phone calls, the way most of acute care communication occurs has the unintended consequence of slowing response times and impeding care coordination because it fundamentally requires synchronous communication (two or more people speaking live) to exchange information.”
But this toil isn’t only something we noticed, a study examining the communication technologies used by hospital-based clinicians found that close to 80% of clinicians use hospital provided pagers.
For Mary Washington Healthcare, the same pager “toil” had become a large challenge for physicians and call center staff that needed to be addressed. And like many hospitals today, a portion of clinicians were also texting patient information, using personal devices or a combination of disjointed communication tools.
While their initial goal was to introduce a standardized communication platform to their clinicians and replace their antiquated pagers, they quickly learned that integration with their call center was inexpensive and simple enough to implement a change across the board.
Although pager use was ingrained in physician workflows, TigerText was rapidly adopted and message volume has continued to climb since implementation. Clarity and promptness of communication have improved thanks to physicians being able to contact each other directly and communicate in real time, enhancing collaboration and the delivery speed of patient care. Due to the success with physicians, Mary Washington Healthcare is planning to integrate TigerText with its electronic health record (EHR) system and expand the clinical communications platform to include nurses and other clinical staff.
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