Why Healthcare Needs to Flow
Oct 20, 2016 Brad Brooks, Co-Founder & CEO, TigerText
Today we are launching one of the most important initiatives in our company’s history – TigerFlow – where Secure Messaging meets Healthcare Workflow.
The origins of this initiative began a little over two years ago with a very personal experience in a hospital emergency department. I had just fallen asleep around 11:15 pm when I was startled awake by a phone call from my brother Andrew, who is also a co-founder and the Chief Medical Officer of TigerText. He was driving home when another driver ran a stop sign and slammed into the back of his car. I could tell by the tone of his voice that he wasn’t right. I raced to the accident scene that happened to be a mile from my home, to find him being prepped by the paramedics to load into the ambulance and taken to the hospital.
While I had been running a company focused on healthcare technology for several years, the hours anxiously waiting in the ER for my brother illuminated more to me about the severe communication issues confronting healthcare delivery than any of the hundreds of visits to hospitals that I made as a vendor. Every step of my brother’s journey through the ED was rife with unnecessary delays, miscommunication, and/or lack of coordination amongst different players.
These problems don’t take into account the immediate hurdle of data entry into the EMR now required by health systems. While EMRs have been the single largest investment by hospitals over the past 10 years, the striking revelation was how little of this digital information was actually leveraged to speed up care for my brother. Even though a C/T scan was ordered, it took almost an hour for the transporter to show up. Once the scan was performed it took almost 90 minutes for a read to be performed. This read in turn needed to be confirmed by the neurologist on call who could not be reached.
The hours stretched to the early morning and finally my now exasperated brother tracked down the on-call neurologist on his cellphone, as he happened to know him personally. Andrew was finally discharged around 5:00 am, and only to exit through an ED waiting room overflowing with people who could have been treated more quickly if only my brother had been discharged sooner.
Understanding the complexities of hospital workflow actually makes this experience understandable. It’s like a ballet company that changes its performers every night. You may know what your moves are but your partner is constantly changing, which can result in lapses of communication.
Improvement is needed in clinical communications
Andrew’s experience in the ED directly informed our corporate investment strategy over the past two years that culminates today with the TigerFlow unveiling. We believe that healthcare workflow is ripe for massive optimization when a mobile-first, patient-centric communication platform is combined with professional consultation and services, and is broadly implemented and adopted across the enterprise.
Over the past two years, we have invested millions of dollars building our post-sale services organization to prove through dozens of enterprise-level case studies that when our mobile communication platform is properly leveraged, our customers dramatically reduce costs, shorten revenue cycles and, most importantly, improve patient outcomes.
With the introduction of TigerFlow, we are combining our post-sales services effort with a platform of cutting edge healthcare product features that take real-time communication and care coordination to the next level. Today we are announcing our patent-pending Roles feature that allows TigerText users to message someone in a Role as opposed to having to know the specific name of the person inhabiting that Role (e.g. Neurologist on Call). In addition, we are introducing Click to Call, which allows a user to initiate a voice conversation directly from the TigerText app without knowing the recipient’s phone number. TigerFlow also includes full scheduling and calendar integration within our app from any third party scheduler so a clinician can see who’s on call or entering into a Role on a prospective basis.
Our experts streamline communication workflows
All of these features are being matched with professional services (alongside our communication workflow consultants) to drive advanced EMR integration to and from the TigerText app, allowing structured data to be presented within TigerText or alternatively written to the EMR from TigerText.
To be clear, the goal is not to replace the EMR, Lab Information System, Nurse Call or any other system currently used by healthcare organizations. However, there is a vital hole to be filled at the last mile mobile endpoint. And, when this last mile is addressed, we have demonstrated massive quantifiable improvements across the board for our customers.
TigerFlow marks the next major step in our evolution from a basic secure messaging compliance app to become a true communication workflow solution. We believe that healthcare is in desperate need of a comprehensive approach to solving last mile communication problems. We look forward to delivering on this promise so that other patients can avoid the needlessly uncomfortable ordeal my brother experienced firsthand that night in the ED.