Digital technology is propelling the U.S. healthcare system forward, but there’s still a long way to go. The industry notoriously lacks efficiency, and is seeking ways to improve productivity while combating high operational costs. This is not the fault of staff (doctors, nurses, aides, etc.); they too are frustrated by gaps in efficiencies. The problem is communication. Or more accurately, bad communication.
Bad communication prevents transparency and hinders collaboration among the many stakeholders involved in the elaborate business of running a hospital or clinic and caring for people. The common practice of using multiple platforms for information and data entry results in disorganized, often distorted information, creating barriers to the kind of care patients expect and deserve.
Healthcare should be collaborative, with doctors, nurses, patients, families, and aides all playing a role. The industry must widely adopt technology that promotes open, secure, and trusted communication to support a more collaborative nature.
The kernel of getting this job done: The Intranet.
Intranets ensure quality, trusted information is shared and received by the people who need it to do their jobs more effectively. Care teams need a centralized hub for ongoing communication and coordination, and Intranets provide ways to proactively promote care coordination, aligning healthcare workers and administrators toward the same objectives.
Building Transparency in Patient Care
Most hospitals tend to have poor visibility into operational information. In today’s digitally enabled world, healthcare organizations need to foster open, trusted communication among staff. Quality patient care will ultimately come down to digital products that provide greater transparency and convenience to streamline the healthcare experience. Better communication and coordination will allow team members to provide real time support to one another, along with easier access to information.
Intranets create a united environment among staff that directly benefits patients. With the Intranet as a central hub of operational information, staff can more easily capture and use specific patient information, including clinical, behavioral, preferential and more, alongside notes by other doctors, nurses and aides. Intranets provide one platform for everything, reducing the friction caused by communication breakdowns, and uniting disparate staff members into a team.
Mobile Enabled Healthcare Communication
Mobile technology must be part of modern patient care, and the healthcare industry has been looking for ways to innovate mobile use within hospitals and clinics. Smartphones, smart watches, and tablets, are becoming ubiquitous in professional settings, as this is the preferred method of communication for most people.
A mobile Intranet will make it easier for all staff to communicate, from doctors to admins, by supporting faster dissemination of patient care information. Information can be securely and privately accessed by healthcare teams no matter where they are.
A Better Patient Experience
In an article for TechCrunch, Accenture Managing Director Kaveh Safavi wrote: “The reality is that the healthcare value chain is moving from a labor-driven and technology-enabled model to a digital-driven and human-enabled one. In the future, the healthcare industry will be led by businesses that “put people first,” effectively complementing people with technology, rather than replacing them.
Putting people first refers to patients and staff alike. Better patient care is evolving toward providing patients and staff with technology tools that complement the healthcare experience.
Research shows that hospitals with better patient experiences are safer and have better financial performance. However, many healthcare providers complain that they have little time to focus on the patient experience. A lot can happen to disrupt a healthcare worker’s day, not to mention cumbersome, repetitive data-entry. When the average time a doctor is able to spend with a patient is 13-16 minutes, they can’t afford to spend much time staring at a screen searching for information.
With an Intranet as the central hub of communication and information, healthcare workers gain better access to information, allowing them to spend more time with patients and focus on how to provide better experiences. Patient information, important data, and organizational information is all easily searchable and accessible.
Additionally, people want to play a more active role in managing their wellness and treatment options. Developing a more collaborative relationship with their doctors will lead to happier patients who feel empowered in their care. Intranet allows healthcare organizations to create patient portals that help patients have a shared sense of collaboration with their doctors, enabling them to gain ownership and play an active role in their own care.
Progressive healthcare organizations are leveraging technology to help streamline operations, saving on time and costs while improving productivity. Using the Intranet alongside other technologies such as Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools will transform the level of care that healthcare professionals are able to provide by getting the right information to the right people when and where they need it. The business of running a hospital or healthcare clinic is complex. Intranets enable healthcare organizations to simplify and amplify the industry’s biggest challenge - communication - creating more transparency that directly contribute to better patient care.