Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers replace pagers, improve HCAHPS scores, and improve responsiveness with secure messaging

Key facts

Industry: Healthcare

Location:  Bryan, Montpeller, and Archbold, OH

Employees:650+

Industry Beds: 590

HIS/EMR: McKesson Paragon

Challenges

  • Coordination problems
  • Message delays
  • Frustrated staff
  • Noise issues
  • Potential HIPAA breach

Results

  • Improved responsiveness to patients and other team members 30% increase in HCAHPS scores
  • Surgery and trauma team activation
  • Cardiac care and catheterization team activation

Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers (CHWC) is a 113-bed, three-campus health system in Northwest Ohio specializing in cardiac Cath Lab, surgery care, radiation oncology, and pain treatment. CHWC was experiencing problems with its multiple layered communication methods that negatively impacted care quality and patient satisfaction. CHWC turned to Imprivata Cortext to replace legacy pagers, improve care quality, reduce overhead paging, and increase patient satisfaction rates.

The challenge

CHWC's paging system was negatively impacting the quality of care across their three campuses. Their aging pager technologies were outdated and did not meet the need of a modern healthcare facility. Pager messages were frequently getting delayed and pagers’ one-way communication functionality didn’t allow CHWC staff to coordinate care effectively. CHWC’s staff also heavily relied on overhead paging systems that created excess noise and stress for staff and patients alike. These pager problems delayed care delivery, frustrated staff, and created unnecessary confusion and difficulty across CHWC’s facilities. The inefficiencies of pagers’ one-way communication channels also increased the likelihood that clinical staff would resort to using their personal devices to communicate via insecure messaging. 

CHWC’s Chief Information Officer, Greg Slattery, decided to take a proactive approach to CHWC's communication problems. He conducted an internal survey to analyze pager and smartphone usage and realized that replacing multiple legacy pager systems would vastly improve his team's communication efforts. “Patient safety and satisfaction are top priorities for CHWC, so we are committed to giving our providers the best tools available to increase efficiency and attentiveness to enhance the patient experience. It was clear that pagers were a detriment to this goal, often causing delays that frustrated both providers and patients,” said Slattery. 

Through his research, Slattery realized that the many staff members were already carrying their personal phones with them throughout the day, along with their hospital supplied pagers. In order to improve CHWC’s clinical communication and avoid a costly HIPAA-breach, Slattery decided to replace old paging systems with CHWC supplied iPhones and iPods as well as turn appropriate staff’s personal device usage into an advantage for CHWC by searching for a secure messaging application option.  

The solution

To replace pagers and improve their clinical communications, CHWC turned to Imprivata Cortext, the secure communications platform for healthcare that enables organizations to replace pagers and improve care coordination, inside and outside the hospital. CHWC paired the introduction of Imprivata Cortext with a new, progressive BYOD secure texting policy that allowed clinical staff to securely text patient information via the Imprivata Cortext app on their smartphones and desktops as well as rolling out approximately 100 iPhones and iTouches. All legacy internal and external paging systems were retired as a result of this effort.

Imprivata Cortext offered all of the security requirements CHWC had to meet in order to be HIPAA complaint, including encrypted text and photo messaging, full archiving capabilities, and an audit trail of all messages. Imprivata Cortext also offered an intuitive user interface, group texting features, and a fully searchable staff directory that drove clinical adoption and improved the quality and speed of care coordination across departments. CHWC staff no longer had to rely on an ineffective overhead pager system or wait and hope that their colleagues received their messages. Instead, they enjoyed the efficiency of Imprivata Cortext’s instant read receipts, quick reply options, and two-way conversation capabilities. 

The results

By introducing Imprivata Cortext, CHWC retired all of their old pagers and vastly improved their clinical communication efficiency, resulting in a 10% annual ROI. Imprivata Cortext has also delivered productivity improvements in a number of workflows at CHWC, including:

Improved efficiencies

Imprivata Cortext gives CHWC’s clinical staff a fast, efficient way to communicate and locate available rooms when patients are admitted, which decreases patient wait times. Previously, paging and waiting for callbacks created delays in the admissions process, and overhead paging created excessive noise throughout the hospital. With Imprivata Cortext in place, CHWC estimates that admissions times have been reduced by about 15 minutes per patient, which improves efficiency and enhances the patient experience.

30% increase in HCAHPS scores

Imprivata Cortext also empowered CHWC to vastly improve its HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores. The HCAHPS survey is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care and is a key indicator of patient satisfaction and care experience. Imprivata Cortext helped CHWC achieve a 90th percentile HCAHPS scores for responsiveness of hospital staff. Imprivata Cortext enables fast, secure communications and care coordination, which increases efficiency and allows CHWC’s clinical staff to spend more time with patients. Replacing pagers with Imprivata Cortext has also helped CHWC improve its HCAHPS scores for hospital quietness by 50 percent.

Surgery and trauma team activation

When a surgery or trauma team needs to be activated, every minute counts. Imprivata Cortext enables CHWC’s emergency department to easily communicate when a patient needs to be transferred to surgery. Surgery trauma nurses can then easily activate anesthesiology and surgery teams with a single group text message and acknowledgment. After a surgery is complete and the patient is transferred to recovery, surgery floors can instantly activate the environmental services and housekeeping teams to clean the operating room, enabling faster room turnover and decreasing time to surgery for the next incoming patient.

Cardiac care and catheterization

When a catheterization lab is activated, CHWC’s Cath Lab team must be notified and mobilized immediately. Prior to implementing Imprivata Cortext, this presented a challenge because the numerous pages and phone calls required to coordinate the cardiac team created serious delays. Imprivata Cortext allows CHWC to send one secure text message to activate the entire Cath Lab team, improving Code STEMI response times and care coordination. The Cath Lab team can also easily communicate with other groups, as needed, including ICU, imaging, and emergency department nursing staff.

“Imprivata Cortext overcomes the deficiencies of pagers by giving our providers a comprehensive, secure communication and care coordination solution. It allows our clinical staff to work more efficiently and keep focus on their patients. This has helped us improve our HCAHPS scores for responsiveness of hospital staff, which enhances patient satisfaction and improves outcomes,” said Slattery. Now, CHWC staff members enjoy higher productivity and improved team collaboration while CHWC patients enjoy improved patient care and a new “culture of quiet” and calmness across CHWC’s facilities.

 

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