Secure text messaging could save the average U.S. hospital $358,598 a year in time savings, reveals a new report conducted by the Ponemon Institute.
The time savings would be gained by eliminating pagers and streamlining patient admitting processes, emergency response team efforts and patient transfer workflows. Inefficient communications in those three workflows, industry wide, costs $11 billion annually.
“The research reveals that providers believe there are more effective methods of communication that can improve patient care and reduce costs,” Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, said.
Pagers — a technology that many people don’t even realize is still around — remain the hospital technology of choice.
“Paging is time consuming and error prone, and it takes clinicians away from their patients,” Lynne Dunbrack, research vice president for IDC Health Insights, said. “Secure text messaging can address these challenges by pushing communications, alerts and notifications to their mobile devices wherever they are.”
The move to saving time and being more efficient with communication is already underway, with healthcare institutions nationwide striving to boost communications and eliminate inefficiencies using mHealth tools.
A New Jersey medical center has tapped a smartphone application to improve communications and gain greater efficiencies in patient care and treatment time, as staff was losing about 15% of their daily work shift to time spent trying to reach physicians and 24-hour delays between a consult request and surgeon notification of the request. What’s more, a Harvard Innovation Lab startup developed an app featuring a messaging function that lets staff send and share HIPAA-compliant messages regarding patients.
Additionally, a large homecare agency is using tablets and gaining greater efficiency by clinicians to better communications and teamwork by mobile caregivers.