Patient volumes are increasing at a staggering rate across the healthcare system. Emergency department (ED) traffic alone increased by 24% in less than a decade—4 times the rate of population growth.1 With care team capacity stretched to the limit, emerging technology in healthcare is helping care teams keep up with demand while keeping their focus on personalized patient care.
Nurses are the core of the care team. But today’s nursing teams are pervasively overworked, understaffed and under pressure to manage increasingly difficult patient loads—conditions that put both nurses and their patients at significant risk. A one-patient increase in a nurse’s workload has been associated with a 7% increase in patients’ likelihood of dying within 30 days of admission,2 while exposure to overstretched nurses can reduce patient survival by up to 16%.3
Meanwhile, 91% of hospital nurses believe their units are understaffed.4
Nurses themselves are increasingly burning out trying to keep up with their workloads. In a recent survey, 63% of hospital nurses indicated that their work was causing symptoms of burnout, with 60% indicating that their excessive workload was the leading cause.5 A separate survey found that nearly half of nurses were ready to leave nursing, with 43% of those who were ready to leave citing overwork and tedious administrative tasks as their main reasons.4
More and more nursing teams are struggling to do more with less time and fewer resources. They not only have less time to care for each patient, but also for each other—and especially for the clinical communications and collaborations that are vital to effective patient care.
When clinical communications break down among overworked clinical staffs, the resulting clinical missteps can have a substantial negative impact on patients:
Falls, incorrect diagnoses and surgical errors have all been linked to poor communications by care teams.6,7
Up to 80% of serious medical errors involve miscommunications during the handoff between medical providers.8
50-80% of sentinel events are due to communications failures.9
With patient volumes and care team workloads continuing to rise, risks like these may continue to proliferate as care teams have less and less time for effective, consistent care communications. Now more than ever, care teams need solutions that help them strike a sustainable balance between keeping up with productivity demands and delivering effective, personalized care to each patient who needs it.
Nurse teams need solutions that maximize their focus on each individual patient, while also streamlining coordination of care across multiple beds and facilities. Technologies that simplify clinical communications and collaboration can help care teams meet both goals.
Care communications platforms and patient monitoring devices can both be core components of healthcare solutions that help nurses accelerate patient care while also scaling their skills to future patient needs.
Today’s care communications technologies make it easier than ever for care teams to monitor and respond to their patients’ conditions across facilities, beds and care teams. Platforms like the Voalte® Mobile Solution connect clinicians’ smartphones directly to the patient’s bedside, delivering secure, real-time insights that guide proactive care and integrate directly with the EMR.
Streamlining communication of critical patient data helps care teams equipped with mobile communications solutions work more swiftly and effectively across the beds they manage. With the Voalte® Mobile Solution, care teams have:
Decreased ED wait times by as much as an hour.10
Reduced communications failures by 59%.11
Reduced ED admission steps from 14 to 6.12
Manually tracking and documenting patient vital signs is a time-consuming task that keeps healthcare providers away from the bedside. Advanced patient monitoring devices can streamline this critical monitoring process, integrate directly with patient charts in the EMR and transform time-consuming transcription tasks into more time spent with patients.
Healthcare solutions like the Welch Allyn® Connex® Vital Signs Monitor are designed to accelerate the flow of patient data between the bedside and the EMR, reducing lag time between vitals acquisition and documentation and saving valuable caregiving time with every exam:13
34% reduction in time spent capturing and documenting vital signs
18 additional minutes per nurse, per shift spent on direct personal care
Care team workloads are already at crisis levels, and unprecedented new challenges will soon send surging patient volumes even higher. Nurses and their care teams need new solutions that free the time they need to deliver personalized care to every patient and streamline the clinical workflows that drive quality outcomes.
Consider care communications technologies, advanced patient monitoring devices and similar emerging technology in healthcare when you select the right solution set for your nursing team. Together, these technologies can help you and your nurses achieve the efficiency, simplicity and focus you need to deliver personalized care to more patients than ever.
Contact a HillromTM expert to learn more about how our connected technologies can help maximize your care team’s capacity to deliver proactive, effective and satisfying patient care.
5 Solutions for Simpler, Smarter Clinical Communications
Learn more about Hillrom technologies that scale care team capacity and enhance patient outcomes.
Solving Inefficiency in Clinical Communications
See how Hillrom solutions can give care teams more time to deliver better care.
1. Tabriz AA et al. Association between adopting emergency department crowding interventions and emergency departments' core performance measures. Am J Emerg Med. 2019 Apr 29; ePub.
2. Aiken LH et al. Hospital nurse staffing and patient mortality, nurse burnout, and job dissatisfaction. J Am Med Assoc. 2002;288(16):1987–1993.
3. McHugh MD et al. Better nurse staffing and nurse work environments associated with increased survival of in-hospital cardiac arrest patients. Med care. 2016;54(1):74–80.
4. Cornwall L. “RNnetwork 2018 Portrait of a Modern Nurse Survey.” RNnetwork. Published Dec 12, 2018. Retrieved Apr 2020. Available at https://rnnetwork.com/blog/rnnetwork-2018-portrait-of-a-modern-nurse-survey/
5. Waking Up to the Facts About Fatigue. Kronos Incorporated eBook, 2018.
6. Joint Commission. Sentinel Event Statistics Released for 2015. http://info.jcrinc.com/rs/494-MTZ-066/images/Sentinel39.pdf, Accessed October 2018.
7. Umberfield E et al. Using incident reports to assess communication failures and patient outcomes. Joint Commis Qual Saf. 2019;45(6):406-413.
8. “Top 10 Clinical Communication Trends,” Voalte, May 2013.
9. Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare, November 21, 2017.
10. Perna, G. “The mHealth Method to Communication in Central New Hampshire.” Healthcare Innovation. Pub Sep 13, 2013. Retrieved Apr 2020. https://www.hcinnovationgroup.com/population-health-management/mobile-health-mhealth/article/13021993/the-mhealth-method-to-communication-in-central-new-hampshire
11. Hansen JE et al. Reducing interdisciplinary communication failures through secure text messaging: A quality improvement project. Pediatr Qual Saf. Feb 2018;3(1): e053.
12. Kevin Spolini and Leigh Ann Ambrose (November 2016). Using a unified communication platform to improve clinical workflow. Session presented at VUE16, Sarasota, FL.
13. Vitals Sign Time Study and Nursing Unit Assessment Report. Rapid Modeling Corporation. July 31, 2017.