Reaching A Medical Team Member In A Pinch

Premier Nursing News

Have you ever had trouble finding an on-call schedule or assignment sheet during an emergency? When a patient’s need is urgent, reaching a physician – or any advanced practice provider or clinician – can sometimes be frustrating and challenging. We have multiple voice communication platforms, pagers, a secure texting application, email, and our in-baskets within the electronic medical record. But often, we lack coordination among all of those methods when we’re trying to get in touch with one another.

We are in the early stages of an ambitious initiative to reduce that fragmentation, better connect these platforms, and to address other communication issues – some of them between clinicians, and some of them involving patients, such as alarm fatigue. The strategy of a unified communication platform was approved by the Physician Partnership Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Premier Health Board. The board weighs in on important strategy, physician leadership, and physician engagement efforts of Premier.

To gather input from all clinical care providers, we held a series of “gallery walks,” during which employees could actively mingle and brainstorm with their colleagues while providing feedback to some initial concepts to improve communication. 

When it comes to prioritizing the ways in which we can improve our communications with one another, what are our “must-haves” and our “nice-to-haves”? What just isn’t necessary? How do we better relay information not only between care teams, but within those teams? How can we best standardize our communications protocols so that we function more efficiently as a system?

Your input and buy-in will be vital in helping us answer these questions, and in establishing a scope, timeline and budget for any steps that we take. Look for brief surveys this month to provide input. Just as it’s important that we keep the patient at the center of this initiative, we need your opinions, as any steps we take are likely to touch all of our clinical care providers in some way. 

<<Back to Premier Nursing News-December 2016

Premier Health Logo