News Feature | August 12, 2015

How Solutions Providers Can Help Their Health IT Clients Fix The Clinical Workflow Problem

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

How Solutions Providers Can Help Their Health IT Clients Fix The Clinical Workflow Problem

Your clients have a few specific issues that will perk their ears and clinical workflow is one of them. Improving workflow efficiency and effectiveness is so important to speeding time to treatment in healthcare process that it is a central concern for organizations looking to meet Meaningful Use standards.

At HIMSS15, Health IT Outcomes Health IT Voices was able to sit down with Terry Edwards, CEO of PerfectServe, a communication and collaboration platform that services healthcare organizations. Their focus is on uniting teams and improving communication between members, groups, and organizations.

Communications-Driven Workflow

PerfectServe was founded as a combination of Edwards’ and his wife’s respective experiences in interactive voice response technology and nursing.

He watched the call process in her work and saw potential for workflow improvement through technology. PerfectServe approaches healthcare’s workflow issues in ways that takes specific situations in a way that centers communication.

For example, if a patient comes in to the emergency department for a stroke, contacting and mobilizing the neurology team to focus on care for the patient is automated — something many assume is happening in healthcare settings, but is not, according to Edwards. He cited the fact that according to a Harris poll survey released this year, 54 percent of the clinicians included said that in a given clinical situation, they often don’t know who the right care team member is … something that’s an enormous problem in the role-based healthcare environment.

Incentivizing Communication

Edwards emphasized the fact that in older reimbursement models, communication isn’t incentivized. That though, is changing as reimbursement models shift: “Under a fee for service model, there’s not an incentive for [healthcare] providers to communicate with each other, in many cases. But if you have multiple providers who are all under, say, a risk-based sharing contract for a population of patients, then that’s going to drive new communication workflows and use cases that aren’t occurring today. Like contacting the neurologist, some of them are very difficult to implement in an efficient way.”

The Necessary Technology

Edwards also echoed the importance of text messaging, but stressed the importance of incorporating voice messaging in a multimodal communication environment.

“You’ve got to be able to initiate a communication via the phone, via the mobile app, via the Web; it’s got to connect up to the primary clinical system. We receive data out of different systems, for example, and we’ll route that data accordingly — say a lab result, for example, or a new admission notification.”