News Feature | July 21, 2014

How To Explain The ROI Of Communication Tech

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

2015 Mobile Trends: Big Screens, Big IP Ratings, Big Interest In Android

Client decision makers can be slow to embrace technology solutions. Selling them on the benefits though, tends to be an easier and more effective task.

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute revealed hospitals could be saving about $1 million per year by using secure text messaging for clinical communications. Breaking this benefit down into key areas with which they are already familiar could be the key to helping your clients understand that communications solutions not only pay for themselves, but prevent a loss of money with each patient they treat every day they aren’t implementing your solutions.

Where Clients Are Missing Out

Quantifying their potential losses (i.e. why they have a need for you) clearly is always a good first step in leading in to the potential benefits of your services. The study revealed some of these losses.

  • About 54 percent of the time it takes to complete patient admissions, coordinating emergency response teams and patient transfers is wasted due to inefficient communication.
  • The annual value of this wasted time is more than $1.7 million per hospital and more than $11 billion across the industry.
  • Providers estimate that about half of this wasted time could be reclaimed if they were allowed to use secure text messaging.
  • The time savings would result in an estimated cost savings of nearly $1 million per hospital, per year, equating to an industry-wide savings of more than $5.8 billion annually.

Critical Workflows Reveal Savings

The study called out three specific areas in which hospitals are likely wasting money by not implementing secure text messaging: Patient admissions, coordinating emergency response teams, and patient transfers.

Patient Admissions: Every hospital administrator will understand the pains around patient flow, and that all begins with the admission process. The study found that admitting a patient takes about 51 minutes — 31 of those are wasted due to inefficient communications. That alone amounts to an annual loss of about $728,000. If a CFO understands the value (or cost) of a patient, knowing how much time each one is burning unnecessarily will be easy to relate.

Emergency Response Coordination: Surprisingly, many decision makers aren’t aware of the financial impact an individual patient has on their facility. What they will understand though, is the productivity time they lose from an employee wasting 40 minutes per patient because of inefficient communication. This is what the study found around emergency response coordination, with financial losses for each U.S. hospital averaging more than $265,000.

Patient Transfer: This statistic will vary in importance to your clients depending on how many patients they transfer to other facilities, home care, or hospice. The study found that this takes an average of 56 minutes, with 35 of those wasted because of communication inefficiencies. The cost? $754,000 per hospital.

The Solutions

It can be difficult to know your clients’ true pain points without diving in to their individual issues, but the study does provide some insight. The top reasons time was wasted when communicating with colleagues were:

  • pager inefficiency
  • text messaging bans
  • lack of Wi-Fi availability
  • inefficient email
  • BYOD not being allowed
  • inefficient faxing

A text messaging solution alone is estimated to improve time savings by 16.3 minutes in patient admissions, 21.9 in emergency response coordination, and 19.5 minutes during the patient transfer process. In all cases that amounts to about a 50 percent reduction in inefficiency.

Going Deeper

While communication efficiency spans a broad range of solutions, discussing text messaging with your clients is a good start. Learn more about why you should be offering mobile messaging to your clients today, in our interview with Anurag Lal, CEO at Infinite Convergence about using mobile messaging for enterprise.