Currently, hospitals are still restricted by outdated and tedious administrative tasks, taking time away from efficient patient care. There is increasing pressure for hospitals to do more in less time, especially in emergencies.
Can healthcare workflow solutions help to improve the situation?
As per the American Society for Quality, 78% of health care quality experts believe that an improvement in the clinical workflow is necessary.
The good news is that healthcare organizations are seriously looking into using mobile apps to improve their workflow. However, it can be challenging to achieve this while complying with the regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to protect the privacy of patient records.
Healthcare workflow experts have identified three problem areas that need improvement:
- Ineffective usage of technology for documentation and communication
- Staff resistance to change
- Inefficient communication and coordination among hospital staff
Fortunately, healthcare workflow solutions address these issues.
Patient care is critical within thirty minutes of arriving in the emergency department. Therefore, medical staff needs to be aware of a patient’s status at all times – from preliminary evaluation and the administering of tests to the interpretation of results.
Having real-time information on hand is critical for proper diagnosis. This status is achievable by having mobile apps that display the latest patient updates.
Delays in getting test results also affect timely diagnosis. Healthcare workflow systems help by facilitating close coordination between doctors and laboratory/radiology teams.
Moreover, having a system that updates doctors on schedules and cancellations will aid them in allocating their time more efficiently.
Maximized Use of Facilities
The availability of beds is another concern of medical staff. If the hospital has access to real-time availability of beds, it will facilitate the admittance of patients.
Having online access to the availability of consultation and operating rooms will maximize doctors’ schedules.
Workflow solutions can maximize the usage of facilities by displaying bed and room availability from mobile devices and onsite monitors.
Communication and Teamwork
The operating room (OR) is another area where communication is crucial.
At all stages in the OR workflow, medical staff needs information about a patient’s location and condition. Even if they are on-transit within the hospital, it would be advantageous for staff to be alerted about OR updates from their mobile devices. Those responsible for the next step in the OR workflow should be automatically alerted to prepare.
Thankfully, this is possible with healthcare workflow solutions. There is no necessary for follow-up calls to get a patient’s latest MRI. Medical staff can be notified in advance if patients need special handling.
Workflow solutions also maintain a central database for all documents. Doctors no longer need to access archived emails. Patient information is secured and accessed only by authorized staff.
Analytics and Continuous Workflow Improvement
Since everything is updated, reports and forecasts are useful in the strategic planning of hospital administrators.
Further, having a system in place supports continuous workflow improvement by giving details like the elapsed time at each step and the intervals between steps.
Workflow apps can inform the hospital about patient volume at any point in time. Statistics are beneficial in assigning schedules for medical staff. If there is a national catastrophe, hospitals can pull in additional staff to attend to patients.
With these five advantages, hospitals should choose an integrated solution that addresses workflow issues from beginning to end. Once these administrative tasks are automated, medical staff can focus more on their patients’ welfare.