The relationship between physicians and institutions is changing due to global trends. Many healthcare institutions are hiring physicians and establishing different strategic alliance via Physician Health Organizations (PHO), Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and others to enhance the quality of care and to reduce expenditures. The anticipated outcome is improved revenue with advantageous contracting with spenders and from other means like narrow networks. Healthcare professionals are noticing that only when physicians and institutions work together, the healthcare expenses can be reduced.
The Communication Landscape in Healthcare Institutions
Instant communication is important to provide better patient care and developing relationships. However, it is challenging for physicians to associate on real-time. Front desk staff have to attend several messages which lead to delays because of different schedules and mobility of physicians. The typical day of a hospital staff includes searching for office contact numbers of physicians and looking for callbacks. This ineffective communication forms a barrier in between physicians and hinders the real-time communication process. As a result, the support staff couldn’t communicate information about the new patient admission or discharge of an old patient. A quick message can be a great help in this scenario.
A secure business messaging app, when built to fulfill the needs of healthcare institutions, their staff, and providers, is a great tool to support physician alignment.
Secure Messaging As an Instant Communication Tool
Secure messaging is one of the ways used by physicians to eliminate the communication barriers. It helps physicians to get in touch with one another effectively. In addition, messaging can reduce the need for phone tag and helps to get the information required from the physician. As a result, the delays can be reduced, contributing to the timely discharge of the patient. A simple message can provide the information rather than playing phone tag for hours.
However, standard SMS messaging is not a feasible solution. The security issues associated with SMS messaging and increased importance of HIPAA compliance made healthcare institutions strategize guidelines against texting.
Customary SMS messaging can increase the efficiency of instant communication, however it doesn’t solve the issues like aligning physicians in a hospital. Though few secure messaging options are available that take physicians closer to the instant communication, they primarily cannot help with aligning physicians with the healthcare systems.
Hospitals need an end-to-end instant communication platform that helps them trace out the right physician when required. Instant communication establishes better communication between healthcare providers. Enhanced medical and economic association can be done by enabling providers to trace which physicians are aligned with the institution and support them and collaborate in an efficient and secure manner.
When the mission of a healthcare institution is to enhance quality, reduce costs and boost revenue, it requires to be allied with physicians, either clinically integrated or affiliated, who is ready to work with the institution towards success. Secure business messaging, when built to fulfill the requirements of the healthcare institution, its staff, and providers, can align physician with the institutional goals. Here are some features of a secure business messaging app that facilitate enhanced physician alignment:
1. Provider Directory
It lists out all the health care providers including medical practitioners, nurses, and assistants in the institution and help them to be filtered out according to specialization, location, experience etc. A powerful messaging platform will perfectly integrate with the active directory of the institution and enable some customization to the directories. The staff and providers can access resources in the institution using their smartphones.
2. Departmental Directory
It maintains the details of all the hospitals, clinics, departments of the health care facility with contact numbers. This helps physicians to eliminate the need to ask a receptionist or nurse to find the contact number of a hospital. It simultaneously saves the time of everyone and aligns the organization better.
A potential secure messaging platform will enable healthcare institutions to tailor screens with specialized content such as on-call schedule, news, notifications. All these allow physicians to connect effectively with each other and with the institution. In addition, the system must be adaptable to address the unique requirements of the institution.
Only successful businesses know the importance of branding to impact behaviors and attitudes. A good secure messaging platform will facilitate healthcare institutions to customize the app with their colors and logos. As the staff and stakeholders repeatedly use the application many times a day, seeing the brand colors and logo make them associate better with the institution.
The increasing need for healthcare institutions to incorporate new practices has made physician alignment a critical factor for success. The healthcare organizations needs to provide better tools to the physicians and help them fulfill their objectives. Secure messaging platforms, when built to address the needs of an evolving healthcare institution, its staff and providers can become an efficient mechanism to create alignment which in turn helps accomplish their overall targets, i.e., to deliver better patient care.
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Manjusha Akurathi- a tech savvy turned blogger, who covers news and information about IT, new trends and applications in healthcare sector. She has hands-on experience in writing technical articles specifically enterprise mobility solution, workplace communication apps and platforms.