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Arnot Health has implemented a new communications solution that has improved communication efficiency, slashed the time it takes to transfer patients from the emergency room to new units, and has improved both the level of care provided to patients and staff satisfaction.
Arnot Health runs a 475-bed health system in southern New York State and constantly evaluates the healthcare services it provides to patients and searches for new opportunities to improve patient care. One area where there was considerable room for improvement was the admissions process, especially in its emergency department.
“The amount of time it was taking to align all the appropriate resources was causing delays, and nobody wants to sit in an ER longer than they need to,” said Mike Connor, director of business information systems at Arnot Health. “We recognized an opportunity in the admissions process to greatly improve patient and staff satisfaction by eliminating the old school way of handling admissions and embracing a more mobile approach.”
While many patients can be treated in the emergency room and discharged, when patients need to be admitted and provided with a different level of care, it is essential that the process of transferring patients to different units happens quickly and efficiently.
However, all too often, physicians and nurses are forced to spend far too much of their time making phone calls or completing administrative tasks instead of providing care to patients. By adopting the QliqSOFT platform, Arnot Health has been able to ensure physicians and nurses spend more time with patients and use their time more effectively.
Arnot Health had already adopted the QliqSOFT text messaging platform as a general secure text messaging service throughout the organization and made the decision to create a new communications process in the emergency department using the QliqSOFT platform.
When a patient needs to be admitted to the hospital, the unit secretary initiates a group text message on Qliq which is sent to all appropriate departments, including environmental services, bed board, directors of nursing and other key individuals. A collaborative conversation then starts and all requirements from each different department are efficiently coordinated.
Prior to implementing the QliqSOFT platform, it was taking Arnot Health an average of 119 minutes for patients in the emergency room to get to their new units. After implementation, door-to-floor times were reduced by almost half an hour to 73 minutes.
The QliqSOFT solution allowed the healthcare provider to make patient transfers far more rapidly and has improved patient care and improvements continue to be made each quarter. Arnot Health also reports that the platform has helped improve staff satisfaction thanks to creating a smooth and replicable process that’s transparent and trackable.
The platform has also significantly reduced phone tag, with staff no longer having to wait for missed calls to be returned. Staff are now provided with delivery receipts to let them know that important messages have been delivered and see when recipients of the messages are actively engaging in conversations.
Another bugbear that has been eliminated is the need to type the same responses over and over again when responding to similar messages. The QliqSOFT platform incorporates pre-formatted ‘quick messages’ which allow replies to messages to be sent quickly, eliminating redundant typing and making communication much more efficient.