HIPAA Journal is the leading provider of news, updates, and independent advice for HIPAA compliance

Problems with Communication in Healthcare

A recent study published by TigerConnect has revealed that over half of healthcare groups suffer due to lapses in communication that impacts the level of treatment that patients receive.

These failures can result in a lot of issues of the healthcare workers who have to deal with the ramifications of them. It can impact effective collaboration and seriously damage the ability of the group to deliver faul-free care for patients. There are other, more far reaching, consequences for an organization that has not configured an effective means of allowing staff to communicate in an efficient manner. These consequences range from delayed and more expensive treatment for patients to medical mistakes, low staff morale and, in a worst case scenario, wrongful death occurring.

Poor communication is, more often than not, a result of organizations continuing to support the use of outdated and inadequate means of communications including pagers and fax machines. In addition to this there is still the widespread use if landline phones in healthcare despite availability of more secure mobile devices.

Further studies produced by TigerConnect indicate that healthcare clinics and hospitals suffer from having a fragmented system of communication in place, leading to problems with communication in healthcare. It revealed that:

Get The Checklist

Free and Immediate Download
of HIPAA Compliance Checklist

Delivered via email so verify your email address is correct.

Your Privacy Respected

HIPAA Journal Privacy Policy

  • 89% of hospitals are still have fax machines active
  • 39% recorded high levels of usage of pagers across their group

In instances when modern methods were introduced, it was not completed on a group-wide scale, meaning that some departments remained using the outdated methods and not benefitting from the investment by the group.

Other research has shown how frustration this can be for those receiving care. A Harris poll of patients completed in mid-2019 indicated that patients are unhappy with obstacles to effective communication in healthcare while they are being treated or attending for appointments. Additionally they are not satisfied with the communications mediums that hospital staff are employing to communicate with them.

Does TigerConnect work in the same way that WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger work?

It does not work in exactly the same fashion. Where it differs is the inclusion of features like automatic log-off and remote wiping that can stop unauthorized sharing of ePHI following the theft of a device. Due to this, authorized users will always be asked to sign in to the app before they are allowed to view or share new messages.

Is it possible to compliantly host remote consultations using the secure messaging system?

TigerConnect allows the hosting of remote face-to-face care consultations between medical staff and patients and treatment team collaboration discussions. This allows a smoother pathway of treatment for the patients and, in turn, much more effective management of hospitals and clinics. Everything communication can be archived and placed in EMR if there is a requirement for this in cases where future reference points may be necessary.

Can messages group/teams have messages shared simultaneously?

This is completely possible and using unrestricted database segmentation and grouping. One or more groups can include different individual members of the workforce, resulting in enhanced hospital workflows thanks to smoother communications. System administrators will also be able to see if anyone has not viewed a message or update.

Is TigerConnect only necessary if sharing ePHI?

TigerConnect can be used for much more than sharing ePHI including:

  • Requesting on-call staff to attend for vacant shift
  • Search for an available specialist by role rather than by name to speed up treatment in urgent cases

The improved workflows provided by the use of TigerConnect mean that healthcare staff can conduct their daily duties in a manner that will result in improved patient treatment and better staff morale. This solution addresses many problems with communication in healthcare.