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Maximize Collective Knowledge to Deliver Patient Care

patient care

Medical practitioners must move beyond their own expertise to make informed patient care decisions. This can be achieved by normalizing team collaboration, encouraging providers to access information gathered by other specialists along the patient’s continuum of care. 

However, healthcare is plagued with fragmented communication due to archaic technology. There is also a lack of accountability when establishing communication roles and responsibilities across care teams. 

This post discusses how hospitals can eliminate disjointed communication and maximize the collective knowledge of physicians to deliver exceptional care. We will also uncover holistic ways to create an environment conducive to effective team collaboration.

The Benefits of Team Collaboration

Communication and collaboration in healthcare is necessary to deliver effective, timely patient care. Patients gain more from the collective knowledge of interdisciplinary teams that consist of nurses, physicians, specialists and mental health professionals. This is especially relevant when the patient has major health issues that require immediate care team intervention. 

Clinical teams can improve patient care delivery by: 

  • Processing critical information
  • Solving medical and time-sensitive issues
  • Designing solutions to problems
  • Crafting care plans that offer more efficacy and efficiency

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The Challenges of Team Collaboration

According to a research article from The BMJ, medical error is the third most common cause of death in the U.S. Much of it can be attributed to failures in clinical communication. Statistics also suggest that 70-80 percent of serious medical errors can be attributed to poor, disjointed communication.

Lacking accountability in healthcare is dangerous and can result in unattended patients and delays in care delivery. The situation is further aggravated by archaic technology that does not support team collaboration. For instance, some physicians still use insecure paging systems to contact on-call team members. Pagers neither provide two-way communications nor context into patient issues. These limitations lead to miscommunication during patient care.

Medical teams must also recognize that communication challenges can occur during transitions of care and shift changes.   

How to Promote Team Collaboration in Healthcare

As mentioned, team collaboration holds infinite potential to improve patient care. However, failure in adopting a fail-proof collaboration approach can lead to serious ramifications including patient deaths and health complications.

Teams must follow three methods to create an environment that promotes team communication and collaboration. The methods include:

1. Establishing a Culture of Communication and Collaboration: Junior practitioners may be hesitant to contribute to patient-related discussions due to their limited experience. To nurture communication and collaboration, all medical personnel must feel welcomed to contribute to internal discussions. A conscious effort must be made to acknowledge every team member’s voice to facilitate knowledge sharing.

2. Patient Satisfaction Surveys: Organizations can use surveys to gain valuable patient insights and take a correctional course of action for enhancing teamwork. Since it is difficult to quantify the success of team communication, patient surveys can be used as an alternative measurement tool.

3. Use of Technology: Organizations must supplement teamwork with tools that promote collaboration. For instance, a clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) tool provides capabilities that reinforce the culture of collaboration and teamwork that hospitals strive to achieve. CC&C tools are automated, secure systems that streamline team communications without compromising patient safety.

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How OnPage Capitalizes on Collective Knowledge

OnPage’s secure CC&C platform empowers practitioners to take advantage of their hospital’s collective knowledge to deliver optimal patient care. With OnPage, practitioners can collaborate with many providers when faced with complex patient issues.

OnPage’s CC&C system provides advanced, cutting-edge capabilities that optimize communication and collaboration workflows. OnPage provides a fail-proof mechanism to communicate during transitions of care and mitigate communication errors during handoffs. 

Poor communication comes between healthcare practitioners and effective care delivery, resulting in slow and suboptimal care. Clinicians require access to robust CC&C systems to collaborate on patient-related incidents and deliver quality, timely patient care.

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