You played Telephone in school, right? Everyone sat in a circle, and the first person whispered a phrase into the next person’s ear until the phrase made it all the way around the circle. The goal was to have the phrase remain the same until it got to the other end, but it was almost always different – as I recall, the word “fart” usually made an appearance in there somewhere.
It’s a fun game, and does a great job of illustrating how complex it can be to keep information straight in the real world. When it comes to patient care, being able to communicate clearly is essential to effective and safe patient care.
So… what is the best way to communicate about patients with your partners and clinic staff?
Text messages aren’t HIPAA compliant, so that’s out. Email can be secure… but then you have to wade through everything else to find the pertinent (not to mention most recent) message. Not so good. Besides, what if someone else needs to access the message? Each time the message is passed along, there’s a chance of error and confusion.
You could write information from phone calls and meetings down on your trusty piece of paper instead of trying to commit details to memory but… where is that piece of paper, anyway? Did you remember to give it to the person who needs it? Did you leave it in your coat pocket – the one that went to the dry cleaners? Oh no.
Maybe it’s time to try something else.
Technology can help fill these gaps. Consider finding a tool that allows you to communicate about your patients in one place. Here are some items to consider during your search:
First and foremost, ensure that whatever tool you use is HIPAA compliant.
- Is the tool intuitive and easy to use?
- Consider a tool that allows communication to be stored in a central location so everyone who is participating in that patient’s care can access it.
- Can you message your team securely? Think about the entire team, not just physicians – billers, schedulers, medical assistants, etc.
- Does the tool facilitate patient hand offs?
- Can you tailor the tool to the needs and workflow of your specific practice?
- Does the tool have mobile and non-mobile options, so that everyone can use it?
Communicating about clinical information clearly – both in the inpatient and inpatient to outpatient settings – is central to good patient care and timely, meaningful follow up. HybridChart can help you facilitate effective clinical communication. Schedule a live demo today.