A children's hospital goes digital to break down the communication barriers between inpatient and outpatient clinical environments leading to reduced physician wait times, streamlined patient data and increased access to specialists and resources.
Children’s hospitals are often faced with challenges that make connecting referring physicians to hospital specialists difficult. Lurie Children's Health Partners Clinically Integrated Network (LCHPCIN) decided to take action to improve communication between referring physicians and LCHPCIN specialists. The hospital and its clinically integrated network implemented PH Connect.
PH Connect—a HIPAA-compliant messaging platform for smartphones—replaces outdated paging systems and devices, enabling hospital providers and community physicians to communicate with each another quickly, securely and on-the-go. With PH Connect, LCHPCIN can facilitate better coordination of care for patients, to improve patient outcomes and resource usage.
“As a NICU hospitalist, PH Connect is a huge time saver,” says Patrick Lyons, M.D., Hospital-Based Medicine, LCHPCIN. “Now I can skip the operators and answering services and directly reach our pediatricians via voice or text in a HIPAA-compliant manner.”
Streamlining patient data
When it came time to implement the new tool, smooth implementation and adoption were important to the organization. PH Connect allows health providers to coordinate consults, share results, communicate patient information, notify of patient arrivals, process admissions and more. The company provides rolling implementation and on-going adoption support, ensuring minimal disruption.
“PH Connect saves physicians the time it takes to make multiple phone calls, speak with multiple other staff, wait on hold, or wait for a return call to connect with another physician during a busy clinic day,” says Nan Walicki, M.D., North Arlington Pediatrics.
And one of the goals of implementation was to ensure that patient information moved with the communication and did not get lost as the patient is referred to another physician. “It’s great for sending non-urgent confidential questions to LCHPCIN specialists about specific patients,” says Karen Kreiling, M.D., Children’s Health Partners. “My practice is not on the same electronic medical record system as the hospital, so I can’t do this through the EMR.”
Easier access to resources
In its first year, providers sent more than 3,000, including communications from 35 primary care practices and 32 divisions at LCHPCIN. Response time is:
- Less than three minutes for 45% of messages.
- Under 25 minutes for 80% of messages.
The system connects more than 220 community pediatricians directly to nearly 1,100 providers at LCHPCIN, supporting true care coordination for their patients.
Adoption of PH Connect across the organization continues to increase as new divisions and practices learn about the opportunities for more efficient and secure communication through PH Connect.
Interested in more examples? Proficient Health is sponsoring a webinar for CMOs featuring Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and WakeMed Children’s Hospital to dive deeper into how children’s hospitals are going digital to get better connected and aligned with their referring provider networks. Register today!