Now more than ever, interruptions are part of life, whether at work, home, or in our day-to-day activities. In fact, studies suggest you will be interrupted at least once before you finish this post – and that’s if you’re a fast reader. We generally tolerate these interruptions because, in most cases, they don’t dramatically impact our lives.
Now imagine fending off a constant barrage of interruptions while making critical decisions that affect the health and lives of others.
Providers and clinicians within hospital environments are interrupted up to 23 times per hour. Disruptions lengthen clinicians’ task completion time, affect decision-making, and increase the risk of error. Our healthcare professionals are committed to delivering safe, effective, and efficient care, but the sheer volume and frequency of disruptions make this an exceedingly tough task.
This not a new concern. A “culture of interruption” has plagued communication in the healthcare setting for decades. But despite broad awareness of the issue, little progress has been made.
There are several reasons for this. Until recently, CIOs and IT professionals were limited by the available technology. Many solutions only address pieces of the communication problem – such as offering secure texting or reducing unnecessary alarms. And cobbling together technology doesn’t actually solve communication challenges. Instead, it creates an unwieldy stack of disparate “solutions” that can be cumbersome for clinicians to navigate, and a mess for IT departments to manage on the back end.
Now, however, things have changed. CIOs and IT departments can lead the charge in disrupting interruptions by implementing a single, comprehensive platform designed specifically to align clinical communication (the systems supporting the communication of relevant data) with workflow (the ways clinicians execute their work).
By unifying workflow and clinical communication in the healthcare setting, CIOs offer providers and clinicians a single, mobile source of communication, collaboration, and context for care teams. When clinicians have one platform designed to be the single source of truth and to intuitively complement how care is delivered, it reduces the need to interrupt colleagues and create workarounds for inefficient processes (or frustrating technologies).
In other words, adopting a workflow-driven communication platform gives CIOs the opportunity to transform the interruption culture – while reducing errors, redundancies, and staff dissatisfaction.