Improving Patient Care Starts with Better Communication among Care Teams

Predictive AnalyticsBy Sarianne Gruber
Twitter: @subtleimpact

The PerfectServe survey, A Study of the Role of Communications in Population Health Management,  quantifies and qualifies the challenges that medical and healthcare professionals face trying to communicate with each other given the multitude of hi-tech options. The survey asks the medical and healthcare professions perspective on current communication methods as to whether they hinder or help to manage patients.   This study on communication preference,  behavior and experience,  provides  insight for facilities and practices to evaluate the gaps that are derailing patient care, and furthermore pinpoint where improvement and change should occur. And the consensus stands that for “population health to be effective, there is nearly universal agreement that improved communication (and coordination) is necessary”.

Highlighting the latest industry opinions on effectiveness and need for better communication, the survey discovered:

  • 98% of healthcare and medical professionals acknowledge improved communication with patients is required for effective care
  • 95% of healthcare and medical professionals believe that successful care collaboration is key for reducing readmissions

The survey also revealed the current handicaps in the way communication in carried out. Providers and care managers contend with:

  • Communication technologies are not integrated and outdated
  • Underutilization of available communication technologies
  • Inefficiency and wastefulness of communication exchanges
  • Concerns about privacy and security of communications.

Noteworthy Findings on Communication Behavior
Most commonly used communication technologies:

  • 83% use a follow-up patient phone call
  • 74% use online patient portals

Patient care is impacted by ineffective communications:

  • 71% of physicians claim it is a waste of their time trying to communicate with the extended care team

Medical professionals dissatisfied (29%) with their current communication technology:

  • 81% of  this segment reported dissatisfaction due to lack of unified communication
  • 68% of this segment reported not all members of the community utilize the same technologies
  • 55% of this segment reported not all care team members have access to secure communication technology

Effectiveness of Electronic Health Record for communication of care and collaboration across the continuum:

  • 40% believe electronic health records are not sufficient to manage care team communications

Security and HIPAA Compliance:

  • 61% of medical professionals consider HIPAA regulations to pose an impediment for communicating and collaborating with team members.

About the Study and PerfectServe
The PerfectServe survey was conducted online by Harris Poll over a 4 week period in February 2015. A sample of 955 medical professionals, compromised of hospitalists, primary care providers, specialty physicians, hospital and office, hospital administers, office managers, hospital based nurses and case managers, completed the survey and the data is unweighted.  The detailed findings can reviewed in the PerfectServe Final Report April 3, 2015.

PerfectServe’s founder and CEO, Terry Edwards has been working for over the past 15 years to advance communication through a data-driven workflow to the healthcare and medical industry, which is always centered on accurate, safe and efficient patient-care. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, the company’s mission is to bring optimal communication methods and strategies via its technology-based platform.