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Implementation best practices: Clinical communication in the spotlight

Implementation best practices: Clinical communication in the spotlight

Three experts offer suggestions and tips for healthcare CIOs working with clinical communications hardware and software.

Communication between caregivers and others throughout a healthcare organization, be it a health system or hospital or group practice, is critical. Any hiccups in communications can directly impact patient care or even cause medical errors.

Healthcare communications technology has come a long way since the days of pagers and landline telephones. Today smartphones are everywhere, mobile apps and portals are connecting caregivers and caregivers not to mention caregivers and patients, and doctors and nurses are communicating via other healthcare information systems.

Here, three experts in healthcare communications technology offer comprehensive best practice advice and knowledgeable tips for healthcare CIOs implementing communications technology, which is also useful for those organizations with communications technology already up and running.

Four common mistakes

With a wide variety of offerings on the market, many of which have overlapping functionality, even knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. Healthcare organizations have to be vigilant in their approach to avoid making four very common mistakes, said Paul Coyne, RN, senior director, clinical informatics and advanced practice nursing at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

"First, having a primary goal of selecting the application, or suite of applications, that have the most robust features at the lowest price point," Coyne said. "Second, implementing many applications with overlapping functionality to placate various internal stakeholders. Third, thinking that a clinical communication tool will magically solve all of your process problems. And fourth, choosing a tool because many other organizations use it and you don't want to fall behind."