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Report: Hospitals Concerned with Clinical Communication during Patient Discharges

June 8, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Ninety-five percent of hospitals in a recent survey expressed concerns about communication inefficiencies during the patient discharge process.

The report was issued by Imprivata, a Lexington, Mass.-based healthcare IT security company, in collaboration with the Spyglass Consulting Group, a market strategy firm focused on the mobile technologies and digital health. In February, Spyglass surveyed 20 clinical informatics thought leaders at various hospitals and health systems in the U.S. with the goal to look at specific patient discharge and care coordination workflows where some hospitals have communication inefficiencies and challenges.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Coordinating external resources: 85 percent of hospitals surveyed expressed concerns about the communication challenges with coordinating external community-based resources required to support patients, family members, and caregivers post discharge.
  • Reconciling patient medications: 45 percent of hospitals surveyed expressed concerns about the communication and coordination complexities required to accurately identify and resolve potential conflicts for all patient medications prescribed or taken before, during, and after hospitalization.
  • Collaborating with care team members: 80 percent of hospitals surveyed expressed concerns about the difficulties communicating and collaborating with members of multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Transitioning to another medical service: 65 percent of hospitals surveyed expressed concerns about the communication and coordination complexities involved with efficiently and safely transitioning patients from one medical service to another.
  • Coordinating with ancillary departments: 50 percent of hospitals surveyed expressed concerns about difficulties in communicating with ancillary departments for patient procedures and tests, and then coordinating their transfers.

“For care providers, every second counts and being able to communicate efficiently can make a huge difference in the successful treatment of a patient,” Sean Kelly, M.D., chief medical officer at Imprivata, said in a statement. “The respondents to this survey reiterate an unfortunate truth—some care settings are burdened with outdated, inefficient communications technologies and processes that not only slow down care providers, but also jeopardize the safety of patients. We simply can’t have this in healthcare…”

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