Advocate Health Care leaders move ahead to improve clinical communications

Healthcare Informatics

September 23, 2017

Improving communications among clinicians is becoming more urgent by the day, as both nurses and physicians experience more intense, task-packed workdays, and as inefficiencies and delayed care become literally more expensive for patient care organizations moving into value-based healthcare delivery and payment.

Clinician leaders at Advocate Health Care, based in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, and which is one of the largest integrated health systems in the Chicago metro area, were facing the same challenges as everyone else, when they first began looking at some of the communications breakdowns in their organization. The average turn-around time at Advocate hospitals was 20 minutes for a doctor, nurse or other care team member to get in touch with a fellow clinician in order to coordinate patient care. Clinicians had also voiced difficulty tracking their attempts at communicating with care team members. With awareness of the national evidence caused by communication breakdowns, coupled with their own need to align patient safety with consistent clinical communications, Advocate Health Care completed implementation of an enterprise secure clinical communications solution in 11 hospitals in 2014. For the next deployment phase, the largest health system in Illinois rolled out the solution to its 1,200 employed physicians who used Advocate’s call center.

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