Healthcare Messaging: How Dynamic Intelligent Routing Works


In healthcare, proper care team communication is a key element of quality patient care. Information often needs to be exchanged quickly among the correct care team members—including doctors, APPs, nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, and beyond—to make sure patients get the right treatment at the right time.

This may not sound overly complex, but the simple truth is that many healthcare organizations don’t have a modern communication infrastructure in place. Basic secure messaging apps, and even the secure messaging solutions offered by EHR vendors, don’t have the routing or clinical workflow capabilities necessary to ensure that all messages and alerts are delivered to someone who can act on them in a timely manner.

This is where PerfectServe’s Dynamic Intelligent Routing® shines. Dynamic Intelligent Routing is a proprietary message routing technology that factors in different variables to determine who should receive each message or call at any given time. It automatically references these variables in real time to accurately direct communications throughout the care team.

Here’s how it works: 

Imagine a nurse is trying to reach the on-call provider to ask a question about his patient.

The system pulls in data regarding the patient in question, the department the provider is working in, and the available on-call schedules to ensure the nurse’s message is routed to the correct on-call provider. It then references the provider’s preferred contact method to ascertain if the nurse should call or send a text message.

Intelligent Healthcare Message Routing Technology

Dynamic Intelligent Routing is capable of getting the right message to the right person at the right time in much more complex scenarios. Its effectiveness can also be supercharged through integration with other clinical systems like the EHR, which houses important patient data. This connection allows Dynamic Intelligent Routing to pull information like the patient’s name, room number, and active care team to fuel routing decisions.

In scenarios like the delivery of critical lab results, Dynamic Intelligent Routing utilizes this data alongside physician schedules and other routing rules—such as time of day and day of the week—to ensure prompt delivery to the appropriate recipient.

Intelligent Routing vs. Role-Based Routing

Dynamic Intelligent Routing can accommodate both simple and complex workflows, but how does it differ from role-based routing?

The answer lies in the depth and complexity of real-life clinical communication in both the acute and ambulatory settings. 

Let’s use routing rules in a hospital as a reference point. What if you want to message the orthopedic surgeon on call? Here’s how the scenario would play out with intelligent routing versus simpler role-based routing:

Role-Based Routing Scenario:

A message is sent to the surgeon’s phone. She’s on call, but she was called into another surgery an hour ago. Her communication app doesn’t allow her to adjust contact preferences for different scenarios.

The message goes to her phone, but it goes unanswered. Care is delayed for the incoming patient who needs surgery. 

Workflow rules can be created with role-based routing, but they’re typically associated with predefined groups, such as “all surgeons can elect to cover calls for another surgeon.” The goal of Dynamic Intelligent Routing is to build these specific coverage scenarios during implementation.

Dynamic Intelligent Routing Scenario: 

A message is sent to the surgeon’s phone. When she’s on call but not in surgery, she has messages sent directly to her phone. When she’s in surgery, her contact preferences have been adjusted such that the PA will cover her calls.

Because Dynamic Intelligent Routing can see that she’s in surgery thanks to the real-time schedule, the message goes to the PA, who then forwards the message to the next surgeon on call who is available to see the patient. 

Dynamic Intelligent Routing supports—and even encourages—workflow complexity of this nature and ensures that the person receiving the message is equipped to immediately address the issue at hand.

Benefits of Dynamic Intelligent Routing Technology

Dynamic Intelligent Routing is capable of organizing any combination of rules, schedules, message types, points of entry, and other information to appropriately direct a message to the right recipient.

It removes the cognitive burden from the sender—all parameters are already built into the system, so directing the message is as easy as answering a few automated prompts.

Dynamic Intelligent Routing isn’t only meant for hospital departments covering unassigned consults. It extends beyond the four walls of the hospital, supporting communication across affiliated and employed providers, as well as care settings like dialysis or rehab. 

The patient’s entire care ecosystem is accessible on the platform, meaning effective communication and care coordination doesn’t stop where the hospital walls end.

A Helpful Conduit for Patient-to-Provider Communication

An effective channel for patient-to-provider communication must ensure timely, helpful responses without overwhelming providers. Dynamic Intelligent Routing works just as well in this scenario. Here’s how: 

A patient is experiencing stomach pain, but it’s after hours and their primary care provider’s clinic is closed. The patient calls into an after-hours answering service, and because the patient has a serious clinical issue, they are prompted to leave a voice message for the physician on call.

Dynamic Intelligent Routing immediately routes the message by referencing schedules in the system, and the on-call physician then receives a push notification.

The message is easily retrieved by the physician and already includes all necessary patient information.

The physician then sends a text message to the patient and asks how they’d prefer to connect. The patient prefers a video visit, so the physician sends a link via text message, and within minutes they’re talking in real time to determine next steps.

The patient gets the help they need, and the provider receives the message in an organized, controlled manner.

If a patient calls after hours with a routine issue or question—perhaps they want to reschedule an appointment or request a medication refill—Dynamic Intelligent Routing can hold the message (and associated push notification) to be delivered to office staff the following morning when the office opens.

Make Complex Workflows Seem Easy

Dynamic Intelligent Routing exists to make sure that messages, calls, alerts, alarms, and all other communications are directed to the appropriate care team member who can help.

Making complex workflows seem easy is what PerfectServe does best. The result for the end user is fast, consistent, and accurate communication.

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