How To Break Down Silos in Communication to Enhance Nurse Mobility

Hospital for Special Surgery

New York City, NY

Implemented Solution
Clinical Collaboration

Epic, Active Directory



Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. Ranked number one for orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report for 10 consecutive years, HSS has been among the top-ranked hospitals for both orthopedics and rheumatology for 28 consecutive years. HSS is based in Manhattan and performs more than 32,000 surgical procedures annually.


With separate departments using siloed communication processes, team members struggling to route calls to the right provider, and providers carrying hospital-owned pagers that were incapable of prioritizing urgent notifications, HSS sought to eliminate various inefficiencies by modernizing communication workflows to streamline the coordination of patient care.


HSS implemented PerfectServe’s CC&C solution to successfully transition from pagers to smartphones, from disparate communication processes to a centralized contact system, and from delayed communication to instant connection with the right provider at the right time.


HSS engaged PerfectServe to transition away from pagers to HSS-owned smartphones for nurses and personally owned smartphones for providers, equipping all new devices with one platform to bridge communication across the patient care continuum. Capable of messaging smartphones, workstations on wheels (WOWs), and legacy pagers, the PerfectServe app allowed users to initiate voice or text messages directly from a central organizational directory, searchable by department, role, on-call shift, patient care team, and more. 

PerfectServe worked with each department at HSS to design custom workflows to appropriately direct calls. To reduce care delays and dropped communication, the customized workflows were optimized using Dynamic Intelligent Routing®—PerfectServe’s proprietary rulesbased technology that ensures each message reaches the right clinician at the right time. 

The new system used ringtone variation to indicate the urgency of message alerts and allowed recipients to delay nonurgent messages during surgery, patient encounters, and time off. Transitioning to smartphones mobilized nurses by giving them easy access to patient information and provider communication at the bedside, helping them maintain focus on patient care.


PerfectServe helped HSS dramatically reduce its communication cycle times, empowering HSS care team members to initiate up to 20,000 conversations every month. Here are the results:

  • 75% of messages read or acknowledged in under five minutes.
  • 90% of messages read or acknowledged in under 15 minutes.
  • 78% of messages from the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) and inpatient floors acknowledged or read in under five minutes.
  • 91% of messages from the PACU and inpatient floors read in under 15 minutes.
  • 98.6% of Modified Early Warning Scores (MEWS) alerts read in under five minutes.


For clinical teams looking to streamline patient care and improve key hospital metrics, optimizing your clinical communication solution is a solid step in the right direction. By integrating PerfectServe with Epic and Advanced Directory, HSS optimized its workflows to achieve significant results benefiting the organization, staff, and patients.

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