Effective communication among hospital staff is essential to provide quality patient care. Healthcare professionals work collaboratively, sharing responsibilities and overlapping tasks, hence the need to readily and safely exchange information through clear communication channels.
Great communication allows healthcare professionals to improve the daily running of operations, save on time and costs, and enhance care quality and overall patient satisfaction.
Hospitals often rely on a hodgepodge of communication systems that don’t always integrate or overlap, so communications can be fragmented and information lost. One-directional, delayed, or inaccurate communication is not only a nuisance, in a hospital setting it can prove deadly.
QuickBlox supports flexible communication solutions for healthcare professionals. Most brilliantly, QuickBlox’s dedicated communication backend provides a way to connect the disparate pieces of hospital software already in use, thus connecting applications, departments, and people.
QuickBlox SDKs and APIs can be effortlessly integrated into existing hospital websites and mobile applications to create a host of effective communication features. The following article explores how QuickBlox can significantly improve intra-hospital communication among medical staff, technicians, and administrators.
Why Effective Internal Hospital Communication Matters
An informed team that connects with patients delivers better care. Instant notification and real-time communication increase the efficacy of time-sensitive tasks and procedures.
Effective communication means better collaboration between medical staff, hospital departments, doctors and their patients, and operational management staff.
Better communication leads to an increase in service quality and results in higher patient satisfaction rates.
Communication Needs in a Hospital Setting
Hospitals, like any other business environment, demand an instant messaging setup for internal and external communication. Effective communication is needed to keep staff informed, enhance collaboration, minimize time waste, increase productivity, and lessen the likelihood of errors and malpractice due to miscommunication.
The particular working environment of hospitals gives rise to a set of specific communication needs:
1- Instant (real-time)
Medical staff, lab technicians, and administrators need to share and respond to time-sensitive information promptly. The instant communication of patient test results, operation schedules, doctor availability, medication plans etc. can make all the difference to patient experience and healthcare outcomes.
It’s wise to consider that medical staff often work in different stations, so intra-hospital communication needs to support portable mobile handheld devices.
3- Private and Secure
Dealing with highly confidential data, makes it crucial to have a private and secure communication channel between departments, as well as between patients and their healthcare service providers.
4- Dynamic and Reactive (two-way)
Managerial and non-medical staff responsible for running operations like accounting, inventory management, sales, cleaning, waste disposable, and maintenance need dynamic reactive communication models. Better communication for them increases the quality of services they provide.
Often multiple departments and personnel may be involved in the healthcare of a single patient. The use of private group chat enables this collaborative process.
Drawbacks with the current communication model for hospitals
Hospitals generally use a mixture of intra-hospital communications, all of which have their pros and cons. Notably, they are not cost-effective, resources efficient, or suitable to scale for healthcare setting requirements. Let’s explain why.
1- Legacy non-reactive communication methods
Some hospitals still use outdated forms of communication, including message boards, internal forums, and even pagers, none of which support reactive instant communications. Even emails, not especially favored by doctors and nurses, can be cumbersome and slow to communicate time-sensitive or confidential information.
Some hospitals choose to use messaging software for internal communication, which works independently of hospital information management systems. This decision means hospital workers have to keep engaged with two parallel but ultimately separate communication lines, which can lead to losing some information.
3- Generic messaging platforms/ software
Messaging applications are often designed with a very similar workflow, mainly because their primary objective is exchanging messages and files. However, the business environment in general, and the hospital environment require custom modifications to match their productive and functional workflows. Most of these programs are not easy to customize or integrate with other apps.
4- Reliance on its own devices and apps
Because some hospitals don’t have a messaging system, doctors, nurses, and hospital employees use their phones to communicate. They use SMS, applications like WhatsApp and Telegram, as well as phone calls on personal numbers.
There are a host of problems associated with using personal messaging accounts, the least of which is that it is not very professional. Confidential information is not secure on these personal devices and apps. As part of private communications, this important information is not being logged and recorded as part of the hospital record. Furthermore, the use of such a communication tool does not promote collaboration among colleagues.
Building a hospital communication infrastructure with QuickBlox
QuickBlox is a powerful communication solution provider. It offers a flexible features-based integration and customization with hospital workflows, which works seamlessly with hospital quality management teams to improve intra-hospital communications.
A significant advantage of using the QuickBlox backend is that it integrates well with other existing hospital software, including HIS (Hospital Information Systems), HMS (Hospital Management Systems), and EHR (Electronic Health Records).
Rather than existing as another separate stand-alone software tool, QuickBlox provides communication features that are fully compatible with existing applications. Integrating existing software components into the QuickBlox backend promotes ease of communication between different parties in the healthcare setting and works to ameliorate some co.
QuickBlox has a variety of ready code samples with UIs that allow you to add group chat, peer-to-peer chat, and video calling to existing applications. For example, if you wish to add video-calling to your existing EHR system, create a patient portal or instant hospital messaging for staff on the hospital website, or add an interactive remote communication layer between patients and doctors, QuickBlox has got you covered. You can read more in this article.
QuickBlox’s many features (link) not only integrate well with hospital software but also enjoy full developer support (link). There is rich documentation provided on the company website, a dedicated 24/7 customer support team for those who opt for an enterprise package, and a custom development team for those who need additional support. It is also worth noting that given the highly confidential nature of hospital communications, QuickBlox provides full HIPAA compliance and GDPR-compliant products.
Another strength of QuickBlox is that it offers a dynamic and flexible communication solution that can be forever modified, upgraded, scaled, and improved. In this respect, it is especially suitable for the dynamic quality management processes in hospitals.
Hospital management is a dynamic multi-directional process that handles day-to-day operations, clinical workflows, healthcare services, and diverse employees. In order to enhance outcomes and patient satisfaction, hospital managerial staff are committed to quality management. A powerful management method used is the PDCA cycle. Hospital managerial staff are engaged in a regular cycle of planning, doing, checking, and acting to to improve processes continuously.
Like PDCA, QuickBlox provides a dynamic process for building and improving their communication solutions, and in this respect, its workflow matches significantly with PDCA. While using QuickBlox, it's easy to build, integrate, test, and reset to meet the quality management team's ever-changing needs. New features can be added, and older features modified. It’s also flexible to scale, allowing managers to sharpen the user experience and improve the quality of the service.
Let’s summarize here the main advantages of using QuickBlox:
- Integrates well with other hospital software
- Supports BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device)
- Suitable for dynamic quality management process for hospitals
Effective communication between healthcare providers in hospital settings is crucial for the quality of patient care. A robust, secure, time-sensitive communication model helps hospitals avoid miscommunication, latency, and the resulting malpractice errors.
With its wide range of SDKs and a powerful REST API, QuickBlox provides a powerful set of tools that can be used to weave rich communication features into your existing workflows and processes. Using QuickBlox to build a communication ecosystem protects patients, saves costs, increases operating efficiency and staff productivity, and improves patient satisfaction.