Poor communication tech negatively affects population health management

More than 70 percent of healthcare providers say ineffective communication technology wastes valuable time, according to a recent survey for PerfectServe conducted by Harris Poll.

For the survey, 955 healthcare professionals were asked about the technologies they use to communicate with patients and their care team, as well as the impact those tools have on their time management and performance.

Many of the respondents say better communication is a must for effective population health management.

Currently, the top tools for communication in population health management include phone calls and online patient portals. Those are followed by telemedicine and video conferencing, according to the survey.

Among the survey's findings:

  • 69 percent of respondents said waiting for information about the patient causes care delays
  • 67 percent said they get low-priority pages or calls that disrupt patient care
  • 52 percent said they often don't know which team member to contact in a given situation
  • 48 percent said their work is disrupted by misdirected communication

The industry also faces communication problems due to the use of outdated tools.

"There is a clear need for advanced data management and communication systems that can address existing communication challenges in hospitals," according to the authors of a Frost & Sullivan report.

A majority of respondents to the PerfectServe survey also said they are dissatisfied with communication in their organizations because not all members use the same tools (68 percent) and not everyone has access to secure technologies (55 percent). Roughly three in five respondents found HIPAA regulations to be an obstacle to proper communication.

In addition, a survey from the Ponemon Institute found hospitals' and health systems' workflows wasted a significant amount of time because of inefficient pagers and a lack of secure text messaging, which cost $1.75 million per hospital and more than $11 billion industry-wide, FierceHealthcare reported.

To learn more:
- check out the survey results (.pdf)