Smartphone app boosts communication, drives cost savings

A New Jersey-based medical center is tapping a smartphone application to improve communications among staff members and gain greater efficiencies in patient care and treatment time, Healthcare Informatics reports.

According to the article, LibertyHealth Jersey City Medical Center had been struggling with delays between surgical consult requests, as well as sharing findings and recommendations to referring physicians, according to CIO Stephen Li. Medical staff lost about 15 percent of their daily work shift to time spent trying to reach physicians and there were 24-hour delays between a consult request and surgeon notification of the request.

"In any industry, communication is always a challenge," Li told Healthcare Informatics. "In healthcare ... that communication challenge gets magnified because of the regulatory changes that are coming right after one another."

Like LibertyHealth, many providers are turning to smartphone apps to improve patient care and reduce operational costs. At the University of Arizona, for example, it's changing patient care for burn victims. And free text messaging services are helping Pennsylvania Medicaid patients take an active role in their wellness and health management, as FierceMobileHealthcare previously reported. 

LibertyHealth's smartphone application provides a communication and collaboration platform that connects care teams and patients. The center estimates the software has saved $2 million in operational costs tied to speedier patient discharge by eliminating communication delays and has reduced the once-extensive consult wait time from two to four hours to 15 to 30 minutes, according to Healthcare Informatics

For more information:
- read the Healthcare Informatics article