The goal of a blog post is to educate and inform your audience about a topic. My topic today is regarding making on-call information available to everyone in your hospital or clinic who needs it and delivering it in a form that best meets their needs. Our mantra is to have the “Right Provider in the Right Place at the Right Time” and we do this by providing our customers “one source-of-on-call truth”.
The more experience I gain in my position as an on-call information management evangelist, the more I have come to realize that accurate and up-to-date information is not the only thing that prevents the wrong provider from getting called. How we deliver that information to our users has become abundantly clear by studying our users and their habits regarding consuming information.
What we continue to learn is that in a busy hospital the more vehicles that we can use to deliver on-call information to consumers the better. Listed below are several important daily consumers of on-call information. Each person needs the information to be up-to-date and accurate. Each person
Department managers – this user may sit at a desk or be in meetings all day long. Their primary mode of communication may be email or text. The on-call information that they need to consume may be more of an overview of what is happening in their department or specialty clinic on that day or during that week. Where is everyone, who’s on vacation, etc.
Nurses – This user is more than likely one of the busiest users and consumers of on-call data. Many times throughout the day they are needing to connect with or consult with an on-call physician for any number of reasons. Many nursing users may not care much about what is going on next week or even who is on vacation today, what they need to know is who is covering this patient or who is on-call for a specific function, like Neurology. This user needs all their information on their phone or a mobile device and is most likely better served by searching for a specific role than a person. Once they find the correct person, they often need to be able to communicate with that person quickly and in a secure manner.
Emergency Room Doctors are a user very similar to nurses. They need access to role-based information quickly. Who is covering for Cardiology or who is my Interventionalist that I can call for a new patient with chest pains? Sometimes they are communicating with the consulting physician directly and other times they are requesting for that person to be summoned for a consult. This user is also a mobile user and does not want to go to a desktop computer or monitor somewhere to see this information. They need it on their phone.
Emergency Department front desk clerks- This user is typically sitting at a desktop station with access to multiple monitors and has a lot of information available at their fingertips. They need access to a merged daily view listing all specialties and who is on-call now along with who will be next. Protocol information will also be important to this user to be sure that they connect with the provider in his/her desired way. This user will also need access to phone numbers and secure messaging methods at their fingertips.
Telecom Operators- This user is almost identical to the ED front desk clerk. They are typically sitting at a desktop station with access to multiple monitors and has a lot of information available at their fingertips. They need access to a merged daily view listing all specialties and who is on-call now along with who will be next. Protocol information will also be important to this user to be sure that they connect with the provider in his/her desired way. This user will also need access to phone numbers and secure messaging methods at their fingertips.
Consulting Physicians will most likely prefer role-based information quickly. Who is their back-up covering for Cardiology or who are other specialists that they can consult when needed? Access to other providers within their practice or healthcare system will also be important for curb-side consults. This user is also a mobile user and does not want to go to a desktop computer or monitor somewhere to see this information. Secure text messaging from their phone will be most efficient.
Hospital Administration – This user may be both a mobile and desktop user wanting a complete view of all on-call staff at a glance. They may benefit from both a role-based view as well as a merged daily view to capture the information they need quickly. They most likely would be communicating with providers via the telecommunications center and a phone call versus sending a secure text message.
Medical Staff Office- This user is a desktop user that needs deep access to each department schedule to ensure that there is adequate cover for each specialty. Protocols are typically maintained by this office as well as personal cell phone numbers. This user will not be texting but communicating via the telephone or email.
As you can clearly see, accurate, up-to-the-minute on-call information is the first vital step for each of these users, quickly followed by a deep understanding of their workflows and where and how to present the information to them using the best tools. “One size fits all” does not work in today's busy hospital. A good on-call management system that creates one source-of-truth will be able to seamlessly distribute the information to each user group in the manor that best meets their needs.
Image courtesy of twobee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net