Integration Engines Bridge Clinical Communication and Collaboration Gaps
A communications integration engine solution incorporates personnel directories and on-call schedules used by a hospital call center with clinical software, nurse call and alert solutions, third-party devices (such as IP phones and mobile devices), and other applications to automate the handling and dispatching of messages and alerts. These solutions appear as one integrated system to the average end user, but behind the scenes they handle the complex work of merging multiple systems into a single touchpoint.
These systems, leveraging standardized communication protocols like HL7, eliminate the chaos of moving information between systems; which ensures that the right message gets to the right staff member, and that all of these notifications, alerts, and other data transfers are auditable and documented in the electronic medical record.
Integration engines act as the “glue” that holds these many IT systems together and translates a variety of different inputs like nurse call systems, alarms, manual triggers, voice calls, pages, EMR updates, alerts, and more, in such a way that other solutions can interpret the data and react accordingly.
Call Center Integration Engines Assisting Hospital Workflows
One such integration engine solution that has already been successfully deployed by a number of hospitals is MergeComm from 1Call. MergeComm is an event notification software system that can merge and expedite enterprise-wide communications in healthcare environments.
The solution can also create an audit trail of these notifications, generating messaging statistics that can help improve communication processes and document response times. AnMed Health, a hospital system that serves communities in South Carolina and Georgia uses the 1Call MergeComm integration engine solution to notify environmental services workers about patient discharges. This enables faster response times for cleaning rooms so that beds are ready for the next patient. Bed turnaround times are an important factor in patient throughput, satisfaction, facilitating better decision making, and better overall outcomes.
Winchester Medical Center/Valley Health in Winchester, Virginia, uses MergeComm to interface with the GetWellNetwork interactive patient care software. Nurses can receive notifications on their mobile devices about patient pain levels using this combined solution.
A question appears on the patient’s TV about their level of pain, and when they answer, the page is sent to nursing. If the patient doesn’t answer, the nurse receives a page stating that there was no reply.
Valley Health uses MergeComm in a variety of ways to send reminders to staff. Clinicians use reminders to do stroke education with patients and their family members. A daily reminder is scheduled prior to meal tray arrival that allows staff, in any location, to prepare patients for their meals.
The hospital also uses the 1Call solution to send notifications to Valley Health’s STEMI team and Special Procedures Team. At Warren Memorial Hospital, another Valley Health location in Royal, VA, MergeComm is used to notify the OR team and anesthesiologist when they are needed after hours.