Part 4 of 5: When the “Solution” is a Problem

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The solution of using cell phones gave rise to new problems. This particular hospital system records every call. When a call was transferred from one of their clinics to the hospital, there wasn’t a way for the cell phone to continue recording the call. This meant the clinic representative had to stay on the call to capture the recording.

Cell phones couldn’t connect to EMR data to retrieve electronic medical health records, or have access to the hospital’s system to see if a room was available. PANs had to use Microsoft OneNote™ to make notes about each cell call they took. These notes were then entered into the system later, which used up staff time and allowed for potential errors to be made.

Typically, there would be only one PAN on duty and cell phones can only handle two phone calls at once. If the nurse was on a call with a patient and needed to call a doctor, both lines were used up. If a clinic called during this time and couldn’t get through, the caller would contact a different hospital. This caused a delay in patient care, as well as a financial loss to the hospital who lost the referral.

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