Tom Curtin, President of Amtelco, Shares Tips for Choosing a Secure Messaging App
Hospital communication systems are complex, yet, many hospitals select one communications method, secure messaging, in the hopes that a texting solution or an app is going to be their panacea.
When hospital staff research communications companies in the healthcare space, they may not realize that while these businesses do offer texting products, that is all they can offer. Having just that one part of a vast communication system, involving systems and software from other departments, will not support what is needed to provide hospital care teams the tools they need to deliver a great patient experience.
The goal of every hospital is to provide the best care in the most efficient way possible to their patients. Having a secure messaging app is important, but it is only part of an effective communication protocol. It is paramount for hospitals to have a holistic communication platform so that a secure messaging app can access EHR, integrate with other communication systems, and takes advantage of known data to provide reports.
Hospital medical and IT staff should consider the following key questions before selecting a secure messaging app to improve clinical communications.
1. Will the app deliver messages to the right people, at the right time? Be certain the app can integrate with your hospital’s on-call schedules. Everyone needs to be able to find the staff or care team they need in an instant, and contact each person the way they want to be notified. 1Call’s miSecureMessages secure messaging app readily integrates with a hospital’s existing scheduling software, and of course, works seamlessly with 1Call’s on-call scheduling software.
2. Is it easy to implement the app with multiple systems? Do your patient room systems, as well as your EHR, communicate with your care teams? Then your app should too. Does the app support API integration to your nurse call and alarm systems so it can send critical messages to patient care teams? Maintaining multiple systems takes multiple people, which leads to working in silos. Therefore, the app needs to provide simple architecture so it’s easy to implement and maintain.
3. Is the app easy to use for people who aren’t tech savvy? The app needs to have features that are easy to use so training is fast and simple. Losing time spent on training impacts patient care.
4. Can staff easily manage the app? What happens when hospital staff have to add or remove users? How are app updates and new releases handled? Does the company offer reliable customer support and help with trouble-shooting? Providing care for patients happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hospital staff should be able to rely on customer support for the app 24/7 as well.
Hospitals who choose our miSecureMessages app, know they are backed by our 5-star customer service, available 24/7/365. There are many secure messaging apps to choose from, but few have been developed by companies with more than 40 years’ experience in the communication business. Medical staff need a reliable business partner they can trust to support them if an issue arises.
5. Does the app improve workflows? Hospital staff use multiple communication tools, and don’t need another tool that provides the same functions as other devices already in use. The app should integrate seamlessly with existing hospital systems, save staff time, enhance the patient experience, improve clinical communications, and support reporting functions.
A stand-alone secure messaging app, or messaging app company, will not be able to address all of the communication pain points within a hospital. However, used in combination with communications solutions that offer scripting, directories, on-call scheduling, emergency notifications, and other web-based applications, a mobile app used by staff will help patients in the timeliest process possible, giving the patient the best service possible.
Tom Curtin is the president of Amtelco and their 1Call Healthcare Division. Amtelco is a leading provider of innovative communication applications. 1Call develops software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of healthcare organizations.