2 min read

Our Care Teams are Playing a Dangerous Game ... And It's Costing Our Patients.


For being a society that wants everything instantly, medicine is taking its time. Think about it … while we have made leaps and bounds in medical best practices and procedures over the last 3 decades, communication around time sensitive emergencies is still stuck in the 1970s. Need to relay a message to 10 members of the care team? Better make 10 separate phone calls.

But are the time sensitive emergencies we treat any different now than they were 10, 20, or 50 years ago? NO! People still had STEMIs, Strokes, Precipitous deliveries, major traumas, and Sepsis! What HAS changed is our technology and ability to communicate instantly and securely to better prep our teams and speed up treatment times. So in this day and age of truly advanced medicine, why are we still communicating around these cases the same way we did decades ago?

I’m sure you cringed when you read the title of this post, but in medicine we really are playing a dangerous game with our emergencies. It's kind of like Russian Roulette but without any empty chambers. How, you ask? Let’s look at STEMI and Stroke.

Both of these are true time-sensitive emergencies. Both REQUIRE seamless, no-room-for-error strategies to minimize morbidity. They require a great deal of team coordination, cooperation, and execution. But the most important factor? Time. And how do we reduce time to treatment? Through team communication and coordination.

Despite the urgent nature of emergent conditions like STEMI and stroke, it has become the norm for care teams to wait to alert key teams and entities. Does the following sound familiar? “Let’s wait until EMS gets here to have a look at them and make a decision then.” or “Let’s have a doctor see what he or she thinks before we call all these people in.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard variations of those phrases, but what care teams seemingly fail to realize is that waiting can be deadly.

This old way of thinking has to go away. I know there are some who might argue that there is an education problem with identifying these emergencies, however I’ll take an education problem over a process problem any day. Let’s use the technology that we have at our disposal every day to make a real difference. Waiting to activate our teams is literally killing our own kind.

Activating and canceling our teams is as simple as touching a button on the same device we can’t leave home without. The one we rely on daily for instant and secure communication with our families, our lawyers, our pizza delivery men ... you name it. Anyone EXCEPT our fellow care team members. That needs to change. Pulsara provides real time team communication across healthcare entities.

It’s about time.

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