Time and accuracy in acute care are paramount at every stage of the care process, starting with dispatch and carrying through to the hospital. Time is tissue, and communication errors can lead to avoidable injury or even death. Care teams can’t afford to not get it right. Patients and their families are counting on them.
According to The Joint Commission, 80 percent of medical errors result from miscommunications between caregivers during transitions of care. Fueled by data like this, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has acknowledged that there is a communication crisis in healthcare: “Problems with communication between clinicians are pervasive and clearly result in preventable patient harm,” they state in their article on communication between clinicians. “Seminal studies have shown that poor levels of communication exist between clinicians at all levels of the health care system. The Joint Commission has found that communication issues are the most common root cause of sentinel events (serious and preventable patient harm incidents).”
Miscommunication and treatment errors stem from a lack of a single effective communication method. Pagers, fax machines, and radios still dominate healthcare communication, and these technologies don’t allow care teams to communicate with one another as quickly or efficiently as they could. In order to establish effective team communication, then, it’s time to consider how mobile technology can help.