The publication, mHealth News, offered some very useful advice to hospitals looking to implement BYOD smartphones as part of a clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) deployment.
- Start with a strategy
- Establish an appropriate use agreement
- Expect that this isn’t foolproof
Via our experience with numerous BYOD deployments, we would like to add a few more:
Standardize your software
Deploying clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) software to hundreds (and maybe thousands) of clinicians is hard enough. Don’t make the task more difficult by selecting one app for BYOD users and a different app for the shared devices owned by the hospital. Pick software that can run in both modalities. That way, your training and administration costs (and headaches) are minimized.
Worse yet is if you select CC&C software that utilizes one app for doctors and a separate app for nurses. This will make adoption of the new technology much more difficult and will open a new rift between clinicians. Pick a CC&C product that can support all clinicians with the same application.
Start small but go big quickly
Starting your CC&C deployment with a contained pilot is always a good idea, but once you are ready to roll, get to it. Deploying CC&C in your hospital is just like the first time that desktop telephones were introduced many, many years ago. Nothing is more frustrating for a clinician than having a new communication tool that can only reach a small portion of staff. Broad deployment begets broad adoption and your ROI will be achieved as quickly as possible.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
If you’ve made an investment in smartphones and CC&C, then use it – and – keep in contact with clinician groups as they discover new use cases. A couple recent examples that we’ve seen:
- A hospital with an unplanned EMR outage utilized their CC&C software to keep all of the clinicians informed on the downtime status and kept the IT team in touch with one another in real time as they resolved the crisis.
- Another facility uses their CC&C software to let everyone on a unit know when a new patient has arrived on the floor. Each clinician then stops by the new patient and says “hello” when they have a free moment. This high-touch approach improves patient satisfaction immensely.
Monitor the types of communication and how much. For example: We encourage clients to monitor and measure the message count for each type of clinician interaction (Ex: doctor to doctor, nurse to pharmacy, etc.) This will give you metrics on where the communication is strong and where some additional attention and maybe training is needed to improve the CC&C impact.
If you’re looking for more best practices as you formulate and deploy your CC&C strategy, please reach out to us. Our project teams are well-versed in what works (and what doesn’t) and we are happy to help.