When lives are on the line and every second can mean the difference between life and death, we see doctors and other hospital staff rise to the occasion on a daily basis. A routine part of any health care worker’s day can take them from witnessing the bleakest of tragedies in the morning, to the most life-affirming triumphs by the end of the day.
We rely on doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to make the best decisions at exactly the right moment. And, effective clinical communications play a critical role in the decision-making process — whether it’s doctor to patient and vice-versa during diagnosis, doctor to pharmacy, nurse to patient or health care professional to family member. On an institutional level, this effectiveness in clinical communications is equally as important.
Communications During Catastrophic Events
With the effects of climate change intensifying, there have been more instances of large-scale wildfires in several western US states, Canada and both Australia and New Zealand, to name just a few. These firestorms have wreaked havoc on the daily life of those around them and, in the case of Knysna, New Zealand, in June 2017 their entire provincial hospital was lost to a fire that claimed three lives.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there have been an average of 5,650 structure fires in US health care facilities per year from 2009 to 2013. In addition to an annual average of $45 million in property damage, these fires also resulted in an average of four people killed and 160 injured per year.
Regardless of whether these fires are on the inside of the hospital or outside, staff needs to be able to coordinate evacuations and effectively and reliably address the concerns of critical patients. Ideally, a platform for this mass communication should be redundant and separate from the institutions own infrastructure to prevent disconnection at critical moments.
Active Shooters and Workplace Violence
The hospital environment, especially the emergency room, can be a place where emotions are running high. Combined with basic human nature, this can sometimes bring out the worst in people. This is something we’ve recently seen reported and the results have been tragic.
On December 2, 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik walked into the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, where he worked, and killed 14 of his co-workers and injured 22. This horrific incident brought national attention to the fact that health care institutions are, by no means, a sanctuary from violence.
According to a 2015 study performed by OSHA, incidences of serious workplace violence were four times more common in the health care industry than any other in the private sector. There were several factors cited as the reasons for this increased risk. They included everything from long wait times, working in neighborhoods with high rates of crime and, most pointedly, a lack of means of emergency communication.
Optimizing Performance of Medical Staff
You will never find a more fast-paced environment than a hospital emergency room, where all members of a medical team need to function like a well-oiled machine — from triage to treatment.
The oil that keeps this machine from seizing up or slipping a gear is effective and reliable clinical communication. The myriad of moving parts that comprise the staff of a typical health care facility require constant communication between departments that goes beyond simple desktop email.
Whether it’s instantly sharing work or treatment schedules, passing instructions on the care of patients with special critical needs or coordinating staff during a crisis situation, a unified and reliable mode of mass communication is needed for health care professionals to perform at their most efficient. This platform should be constant, yet decentralized enough so that localized power or other service outages do not interfere with its operation.
Mass Communication Solutions from Regroup
Regroup has valued partnerships with health care institutions across the United States. From smaller clinics to large regional institutions such as the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, Wyoming. For these institutions, Regroup provides a completely mobile mass communication platform that can be tailored to the individual institution’s needs.
Regroup provides the most up-to-date, secure clinical communication and collaboration technology available and an infrastructure capable of assisting organizations and institutions of any size or complexity. To learn more about how Regroup can help health care organizations with their communication needs, contact us at 1-855-REGROUP or via email at inquiries[at]regroup.com.