New TigerConnect Report Confirms Broken State of Communication in Healthcare

TigerConnect has released its annual State of Healthcare Communications Report, which highlights the broken state of communication in healthcare. The report is based on a survey of healthcare leaders and patients and reveals the pervasive challenges in healthcare communications and how communication failures are contributing to physician burnout, higher healthcare costs, and medical errors.

Currently many healthcare providers are still heavily reliant on outdated communications tools such as landlines, pagers, and faxes. The number of health systems and hospitals that have implemented modern communications tools such as clinical text messaging solutions is rising, but oftentimes even these solutions fail to achieve the successes they should as they are frequently implemented in silos; for example, the platforms are rolled out to physicians, but not to other staff members such as nurses.

“Adoption of modern communication solutions has occurred in every other industry but healthcare,” said Brad Brooks, co-founder and CEO of TigerConnect. “Despite the fact that quality healthcare is vital to the well-being and functioning of a society, the shocking lack of communication innovation comes at a steep price, resulting in chronic delays, increased operational costs that are often passed down to the public, preventable medical errors, physician burnout, and in the worst cases, can even lead to death.”

The report provides insights into the cost of inefficient communication in healthcare. According to research published in JMIR, communication breakdowns are estimated to be a key factor in 70% of medical error deaths. A study published in the Journal of Healthcare Management revealed a single 500-bed hospital was losing around $4 million each year as a result of communication inefficiency.

The TigerConnect report confirmed 89% of healthcare organizations are still using fax machines for communication and 39% still use pagers. It is therefore not surprising that the survey revealed 40% of healthcare professionals found communication with care team members difficult. Respondents said poor communication was causing bottlenecks in several areas which slowed patient throughput, especially discharge delays, consult delays, and long emergency department wait times.

52% of respondents to the survey said they experience communication failures that impact patients daily or multiple times a week, and that figure is likely to be very conservative as non-clinical staff tend to underestimate the impact communication disconnects have on patients.

A previous survey conducted on patients by Harris Poll in August revealed most patients (74%) felt frustrated with recent hospital stays due to inefficient processes. The survey also revealed that healthcare providers are not communicating with patients using their preferred method of communication. 51% of hospitals communicate with patients via patient portals, even though that method of communication is preferred by just 20% of patients. The survey showed that when patient portals were used for patient communication, patients were 29% less likely to rate the communication method as effective than those using SMS/text messages for communication.

You can down the State of Healthcare Communications 2019-2020 Report on this link.

Author: NetSec Editor