Smarter hospital communication: Secure smartphone text messaging improves provider satisfaction and perception of efficacy, workflow.
J Hosp Med. 2014 Aug 11;
Authors: Przybylo JA, Wang A, Loftus P, Evans KH, Chu I, Shieh L
BACKGROUND: Though current hospital paging systems are neither efficient (callbacks disrupt workflow), nor secure (pagers are not Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA]-compliant), they are routinely used to communicate patient information. Smartphone-based text messaging is a potentially more convenient and efficient mobile alternative; however, commercial cellular networks are also not secure.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if augmenting one-way pagers with Medigram, a secure, HIPAA-compliant group messaging (HCGM) application for smartphones, could improve hospital team communication.
DESIGN: Eight-week prospective, cluster-randomized, controlled trial SETTING: Stanford Hospital INTERVENTION: Three inpatient medicine teams used the HCGM application in addition to paging, while two inpatient medicine teams used paging only for intra-team communication.
MEASUREMENTS: Baseline and post-study surveys were collected from 22 control and 41 HCGM team members.
RESULTS: When compared with paging, HCGM was rated significantly (P < 0.05) more effective in: (1) allowing users to communicate thoughts clearly (P = 0.010) and efficiently (P = 0.009) and (2) integrating into workflow during rounds (P = 0.018) and patient discharge (P = 0.012). Overall satisfaction with HCGM was significantly higher (P = 0.003). 85% of HCGM team respondents said they would recommend using an HCGM system on the wards.
CONCLUSIONS: Smartphone-based, HIPAA-compliant group messaging applications improve provider perception of in-hospital communication, while providing the information security that paging and commercial cellular networks do not. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2014. © 2014 The Authors Journal of Hospital Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society of Hospital Medicine.
PMID: 25110991 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]