Inefficient communication during critical clinical workflows such as patient admissions, emergency response team coordination and patient transfers costs the average U.S. hospital about $1.75 million annually, according to a new report from Imprivata® and the Ponemon Institute. Titled “The Imprivata Report on the Economic Impact of Inefficient Communications in Healthcare,” the report finds that a significant amount of time is wasted during these workflows—primarily due to the inefficiency of pagers and the lack of adoption of secure text messaging. The report also finds that the use of secure text messaging could reclaim more than half of this wasted time, and minimize the economic loss.
“Efficient communication and collaboration amongst providers is critical to the coordination and delivery of patient care, especially within an ACO where quality is impacted in part by the promptness of care delivery,” said Dr. Thomas Kloos, executive director for the Atlantic Management Service Organization, which includes the Atlantic ACO, part of Atlantic Health System. “The results of the Imprivata and Ponemon study highlight the pressing need for more effective communications solutions, which we’ve addressed at Atlantic Health System with Imprivata Cortext. This gives our providers a robust tool for increasing communications efficiency across our entire ACO network, which improves provider productivity, reduces unnecessary patient readmissions, increases clinical integration within the ACO and most importantly, allows patients to more quickly receive the care they require.”
The “Imprivata Report on the Economic Impact of Inefficient Communications in Healthcare” surveyed more than 400 healthcare providers in the U.S. to identify areas of communications inefficiency in three specific clinical workflows: patient admissions, coordinating emergency response teams and patient transfers. Respondents agree that a significant amount of time is wasted during each workflow due to ineffective communications, primarily due to the inefficiency of pagers (as cited by 52 percent of survey respondents) followed by the inability to use text messaging (39 percent). Respondents also think that the use of secure text messaging could increase productivity, estimating that it could help reclaim about half of the wasted time.
– About 54 percent of the time it takes to complete patient admissions, coordinating emergency response teams and patient transfers is wasted due to inefficient communication
– The annual value of this wasted time is more than $1.7 million per hospital and more than $11 billion across the industry
– Providers estimate that about half of this wasted time could be reclaimed if they were allowed to use secure text messaging
– The time savings would result in an estimated cost savings of nearly $1 million per hospital, per year, equating to an industry-wide savings of more than $5.8 billion annually
– 58 minutes is the estimated time savings across workflows could be realized using secure text messaging
– 33 minutes is wasted during patient admission, 40 minutes wasted coordinating an emergency response team and 35 minutes wasted during patient transfer
“This study confirms what I experience first-hand as a physician—inefficient communications has a significant impact on clinical workflows and patient care coordination. Pagers and other outdated technologies are no longer effective, and providers want more efficient, effective solutions for communication and care coordination,” said Dr. Sean Kelly, chief medical officer at Imprivata. “Technology should eliminate, not create, barriers to delivering effective patient care, which is why clinical and IT staffs need to work together to implement solutions that enable fast, efficient communication to improve provider productivity for better focus on patient care.”
For more information, download the full report below: