Study: Older communication systems can compromise safety

Much of the U.S. healthcare industry still conducts business using older communications solutions, which in turn can negatively impact patient safety, delay patient care and result in operational inefficiencies, according to a report from Texas-based global growth consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Because many providers continue to use inefficient systems, like pagers and paper-based written records, there is a need for advanced data management and communication systems that can address existing communication challenges in hospital, study authors wrote.

“Today's mobile computing platforms present a powerful set of technical capabilities that, if leveraged properly, can help improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations of literally any type of organization,” according to the report. Federal healthcare regulation should help shift providers toward acquiring open, extensible, interoperable and "mobile-compatible" digital platforms.

It recommended that providers utilize mobile communication methods like smartphones with secure text, image, video and voice messaging capabilities, which should all support health information exchange between devices and hospital IT systems.

To get there, the study suggests that providers ensure ease of deployment; provide a user-friendly experience; establish support systems; and create market strategy.

Access the report here.