A Unified Approach to Managing Alarms, Alerts and Text Messages

Based on Extension’s research and industry reports, caregivers prefer the use of smartphones to communicate with each other. Further, a large percentage of those communications are directly related to patient care. Extension believes that the key to establishing the right foundation for clinical communications is to adopt an approach where alarms from medical devices, alerts from other clinical systems like nurse call, and text messaging are unified by a single system. Hospitals that fail to recognize that these go hand-in-hand expose themselves to breakdowns in care coordination.

Four different examples of the Extension Mobile App
A Methodical Approach to Care Coordination and Care Team Communication
(From left to right: Real-time care team directory; Prioritized patient event notifications; Event-driven text messaging, Context at the point-of-care) Download image

Let the numbers do the talking…

75.9% of overall caregiver communication is directly related to care coordination: A recent observational study conducted by Extension’s clinical solutions team at Saint Joseph Hospital (SCL Health) found that 75.9% of overall communication is directly related to care coordination. Of that, 37.6% of the patient events communicated to the care team originated at the patient epicenter including alarms from monitors, IV pumps, nurse call events, bed exit alarms and more. The other 38.3% of communications that occur among the care team do not originate from a medical device or clinical systems but are in direct response to patient events. From these metrics we see how important it is for hospitals to focus not just on the patient event but also the event response.

88% nurses use smartphone apps in their daily nursing work: In a 2015 survey titled “Most Nurses Use Smartphones in Clinical Workplace” conducted by Boston-based mobile technology company, InCrowd, it was reported that 88% (n=241 nurses) use smartphone apps in their daily nursing work. Source.

Nurses may communicate with other caregivers as many as 180 times/12-hour shift: In a recent Extension survey of a test group of Engage users (n=67 users) When asked ‘How many times per hour does a nurse need to communicate with other caregivers?’ 67% said 6-10 times and 33% said 11-15 times. What’s shocking about this data is that for an average 12-hour shift, nurses may communicate with other caregivers as many as 180 times/shift. At a minimum, caregivers need to communicate with one another as many as 72 times/shift.

84% nurses prefer text-based nurse call notifications with event response options: In another Extension Healthcare market survey, when asked if they would rather receive a phone call that escalates to the next caregiver when unanswered or a text-based nurse call alert that includes patient and event context which enables a call back to the patient’s room or automatically escalates when the nurse is engaged with another patient, 84% (n=374 nurses) said they preferred the text-based nurse call notification.

89% primary care and internal medicine physicians use smartphones to communicate with hospital staff: In July of 2015, MobiHealthNews shared industry data compiled by Black Book Market Research. The report says that 89% of primary care and internal medicine physicians told Black Book in 2013 that they used smartphones to communicate with other hospital staff.


Getting Started

Whether your hospital needs help reducing alarm loads from medical devices or other clinical systems or simply needs a secure platform for texting, we’ve got you covered. Engage is a scalable, event-driven care team communication platform designed to meet the immediate and future needs of caregivers.