Quality care and quality communication go hand-in-hand
In recent weeks, the fear of an Ebola outbreak spread far more quickly than the actual virus ever could; which brings about uncertainty for the entire healthcare community. How do we best care for these patients? How do we protect ourselves and our other patients? We’re on the forefront of this battle, so we need to be armed with the most accurate and up-to-date information available.
Although we have learned a lot clinically about patient care and safety since the early days of the AIDS crisis, what has become abundantly clear in recent days is that our means and methods of quality communication has not progressed as much. This is where technology like enterprise content management (ECM) can help tremendously – because it gives organizations the ability to rapidly distribute information to their entire workforce.
Keeping people safe
Healthcare workers then have the ability to quickly pull up the latest information about a particular public health issue from a single approved source, knowing they are provided with real-time, accurate information. They can read the most recent recommendations for isolation precautions, care paths, and even current information on population management. They can get information on what equipment is necessary and see where to find it. They learn which personnel to engage and how to do so. They can be better prepared before patients ever arrive at the door of their facility.
Clear information allows healthcare workers on the front lines to feel supported and secure that they have the knowledge, necessary equipment and supplies to care for their patients as safely as possible. It also gives the organization confidence that they have a well-prepared and protected staff treating critically ill patients.
Spreading accurate information
Consistent, accurate messaging is paramount to consistent, safe care; and it’s needed now more than ever. With the opportunity for people to quickly spread misinformation-via the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and so forth – caregivers and organizations have three distinct challenges that if not met, can lead to disaster. First, they must find a way to filter through the volumes of information available and disseminate accurate, factual material to everyone to ensure consistent, quality and safe care. Secondly, they must make sure that everyone receives this information. Third, they must be able to quickly distribute updated information as more knowledge is learned.
By ensuring all employees and clinicians have access to the most up-to-date versions of required materials, and that deadlines for review and acknowledgement are enforced, healthcare organizations can quickly educate their entire staff when facing the next public health battle. Armed with the ability to measure compliance, they can quickly assess the success of their education campaign and ensure they’re doing all they can to keep everyone safe.
Because in the end, that’s what it’s all about.