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Secure communications enhance clinical care for orthopedic surgical hospital

Healthcare IT News reported that Hospital for Special Surgery centralized call center management by moving from pagers to secure cell phones for clinical communications.

As HSS performs approximately 32,000 surgeries a year, it is important for physicians to get high-priority messages as fast as possible.

With a pager, there was no way to discern whether the call was coming from a patient with a question, a patient who urgently needed treatment or from someone else. Nick Wirth, director of operational excellence at HSS, explains how pagers only lend themselves to a one-way communication and come with a high retrieval time. Under the new cell phone system, physicians can triage three messages and the system has built-in protocols so that high-priority calls are returned within five minutes.

With this change, HSS has created a higher level of patient safety for postoperative patients.

According to Wirth, if a patient calls the hospital after hours, the staff person who answers the phone can route the call directly to the on-call person with a generated text or secure voicemail.

Wirth has already seen some very positive results from this transformation.

Read the full article at HealthcareITNews.com.