Making quick decisions is important when it comes to cardiology patients – particularly when patient conditions unexpectedly change in the ER or overnight when access to a cardiologist is more limited. Since quality care does not end when the physician leaves the bedside, having the latest and most relevant data easily accessible no matter where the cardiologist is can be critical.
In recent years, cardiologists have relied on faxed or texted pictures of an ECG to help them make decisions, or even other staff members’ verbal descriptions of what they see on the readout. But the quality of this information is inadequate. By the time a fax is sent, it’s outdated. Zooming capabilities for texted images can only do so much. And – though we credit all of our staff for their knowledge – cardiology is a specialty and these doctors may see something on an ECG that might be missed in a verbal update.
Mobility offers a solution to these concerns, allowing our physicians to follow the patient’s condition in near real-time so they can review the data while talking through the issue with on-site staff. By avoiding the logistical (and not to mention HIPAA-compliant!) concerns of transferring data, this type of access expedites the speed of care in emergency situations. It also maximizes efficiencies around everyone’s time: cardiologists can quickly make a decision and nurses don’t waste unnecessary time away from the bedside to call the doctor or send faxes.
At the same time, leveraging what physicians are already comfortable with – like their own phones – is important to ensure engagement and successful clinical transformation. It needs to be easy for them to get started and up-to-speed on when, why and how to use a new tool. As part of this, training cardiologists and working within their schedules to get their devices set up helps to secure their interest and start engaging them. From there, as they start seeing the benefits, they’ll become more invested, which in turn will drive adoption and usage.
At Rockdale, we’re focused on providing the best care possible for our patients. To do so, we need to not only offer the technologies that enable better and faster care, but also empower our physicians with the tools to help them make confident decisions. In the end, it all comes down to getting and keeping people healthy.