Since patient care and well-being is at the center of Rockdale’s mission, attracting the best and brightest clinicians in the region is an important effort for us. Part of distinguishing ourselves from our competitors is providing the resources and advanced technological support clinicians want. In fact, to support this shift, we formed the Information Technology Physician Engagement Group in 2013 to identify exactly what were the technology priorities for our physicians:
- Improved cellular service
- Improved physician Wi-Fi
- Single sign-on access
- Mobile technology for better efficiency
From our perspective, we realized mobility is no longer an added bonus for physicians and nurses, but a necessity. Consequently, we’ve implemented a mobile strategy to address these needs and meet the new expectations of the latest medical recruits.
Hospital staffing structures are not what they once were. Our medical staff is actually fairly complex, with many physicians part of groups and not frequently on-site within the hospital. Thanks to mobility, physicians can be off-site, in their offices doing day-to-day work, and still able to see patient data in near real-time, as well as access patient records. Since many of our clinicians practice across multiple hospitals, particularly those in our obstetrics service line, this remote access to patient data has become a differentiator for Rockdale. If there is a choice to have a patient deliver her baby at a facility where the doctor can remotely monitor her condition as he makes his way to the hospital versus one where he can’t, the choice is fairly simple.
Additionally, with a shortage of clinicians in the U.S. and the near-retirement age of many of our own physicians, attracting the next generation of recruits is important to filling the care gaps. These newer physicians are extremely computer-savvy and used to having their mobile devices on-hand at all times. For them, having patient information accessible at anytime from anywhere is no different from the rest of the information they consume in a day – technology within the hospital is expected.
We are consistently working to plan ahead and anticipate the needs of our physicians. With our current strategy we’re supporting compliant workflows, improving care coordination, and supporting expedited care in emergency situations. We’re now working to add additional clinical support, like ordering directly from mobile devices and connecting additional patient data sources. As we work with our Physician Engagement Group moving forward, we hope to continue to support of doctors’ needs so they can focus on providing the best care possible and keeping our patients safe and healthy.
Dr. Lisa Gillespie, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer at Rockdale Medical Center. She specializes in internal medicine, currently treating patients in Brentwood, Tennessee and Conyers, Georgia. Dr. Gillespie has 16 years of experience and practices in internal medicine and hospitalist.