Closing the Communication Gap
12 May

Closing the Communication Gap

Communication GapEfficiency. It is more than just a buzzword in today’s business world. It’s a necessity. And one of the biggest hindrance to efficiency is communication. If communication does not flow freely between departments, patient wait times can be longer, morale can be reduced and overall workflows slowed down.

Many practices historically have had their various departments silo-ed. In other words, Front Desk vs. Referrals vs. Clinical Staff. However, in today’s healthcare industry, it is easier than ever to remove the vs. from the equation.

Most Electronic Medical Records (EMR’s) have a built-in communication tool to help ease communication via departments securely through tasking or intra-system e-mail. Also, most systems have a patient tracking system that allows any user at anytime to see where the patient is in the workflow. And all of this automatically flows back to the patient chart. Many practices may not be using these tools and are missing a great opportunity for opening the lines of communication between the business office and clinicians.

Open Lines of Communication

Let’s try an example. A patient calls in and the call is answered by the front desk. It is a call for a medication refill request. If there isn’t already a line set up to go directly to the nurse for these types of calls, a task can be sent to the nurse with all of the pertinent information to request the refill. The nurse checks her tasks for the morning and sees the refill request. She confirms with the doctor, e-prescribes the refill to the patient’s designated pharmacy, and returns a quick call to the patient to let them know their refill has been called in.

Perhaps your scheduling department is separate from your referrals department. Your scheduler can send a task to your referral representative to ensure any necessary authorizations are obtained prior to the patient’s visit. These are just a few of many examples of how these features can be used.

What does your practice do to keep information flowing between departments? Check out our Process Improvements page to see how we can help!

Donna White

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