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Clinical Communication Platforms 2021
Improved Efficiency Leading to Concrete Outcomes

author - Paul Hess
Paul Hess
author - Paul Warburton
Paul Warburton
September 30, 2021 | Read Time: 6  minutes

Many acute care organizations’ clinical communication strategies have moved far beyond clinician messaging and now aim to streamline communication across most areas of the hospital. Having thoughtfully deployed enterprise communication platforms, these organizations report a myriad of powerful outcomes. This report examines these outcomes as well as which vendors best drive efficient, timely communication, support adoption across a variety of user roles, and earn high confidence in their ability to facilitate customers’ future goals.

100% of Respondents Report Improved Communication Efficiency

All respondents report that their clinical communication platform has improved efficiency overall. When respondents were asked to identify their top three specific outcomes, improved clinician collaboration (e.g., read receipts, faster diagnoses, first-contact responses) was by far the most common response.

most common outcomes achieved with clinical communication platform

In addition to improved collaboration and other key outcomes, KLAS has found a significant correlation between clinical communication platforms and clinicians’ overall EHR satisfaction. Data from KLAS’ Arch Collaborative—a group of hundreds of healthcare organizations committed to improving the EHR experience through measurement and benchmarking—shows that providers who do not use a clinical communication solution report more overall EHR dissatisfaction than providers who do use a communication platform.

net ehr experience score by use of secure messaging

Customer Satisfaction in Three Key Areas: Workflows, Adoption & Development

Proactive Collaboration from Halo Health Leads to Strong Communication Workflows; TigerConnect Delivers Efficiency across Base of Large Customers

The main goal of any clinical communication platform is to drive timely, efficient communication. Customers of Halo Health and PerfectServe Telmediq say the vendors’ efforts to proactively partner with customers, understand their needs, and then collaborate to customize the tools result in more timely communication between different types of end users. Owned by HCA, Mobile Heartbeat (limited data) has also driven significant efficiencies by providing partnership and ongoing collaboration. They are live in the vast majority of HCA’s hospitals across the US; the vendor’s small base of non-HCA customers tend to be small organizations. TigerConnect customers—who are some of the largest in this report sample—feel the product’s ease of use coupled with enterprise contracting allow for simple rollout by many user groups, helping promote efficient communication organization-wide. Due to their existing customers in other markets (Smartbadges and EHRs, respectively), Vocera and Epic also have broad customer bases that include many large organizations. Both vendors enable unique workflows valued by clinicians. Several Epic customers note that they are waiting on additional functionality to be able to fully realize the benefits of a complete communication platform. PerfectServe is noted for providing partnership and collaboration that helps drive timely, efficient communication. Cerner customers feel they could achieve greater communication efficiency if they had more proactive support to help them optimize workflows.

acute care customer base composition vs impact on efficiency

Hillrom’s & Vocera’s Focus on Integrated Workflows Results in Broad Adoption across Clinician and Non-Clinician Roles

Having one, unified communication platform across patient support roles can streamline care delivery. Hillrom and Vocera have put significant focus on integrating a variety of technologies, including EHRs, patient monitoring tools, nurse devices, alarms, and phone systems. As a result of this integration, the communication platforms are the default for a variety of user types and departments (e.g., dietary and environmental services), with many respondents reporting improved clinician/non-clinician interactions. PerfectServe’s clinician-focused integration has driven high clinician adoption. Mobile Heartbeat and Vocera Edge (formerly PatientSafe Solutions) are used primarily by a handful of key roles—i.e., clinicians and the roles that support them. Adoption across non-clinician roles is less broad. Several Cerner respondents have deployed the solution only to nurses and support staff.

clinical communication adoption across user roles

Development from Halo Health, PerfectServe Telmediq Engenders Strong Confidence in Future Delivery

Technology is rapidly reshaping communication workflows, and before provider organizations invest, they want to make sure the technology will be able to help them achieve long-term goals. Customers of Halo Health and Mobile Heartbeat (limited data) report good satisfaction with their vendor’s current delivery of new technology as well as strong confidence in their ability to drive future outcomes. PerfectServe Telmediq drives high confidence by collaborating closely with customers to develop new technology; a couple of larger customers note the need for more testing. Vocera Edge customers also report close, iterative partnerships. They aren’t sure yet how the acquisition by Vocera will impact development. Epic customers report high confidence in achieving future goals. Since Epic lacks key technology, such as middleware and VoIP tools, customers plan to leverage third parties to keep users within the EHR workflow. Cerner offers a wealth of technology and middleware capabilities. Over the last year, some customers have seen unexpected downtime, contributing to limited adoption and reduced confidence in Cerner’s ability to help them achieve future goals. As a result, Cerner has recently migrated their CareAware platform to Amazon Web Services. A large majority of TigerConnect customers are confident in their vendor; a couple mention misalignment between their own strategy and TigerConnect’s broader road map.

communication platforms development satisfaction

Top Outcomes

The outcomes provider organizations have achieved with their clinical communication platforms vary widely depending on the organization’s focus, goals, and use of supporting third-party technology. Interviewed organizations were asked to identify their top three outcomes, and the most common for each vendor are shown in the table below.

PerfectServe Telmediq & TigerConnect Making Inroads with Patient Communication

PerfectServe Telmediq and TigerConnect customers highlight their vendors’ patient communication functionality, which includes video capabilities and has improved the patient experience and enabled better engagement with patient families. Vocera has deep experience leveraging middleware and integrating with patient monitoring tools, and their customers are the most likely to highlight the ability to respond more quickly to critical alerts (e.g., sepsis), thereby improving patient care. Patient care is also improved through timely documentation—Vocera Edge is unique as the only third-party solution with bidirectional EHR integration to support basic nurse documentation.

communication platforms customers most common top outcomes

About This Report

The data in this report comes from two sources: (1) KLAS’ standard quantitative evaluation for healthcare software, and (2) a supplemental evaluation tailored specifically for the clinical communication market. Interviews were conducted with acute care organizations and were completed over the last 12 months.

KLAS’ standard quantitative evaluation is composed of 16 numeric ratings questions and 4 yes/no questions, all weighted equally. Combined, the ratings for these questions make up the overall performance score, which is measured on a 100-point scale. The questions are organized into six customer experience pillars—culture, loyalty, operations, product, relationship, and value.

customer experience pillars software

To supplement the customer satisfaction data gathered with the standard evaluation, KLAS also created a supplemental evaluation to delve deeper into several questions specific to the clinical communication market. This evaluation asked respondents to (1) identify the different types of users (physicians, nurses, support staff, etc.) leveraging the solution at their organization, (2) rate their communication platform vendor’s ability to drive timely, efficient outcomes, (3) identify the top three outcomes they have achieved by leveraging a clinical communication platform, (4) identify the outcomes they hope to achieve with the platform in the future, and (5) rate their confidence in their vendor’s ability to help them achieve these outcomes.

Sample Sizes

Sample sizes displayed throughout this report (e.g., n=16) represent the total number of unique customer organizations interviewed for a given vendor or solution. However, it should be noted that to allow for the representation of differing perspectives within any one customer organization, samples may include surveys from different individuals at the same organization. Ratings from these individuals are aggregated in order to prevent any one organization’s feedback from disproportionately impacting a solution’s score. The table below shows the total number of unique organizations interviewed for each vendor or solution as well as the total number of individual respondents.

It should be noted that some respondents choose not to answer particular questions, meaning the sample size for any given vendor or solution can change from question to question. When the number of unique organization responses for a particular question is less than 15, the score for that question is marked with an asterisk (*) or otherwise designated as “limited data.” If the sample size is less than 6, no score is shown. Note that when a vendor has a low number of reporting sites, the possibility exists for KLAS scores to change significantly as new surveys are collected.

author - Elizabeth Pew
Elizabeth Pew
author - Natalie Jamison
Natalie Jamison
author - Mary Brown
Project Manager
Mary Brown
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.

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