Communications Improving Quality of Care
and Patient Safety
As one of the nation’s premier pediatric health care systems, Nemours has made a promise to do whatever it takes to prevent and treat even the most disabling childhood conditions. It’s a promise that extends beyond their clinical care to an entire integrated system of prevention, intervention, education and research dedicated to improving the health of all children.
Nemours is an innovative, multi-dimensional organization workingin conjunction with partners to raise the bar in children’s health. This includes developing a pediatric electronichealth record (EHR) that works seamlessly across multiple locations, enabling Nemours physicians to securely view records and treat patients.
Nemours’ current advertising campaign, “Your child. Our promise.” is a multi-media initiative using traditional and interactive venues to increase awareness of who they are and what they do.
The Nemours call center management team in Jacksonville, Fla., was struggling with call volumes and insufficient methods of handling them. The facility employed four operators during the busy day shift and was using a paper-based system to manage on-call schedules for the various departments.
With Nemours being such a large and continually growing health system, the team knew something needed to be done to simplify processes and reduce the communication burdens on the call center operators. When Nemours was due for an upgrade to their current operator system, they went looking for a solution that would bring the phone system and the on-call directory together to make life simpler for the operators.
After careful selection, the Nemours Florida call center decided to implement the Amcom™ MediCall® operator console which equipped the operators with needed functionality. Some of this included the ability to message to a variety of devices and send messages directly to doctors through the console. “Our operators love being able to send text messages to doctors telling them to call a certain phone number,” said Lorraine Cann, Call Center Supervisor for Nemours. “This eliminates the need for our operators to be a go-between and make numerous phone calls.”
Nemours was also able to reduce operator workload by using Amcom’s Voice With a Smile® to automate greetings to callers. The application answers incoming calls with a pre-recorded greeting in the operator’s own voice. “Voice With a Smile reduces our call center noise dramatically, and operators love the application because it saves them time and energy,” said Michelle Orr-Brown, Switchboard Operator for Nemours. “The system ensures a consistent and pleasant greeting for all callers and gives them a good first impression of Nemours.”
The operators gladly threw away the old on-call paper system when Nemours also implemented the Amcom WebXchange® online on-call directory. The solution tied on-call scheduling directly to the operator console system, providing operators with accurate schedules and up-to-date contact information. Each department enters their own on-call schedule into the system and can make changes when needed. In fact, changes can be made by any credentialed user. This functionality reduces operator workload and allows the field to make changes at any time. The system is updated in real time, providing operators with accurate information and thus improving on-call response times because they are contacting the right people on the right device.
With implementing the Amcom solutions, the Jacksonville call center management team was able to reduce the number of daytime operators from four to three. After seeing the success with the Amcom systems in the Florida call center, Nemours decided to implement the Amcom solutions in the Delaware facility as well. “The operators love the Amcom system and have adapted to it very well,” said Michael Kuck, Application Analyst, Information Systems for Nemours. “Having both call centers sharing one staff database and data center allows call traffic to be offloaded to one contact center if necessary.” For example, if the Delaware area experiences severe weather, the Florida office is able to access the data for Delaware and provide coverage seamlessly for both locations.
Amcom has been able to adapt and grow with Nemours over the past few years when changes have occurred, as they always do. In 2007, Nemours decided to make a change in their PBX provider and switched over to using Cisco®. The Amcom system integrated tightly with the Cisco infrastructure and continued to provide Nemours with efficient communication technology throughout the transition.
The Nemours organization is currently in the process of building a new children’s hospital in Orlando. The new 95-bed hospital will open its doors in 2012, providing Florida families with a place to access all their health specialists in one area.
Being such a technology-driven pediatric health system, Nemours continues to look for ways to provide patients with the best care through technology. They have already partnered with the GetWellNetwork Inc., which provides interactive patient care information including education about their health condition, entertainment, services, and Internet resources. Looking forward, Nemours wants to integrate the IP room phones, Amcom system, and the GetWellNetwork for a more interactive patient experience.
Another main initiative for Nemours is to have the ability to track pages and messages sent out to caregivers on their smartphones. “Having the verification that a message was sent, received, and read would help our organization tremendously,” said Amy Ayers, Communications Manager for Nemours. “Managers are continually requesting this type of information and wanting to consolidate the number of devices their personnel carry.” Many doctors at Nemours are moving to smartphones, and technology management is evaluating Amcom’s smartphone messaging system to consolidate devices.