Eliminating Delays in Physician-Nursing Communication to Improve Patient Care


Delayed communication between floor nurses and providers negatively impacts patient satisfaction and quality of care

WakeMed Health and Hospitals, a 919-bed system with nearly 3500 nurses and 1100 physicians, had successfully used PH Connect for physician-to- physician communication and chose to extend PH Connect access to nursing in order to improve communication regarding patients in the hospital.

Proficient Health worked with nursing leadership to formulate an on-boarding plan which involved a floor by floor rollout, on-site training at all hospital locations, quicktips cards for the nursing stations, targeted training videos and a plan for follow up monitoring by Proficient Health to ensure user satisfaction from both nurses and providers.

Communication delays can be attributed to cellular/ page “dead zones” within the hospital, paging the wrong level of provider, incorrect or unpublished call schedules, uncertainty in the delivery of one-way communication, and waiting for call backs and shift changes. When there is delayed communication, the quality and timeliness of patient care is affected. This can lead to medical errors, extended wait times, delayed discharges, poor decision making, and increased stress.

A fast, seamless and complete line of communication is crucial to provide safe and effective patient care.

Extend PH Connect access to nursing to improve communication regarding patients in the hospital

PH Connect access was deployed to all nurse workstations and to the more than 800 shared mobile devices used by nursing to manage bedside. Using PH Connect from both web and mobile devices, nurses were given direct access to providers and a quick and easy way to view call schedules. Every message sent identifies the chosen recipient for that service line and indicates read time. If ever a provider is covering for another provider, the nurse is able to see that the message has been rerouted.

Nearly 20,000 messages a month have been sent from nursing units, increasing communication speed, improving patient care and satisfying the care team

Nurses and clinical staff no longer have to wait for a call back to share clinical information, can see read receipts on PH Connect, can easily access accurate call schedules, and can easily forward information at shift change, ensuring clear lines of communication. Providers can now reply directly to the floor nurses via PH Connect instead of calling the charge nurse and getting transferred.

Based on their success with PH Connect, nursing management requested that additional ancillary services be given access to PH Connect. Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Case Managers, Diabetes Nurse Educators and Wound Care Nurses have all started using PH Connect too, increasing robust communication throughout the entire system.

“PH Connect has made it easier to give a detailed synopsis of what is going on with your patient, rather than the provider just calling a number back with no background. You can see which provider has read the message and when, as well as receive a text message back from the provider if an order is not needed. Provider/nurse communication has greatly improved,“ explained Lindsey Seawell, RN WakeMed Cary.