Improved Communication and Collaboration for Lurie Children’s Health Partners Clinically Integrated Network


Communication challenges between referring physicians and hospital specialist

Last year, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago served more than 198,000 children from 50 states and 51 countries. To improve communication between referring physicians and Lurie Children’s specialists, the hospital along with its Clinically Integrated Network implemented PH Connect.

PH Connect to improve communication between the inpatient and outpatient clinical environments

PH Connect—a HIPAA-complaint messaging platform for smartphones—replaces the outdated paging systems and devices, enabling hospital providers and community physicians to communicate with one another quickly, securely and on-the-go. With PH Connect, Lurie Children’s Hospital can facilitate better coordination of care for Chicago’s pediatric patients, to improve patient outcomes and resource usage.

“As a NICU hospitalist, PH Connect is a huge time saver. Now I can skip the operators and answering services and directly reach our pediatricians via voice or text in a HIPAA-compliant manner,” states Patrick Lyons, MD, Hospital-Based Medicine, Lurie Children’s.

Reduced physician wait times and increased collaboration within the CIN

Streamlining Patient Data- Smooth implementation and adoption were important to Lurie. And, one of their goals was to ensure that patient information moved with the communication and not get lost as the patient is referred to another physician. PH Connect allows health providers to coordinate consults, share results, communicate patient information, notify of patient arrivals, process admissions and more. The company provides rolling implementation and on-going adoption support, ensuring minimal disruption.

“PH Connect saves physicians the time it takes to make multiple phone calls, speak with multiple other staff, wait on hold, or wait for a return call in order to connect with another physician during a busy clinic day,” states Nan Walicki, MD, North Arlington Pediatrics.

“In particular I love it for sending non-urgent confidential questions to Lurie Children’s specialists about specific patients. My practice is not on Epic so I cannot do this through the electronic health record. Absolutely I would recommend it,” says Karen Kreiling, MD, Children’s Health Partners.

Easing Access to Lurie Resources- In its first full year, more than 3,000 messages have been sent, including communications from 35 PCP practices and 32 divisions at Lurie Children’s. Response time is less than 3 minutes for over 45% of messages and is under 25 minutes for over 80% of messages. The system connects more than 220 community pediatricians directly to nearly 1100 providers at Lurie Children’s Hospital supporting true care coordination for their patients.

Adoption of PH Connect continues to increase as new divisions and practices learn about the opportunities for more efficient and secure communication through PH Connect.