Improve communication and coordination

Locate a case study that discusses how a health care organization solved a communication
problem with a hardware solution while maintaining existing software.


1.Improve communication and coordination between admitting, laboratory, pharmacy, and
clinicians to increase throughput; assume that each department has its own system
currently in place.

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Improve communication and coordination
This Healthcare facility is experiencing operational stress due to reduced financial
stability. The profit margins are low and the bed capacity records are at their highest. The
management demands that there is need to raise the bed capacity to meet the healthcare demands.
The most effective approach would not be an addition of new physical building but rather
increase of their service capacity to enable serving more patients through an effective
management system that increases the throughput (NCBI, 2013). This calls for a technology that
will improve communication between the healthcare professionals as well as their coordination
by offering real-time patient particulars such as laboratory updates, physician’s information, as
well as information from the pharmacists. The system should facilitate the flow of information in

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the inpatient setting and the emergency department. This sort of technology is not common in
most healthcare environment, especially in the surgical environment (Peter et al., 2012).
The HL7 standards aim at establishing set of values and specifications that facilitate free
exchange of healthcare information. This will reduce healthcare services incompatibility due to
reduced interoperability. For this reason, the proposed healthcare applications should support
effective communication of information between the various environments, and should be
available in common programming languages. Additionally, the program should have all the
elements of each medical field and segments that can be customized (CDC, 2012).
In this context, the researcher is required to eliminate the information gaps in the
healthcare system, which often results to expensive healthcare costs such as diagnostic error or
medication error. For this reason, the proposed software should be in a position to tackle the
challenges by improving interoperability without slowing down the care delivery process or
putting patients at risk. Real-Time location system software enables increase interoperability in
the healthcare industry by supporting the alignment of the physician through exchange of
relevant healthcare information, which facilitates the management of care transitions.
Consequently, responsible care is delivered at lower cost. The system involves physical keying
of patient particulars, and the patient is provided with a tag that when used in the healthcare
system, it reflect the patient particulars with ease. This way, nurse in charge would know the
exact dosage for a particular patient, the physician would easily identify referral cases, and
pharmacists would learn the patient particulars with ease (Vast & Gamm, 2010).
To increase throughput, the solution is to ensure that the proposed solution is readily
available, and is compatible with the preexisting systems; ensuring that relevant data is captured,
and is transmitted in a standardized way, such that the quality of information is not lost during

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the sharing of information. The part of the process will include ensuring that there is a standard
code for all of the departments so that information shared is matched. This will ensure that each
department gets a system that contains data in the format needed. The system supports
teamwork, staff coordination and promotes patient engagement (CDC, 2012).
The benefits associated with the implementation of this technology includes increased
throughput and is evidenced by healthcare variables such decreased length of stay, improved
billing system (charge capture, reduced ambulance diversions as well as increased patient
quality of life and satisfaction. Additionally, the standard implementation is rather
straightforward and considerably customizable to meet the healthcare facility demands (Vast &
Gamm, 2010).
Challenges of incorporating interoperability
The main challenge of integrating interoperability is the inadequate sustainable models,
which can be used to guide the changes, and to assure that the data sources and storage are
secure, offer technical support and a system is cost effective. There are increased risks of
questions and distrust over who is responsible in controlling of information collected.
Additionally, there are concerns on the standardization process. This implies that there are
reduced agreements on which set of standards should be used, and in some cases, the standards
used are too general and are susceptible to multiple interpretations. This could result to serious
errors (King Et al., 2013).
Technology incompatibility is another issue. Although technological systems have
similar objectives, some systems have differing ontologies as well as terminologies about the
same healthcare or medication concept. This makes it difficult for interoperability (Vast &
Gamm, 2010).

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Overcoming the challenges
The main approach to overcome these key challenges is the standardized integration of
applications and pricing by the manufactures. This will lower the installation, operation, as well
as maintenance cost. The healthcare system should explore on ways to improve a culture that
adopts changes. Additionally, legal barriers and hospital policies should be annulled. This
includes working in partnership with the healthcare providers to debunk the misconceptions that
prevails. The healthcare facility should establish a standard coding system and medication
symbol and format, which largely influences the rate of interoperability. More efficient as well as
effective software should be established to ensure that their i.e. effective communication and
coordination between the stakeholders (NCBI, 2013).

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Reference list
CDC (2012) Public health surveillance data: legal, policy, ethical, regulatory and practical issues.
Supplements 61; 3, p30-34.
King, G. Et al.(2012) Boundaries and e-health implementation in health and social care. BMC
Medical informatics and decision making 12; 100, p1-12
NCBI (2013) Sharing Clinical research data: Workshop summary.
Peter, B. Et al. (2012). Mining electronic health records: towards better research applications and
clinical care. Nature reviews 13; p395 -407
Vest , JR., & Gamm, LD. (2010). Health information exchange: persistent challenges and new
strategies. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2010 May-Jun; 17(3): 288–294 doi: 
10.1136/jamia.2010.003673

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