Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) has implemented NetRelay, a new healthcare communications platform from Interbit Data, a provider of software and services connecting people with information for more efficient healthcare.

The platform offers secure texts and other features such as automated HIPAA-compliant message delivery, tracking and workflow across healthcare organisations.

By using NetRelay, SVMC created efficiencies, improved workflow and throughput and boosted overall effectiveness.

Before implementing the platform, SVMC used manual tool processes, which involved several steps, phone calls and multiple alerts.

Manual processes require communications such as lab and radiology results, patient discharges, housekeeping needs, patient dietary needs and meal orders, as well as code alerts.

The healthcare communications platform integrates seamlessly with healthcare information system (HCIS) applications.

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It takes data from the systems and turns it into a secure message that is delivered to mobile devices, NetRelay messaging consoles and/or through the Interbit Data NetDelivery hospital data exchange to email, fax, printers and EMRs.

SVMC chief medical officer Trey Dobson said: "There are several different software applications out there that give clinicians the ability to have HIPAA-compliant communications with one another, but NetRelay is all of them rolled up into one, so you are using one application and not five.

"NetRelay makes it easy to receive and respond to a message."

According to the company, information and activity statuses secured by the platform can be relayed from one staff member or department to another.

"The healthcare communications platform integrates seamlessly with healthcare information system (HCIS) applications."

NetRelay messaging consoles are set up in areas across SVMC such as nurses’ stations, the emergency department (ED), ICU, cafeteria, housekeeping, lobby, as well as the lab and imaging to provide real-time messages and activity statuses to those areas.

These consoles allow nurses to quickly and easily see which physicians and other nurses are assigned to each patient, any patient allergy confirmations and whether medication lists are needed.

It also allows nurses to see if whether pain reassessments are needed, patients’ dietary needs, and if any order acknowledgements are needed.

SVMC noted that NetRelay was able to reduce its average critical value workflow time from 45 to 15 minutes, which helped reduce throughput, decrease patient wait times and improve responsiveness to patients.

In addition, the hospital was able to improve nursing pain reassessment documentation from 78% to 96% through the implementation of NetRelay’s automated reminders.

Dobson said: "NetRelay has helped significantly reduce physicians’ time to decision and time to treatment for patients with critical lab results.

"We have also reduced the number of interruptions to patient care, as we no longer have phone calls or pages constantly coming from the lab or an ED nurse.

"As a result, our responsiveness to patients has improved dramatically."

Developed in a hospital environment, NetRelay is aimed at improving clinical messaging speed and workflow, allowing more effective staff communications and greater efficiency and throughput, leading to optimal patient care.