How Peninsula Regional Medical Center reduced code blue rate by 70%

THE CHALLENGE

As the only Level III Trauma Center along the eastern shore and with more than 21,000 admissions and 95,000 ED visits annually, Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) care teams are coordinating around the clock.

Not long ago, care coordination wasn’t as streamlined as it is today. Oftentimes, it was unclear who to call, where to go, and how to get there. For something as simple as determining who was on-call, clinicians were still required to dial “0,” and speak with an operator—a process taking valuable time away from their patients. Manual, paper-based processes were resulting in pages to the wrong individual, and initiating a code call could take several minutes, with difficultly determining the recipients of the code alert.

PRMC clinical leadership recognized an opportunity to improve clinical communications and collaboration across the hospital, and decided Spok offered the right technology that could digitize information, automate processes, and streamline workflows. “We were looking for a one-stop shop for clinical communications: A single vendor that could support a variety of our needs and allow our physicians and nurses to spend their time at the bedside,” said Dr. Chris Snyder, Chief Medical Information Officer and Chief Quality Officer at PRMC.

THE SOLUTION

A longtime Spok customer for paging and contact center solutions, PRMC discovered that Spok Care Connect, the industry’s leading healthcare communication platform, was the best choice to meet their needs. A strong, ongoing partnership with Spok and overwhelming satisfaction with existing Spok solutions made expanding the Spok Care Connect platform at PRMC the right call now and for the future. PRMC added web-based directory and on-call scheduling, mass notification, and secure messaging. Additionally, PRMC chose to integrate Spok Care Connect with existing systems, like their EHR, and supported device diversity, so clinicians can receive patient care-related messages on their mobile device of choice.

“We needed an enterprise solution,” explained Dr. Snyder. “Spok is easy to manage, economical, and flexible. In care delivery, you’re dealing with critical information. Spok helps us make sure we can send a meaningful message in the most effective way possible.”

THE RESULTS

PRMC has already realized marked improvements in patient care throughout the organization using Spok Care Connect. Spok helped PRMC streamline their code call initiation process and improve patient safety.  Now operators can activate a code with a single keystroke, and the response team is automatically notified. By integrating Spok Care Connect with their Epic EHR system, PRMC reduced code blue alerts by 70 percent. Care teams receive automatic notifications of patient vitals from the EHR and identify signs of a potential patient deterioration and can intervene early. Message tracking ensures these critical alerts are responded to quickly.

By leveraging the Spok directory, on-call scheduling, and speech system, PRMC has improved staff efficiency. Clinical and nonclinical care team members can look up accurate contact information and real-time on-call schedules—and communicate with colleagues via their preferred method. Using automated greetings, PRMC reduced operator call volume by 17 percent. Patients and their families can get the information they need without being connected to an operator, allowing operators to focus on other responsibilities.

Spok Care Connect has boosted staff satisfaction and improved the patient experience: Delivering the right information to clinicians in a timely and efficient manner prevents staff frustration, and helps patients receive the care they need and leave the hospital sooner. Increased use of mobile devices has reduced overhead paging and hallway conversations, resulting in a quieter, more peaceful environment for everyone.

Spok Care Connect has enhanced PRMC’s clinical workflows so well that it’s become intrinsic for their staff. “It’s a very powerful tool, and we’ve come to depend on it,” said Dr. Snyder. “It’s a very natural occurrence—it’s like getting out of bed and brushing your teeth every day, do you think about it? No. Well you won’t think about the use of Spok because you realize it’s going to be there for you.”

Dr. Snyder says PRMC is looking forward to continuing to build on its success with Spok by expanding secure messaging and exploring deeper EHR integrations.

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