Vocera Communications[NYSE:VCRA]: Breaking Communication Barriers in Healthcare
Brent D. Lang, CEO & President
In the healthcare sector, communication plays a major role because the convenient access to the relevant data at the right time helps in facilitating better patient care and administration. Today, most advanced technologies and solutions are making their presence in the healthcare sector, but when it comes to communication, caregivers are still relying on devices like pagers. According to a report by the Ponemon Institute, these archaic modes of communication cost hospitals $8.2 billion a year, causing productivity to decrease and patients discharge times to increase.
Only guaranteed viable clinician-persistent communication can accomplish the critical delivery of safe, high-quality medical care. When doctors and clinical care providers are given the assets to create relationship-focused communication abilities, they will become empowered to handle any challenge and improve the experience for not only the patients but all stakeholders in the system. Realising this, Vocera Communications [NYSE: VCRA] provides mobile communication solutions that address critical communication challenges faced by hospitals of today. The firm helps their customers improve patient safety and satisfaction while boosting hospital efficiency and productivity. Vocera’s vision is to deliver integrated intelligent communications systems that enable the flow of information from one care provider to another. “Our system allows care providers to act on that information at the point of care and deliver healthcare that is patient-centered, efficient and humanistic,” says Brent D. Lang, President and CEO of Vocera Communications.
Vocera enables physicians, clinicians, patients, and staff to reach the right person, at the right time, on the right device, with the right information, in the right place. They provide a secure, scalable, and integrated communication platform that enables the delivery of quality care across the patient’s journey.
The platform’s intelligent workflow system is based on name, role, and group routing with escalation paths that factor in shift changes and availability. Using simple, intuitive commands such as "call Room 4101 nurse" or "Cardiac Code Team," physicians, nurses, and other staff members can reach the accurate person or group, instantly. The platform and its unique staff assignment system is also enriched with data and care team information gathered from EHRs, providing a single source of precise and reliable information for real-time routing of critical alerts, alarms, and communications.
For hands-free wireless communication, the company offers the Vocera Badge that runs on the Vocera Platform, providing real-time voice communication purpose-built for the highly mobile healthcare environment, which would help save lives in a matter of seconds.
Our system allows care providers to act on that information at the point of care and deliver healthcare that is patient-centered, efficient and humanistic
Vocera Badge is a wearable lightweight, voice-controlled device that utilises intuitive commands to enable instant two-way or one-to-many conversations.
At one instance, Vocera assisted Reading Health System (RHS), a not-for-profit medical center in improving their staff communication. RHS has the busiest Emergency Department (ED) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, serving more than 133,000 patients annually. When they opened their larger emergency room to better accommodate the growing patient volume, it was challenging for clinicians to quickly locate each other to communicate critical information. The size and complexity of the ED made overhead paging and beeper paging ineffective. RHS turned to Vocera to address the communications issues in the ED by deploying Vocera's hands-free badge. The Vocera badge enabled ED staff to communicate with or locate a specific colleague or broadcast to a group. RHS now has a seamless device-agnostic communication, with HIPAA-compliant texting and enhanced role-based communication on the device of choice.
Balancing Security and Convenience
Vocera's robust clinical communications solution features secure text messaging, voice, and clinical data sharing designed to instantly empower care providers anywhere, on their device of choice. “Vocera Secure Texting balances security and convenience by providing an easy-to-use, HIPAA-compliant alternative to non-secure SMS texting,” states Lang. This also includes basic voice capabilities to enhance communication and collaboration. The solution integrates seamlessly with the Vocera communication platform, providing texting and voice capabilities across a wide range of endpoints.
Further, the communication platform supports iPhone and consumer-grade Android smartphones, allowing healthcare institutions to choose the right device for themselves—a shared device model or a mix of both. Additionally, the company offers Zebra MC40-HC, as an enterprise-class smartphone platform which includes Vocera’s unique voice-controlled calling, secure enterprise text messaging, and access to critical clinical data, alerts, and alarms.
Enhancing Care Experience
“Our company enhances the care experience by offering tools for better patient engagement and care coordination to improve patient satisfaction, reduce readmissions, create market differentiation, and maximise reimbursement,” proudly asserts Lang. Vocera Care Experience, a patient engagement solution offers pre-arrival communication, real-time rounding, recorded patient discharge instructions, and personalised follow-up calls.
Vocera Care Experience tools for any iOS device or desktop computer send timely information to patients before scheduled procedures, streamlining the arrival process, improving compliance with instructions, decreasing no-shows and last-minute cancellations. It also measures and manages patient experience during a hospital stay to evaluate gaps in communication and care, deploy improvement interventions, and recognise high-performing staff members. This not only improves patient satisfaction but also reduces readmission rates by recording personalised discharge instructions and making them available to patients, families, and other care providers to review at any time, on any device.
Setting New Standards in Care Delivery
Through the company’s research collaborative, the Experience Innovation Network, Vocera drives thought leadership for the healthcare industry and sets new standards in care delivery to augment patient, family, nurse, and physician experiences.
The network assists and guides the healthcare providers, offering advisory services focused on developing organisational alignment around patient experience strategy, and priorities. The network also assists in developing process improvement plans, providing curriculum and implementation tools on topics, such as improving plan of care communication, service line experience mapping, and developing physician and nurse partnerships.
"Our company enhances the care experience by offering tools for better patient engagement and care coordination to improve patient satisfaction, reduce readmissions, create market differentiation, and maximise reimbursement"
The network of industry pioneers focuses on innovative technologies and solutions that meet the quadruple aim to improve population health, elevate the patient experience, and reduce costs while restoring joy to the practice of medicine. To catalyse this work, the network and its members share real-world insights, proven strategies, and actionable frameworks to help other organisations drive rapid and sustainable experience improvement.
Creating Optimal Work Environment in Healthcare
The driving force for Vocera is to address communication breakdowns in the healthcare sector and tend towards the medical errors that can impact patient care satisfaction. With solutions installed in more than 1,200 organisations worldwide, Vocera aims to continue improving efficiency, quality, safety, and outcomes, while creating optimal working and healing environments. The company is bound to advance not only the technology but the infrastructure of healthcare and ensure that doctors and patients experience a level of service they have never seen before. “They believe that their solutions, built on new generation technology, can keep everyone healthier, happier, and longer,” concludes Lang.