Working with our digital health team, an application was developed to use in Microsoft Teams to assist clinicians to conserve PPE/reduce risk of exposure to COVID and still have communication between care team, patients, and families.
The applications that were developed with the digital health team allowed us to place an iPad in the patient’s room and use Microsoft Teams to communicate with the patient from outside the room using audio and video functionality. These applications for clinicians could be used on mobile devices, laptops, or desktop computers. These applications also allowed us to invite family/guests to join in the session to see and hear their loved ones as well as communicate with the clinicians.
We were already using Microsoft Teams to call the patient to communicate via iPads. However, patients were not always tech savvy to answer the call and turn the camera on. Our main task with the digital health team was developing an application that was more user-friendly for patients. The application developed allowed the session once joined on iPad to always remain open/active so the patient did not have to do anything. We created the application so that we could invite families/guests to the sessions/meetings as well. The application had to be pushed out to all the devices. In order to do this push, we had to collect all iPad and mobile device names and passwords. We had to determine which clinicians would use the applications and push to their Microsoft accounts. This was the most intensive task we had to do to make this successful. Once the applications were pushed to the devices it was just a matter of educating end users and patients on how to use the applications.
We were able to see the use of the applications increase and new use cases. On our pilot unit, we did see increase in patient satisfaction scores. Composite patient satisfaction score on the pilot unit increased 4 points. The rating of our hospital on the patient satisfaction score increased by 32 points. Nurse communication score increased by 7 points. We are finalizing the data on PPE cost/conservation for this project. We did get positive feedback from clinicians and families. Application spread through our system.
The applications were easier for patients to manage. We were able to stay connected with patients and their families while also conserving PPE and reducing risk of exposure. This created a safe atmosphere for patients and clinicians during a time of a lot of uncertainty.
Learning Outcome: After completing this learning activity, the participant will be able to assess innovations being used by other professionals in the specialty and evaluate the potential of implementing the improvements into practice.