The healthcare industry has faced crisis at every turn in 2020, constantly challenged by COVID flare-ups all over the world, battling for provisions, struggling to keep frontline workers safe, and bearing the onus of reliance on a vaccine and societal stability. In this fraught landscape, healthcare communications leader Spok, Inc.recently released the results of its tenth annual survey on communications in healthcare.
Designed to help identify the importance of enterprise, or hospital-wide, communication solutions, the survey revealed that approximately 92 percent of healthcare professionals think enterprise communication technology is “very important” or “extremely important” in improving clinical outcomes. Similarly, 80 percent reported it is important to expand communications across multiple hospitals.
The survey findings also revealed that the majority (82 percent) of respondents are concerned that patient information and proprietary health system data are being communicated via unsecure or personal communication tools, like consumer texting apps or personal email. When asked to select the top two obstacles to advancing hospital communications, respondents most often selected budget/resource constraints and gaps in IT knowledge or expertise.
Of respondents who reported experiencing a communication gap during the COVID-19 response, the inability to communicate effectively was the most common reported problem (22 percent), followed by remote workers (19 percent), and lack of or insufficient communication devices (17 percent).
“While it’s a challenging time for healthcare, it’s also a time rife with opportunity for change,” said Vincent D. Kelly, president and chief executive officer of Spok Holdings, in a news release. “The survey indicates that healthcare leaders think a secure, single enterprise communication solution can improve clinical outcomes. We interpret these results to mean that hospitals and health systems that have not yet moved to a platform solution might now be ready to consider a new alternative.”
Respondents included more than 600 healthcare professionals from hospitals and health systems across the country.