RapidConnect Helps WakeMed Bypass EHR Bottlenecks to Enable Faster Consults

Healthcare and medical concept. Medicine doctor with stethoscope in hand and Patients come to the hospital background.RapidConnect Helps WakeMed Bypass EHR Bottlenecks to Enable Faster Consults

"At WakeMed, provider-to-provider messaging via RapidConnect improves patient care hundreds of times each day through several mechanisms.”

                          --  Ted Tsomides, MD, WakeMed Health and Hospitals

In the past, WakeMed physicians would write orders through the hospital’s EHR system, requesting a specialist consult. Unfortunately, the EHR system didn’t provide an automated process to ensure the delivery of that request directly to the consulting physician, or to alert that physician about a consult.

With no automated process in place, a variety of methods were used to bridge that communication gap. Some ordering physicians relied on unit secretaries to monitor consult orders and notify or remind consulting providers via phone call, page, emails or in-basket. Many of these communication methods resulted in the delivery of abbreviated or confusing messages with limited or unsecure patient information.

In some cases, the consulting physician would not see the consult orders until they checked their EHR system patient list, which could be hours or even a day later. In other cases, the orders may go to the wrong provider altogether due to the EHR’s inability to automatically route messages based on the day and time of message, provider availability, call schedules, workflows and more. Ordering physicians were forced to choose from hundreds of names within the EHR, without knowing if the consulting physician was on vacation, if another member of the care team should be receiving the consult, etc.

This inefficient process often led to confusion and frustration for everyone
involved in the consult process, and delays that resulted in unnecessary costs for both the patient and hospital.

CHALLENGE


No automated process to ensure delivery of messages or alert physicians via EHR

SOLUTION


RapidConnect integration with EHR and Intelligent Consult Notification (ICN) functionality

Enabling Automated Message Delivery

WakeMed worked with MD Interconnect to leverage RapidConnect’s integration
with the EHR and Intelligent Consult Notification (ICN) functionality to automate message routing, enable real-time notification and optimize care continuity.

RapidConnect uniquely and intelligently routes messages based on six different factors, including clinical service resource availability (residents, PAs, etc.) and consulting physician workflow and preferences, ensuring that the consult is automatically delivered to the right person – the first time. The consult delivery even allows for preferences of the services that would not typically be notified at night but would expect notification of new consults at the beginning of morning shifts.

RapidConnect supports preferred workflows for not only the consulting provider, but also for the ordering physician. The ordering physician doesn’t have to open RapidConnect at all. They simply log into the EHR and request the consult as they normally would. They receive a notification that the message has been sent and can expect a quicker response from the consulting physician.

Improving Patient Care at WakeMed

This relatively simple approach to consult orders has dramatically improved time to consult and improved ALOS across the facility. Services benefitting from the RapidConnect integration and ICN include Cardiology, Ortho, Pulmonary, Psych, Pediatric Endocrinology, Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Hospitalist, Pediatric Intensivist, Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Urology and Pediatric Gastroenterology. The hospital plans to roll the feature out to all services.

“RapidConnect allows providers real time access to each other without
prior knowledge of call schedules; enables them to share patient-specific
information securely, unlike conventional texting; and provides read receipts
to communicate that messages have been received,” explained Ted Tsomides,
MD, WakeMed Health and Hospitals.

RESULTS


Thousands of consults are being sent through RapidConnect with read and response times as quick as two to three minutes


RapidConnect Helps Create Call Center Efficiencies Through Better Communication

RapidConnect Helps Create Call Center Efficiencies Through Better Communication

"RapidConnect ensures that the right information is sent to the right providers...physicians receive the information in the manner they prefer... to immediately move forward and address the patient’s care.”

 

                   Lisa Forte, Manager - WakeMed Call Center

Lisa Forte, who manages the Call Center at WakeMed Health & Hospitals, expected to see value from RapidConnect, but was surprised by everything it really delivered. With responsibility for three full-service hospitals, more than 900 patient beds and 1,100 staff, Forte’s team fields an average of 75,000 calls per month.

Enabling Physicians to Provide High Quality Care

Forte hoped RapidConnect would help decrease the number of calls coming through her call center by facilitating direct physician-to-physician communication. RapidConnect didn’t disappoint, leading to a 50% decrease in physician-to-physician calls. RapidConnect also delivered a number of other benefits Forte didn’t expect.

“One of the biggest surprises is the impact RapidConnect has had on my team’s communication with the physicians. Historically, call center operators end up being the middlemen between the referring physician and the staff physician. Some physicians simply don’t like to provide the information we need to effectively facilitate that communication, so the operator has to go back and forth between the two. That is not an efficient use of time or resources, is a frustrating experience for everyone involved and can lead to unnecessary delays in patient care,” Forte explained.

CHALLENGE


Hospital call center is responsible for an average of 75,000 calls per month

SOLUTION


Implement RapidConnect to decrease the number of calls by directly connecting physicians

“RapidConnect ensures that the right information is sent to the right providers, and also ensures that physicians receive the information in the manner they prefer. That allows the physician to immediately move forward and address the patient’s care, without losing time on time-consuming and frustrating back-and-forth communication,” she said.

Flexible and Customizable Platform

For example, WakeMed call center had a specific workflow to move information from an incoming phone call to the EHR ED tracking board for patients who were being transported to the ED. Through the RapidConnect ticketing system functionality, the call center is now able to receive detailed clinical information on the web portal directly from a provider. The call center updates the EHR and uses RapidConnect to alert a predefined group within each ED of an impending arrival. The adjustments to the workflow maintain the importance of the EHR but layer in ease of access for the PCP to provide important clinical information.

Forte is also grateful that RapidConnect has helped the hospital establish one set of guidelines for secure communication. This ensures that everyone follow the same process, that messages are automatically sent to the right people at the right time, and that frustration and confusion about the who, when and how of provider communication is eliminated.

In the end, Forte believes that RapidConnect has helped her team and WakeMed by:

  • Reducing physician-to-physician call volume
  • Reducing the amount of time it takes to manage each call
  • Improving call center employee (and other hospital staff)
    satisfaction
  • Optimizing resource usage (including staff and facilities)
  • Expediting patient care
  • Improving patient satisfaction

RESULTS


Provider-to-provider calls through the call center have decreased by 50%. Over 80 ED arrivals each month now have key clinical directives from the PCP.


WakeMed Pediatric Endocrinology Automates Message Routing and Speeds Up Patient Care

WakeMed Pediatric Endocrinology Automates Message Routing and Speeds Up Patient Care

"We are usually able to respond (either via text or call) within 5 minutes so we can all move on with our busy days.”

WakeMed Pediatric Endocrinology, part of WakeMed Physician Practices, provides state-of-the-art diagnoses, treatment and management of endocrine problems for children and families throughout Wake County in North Carolina. Their board-certified pediatric endocrinologists care for a diverse population of children ranging in age from birth to 18. The WakeMed Pediatric Endocrinologists cover calls for the 99 bed WakeMed Children’s Hospital and Pediatric Emergency Department.

Previously, one provider would be paged more often, even if they were not on-call, because he or she had been at the practice longer. This meant extra time was spent getting the concern to the correct provider. It also meant that vacations and other times out of the office were unnecessarily interrupted. It was especially challenging when a new provider was added to the practice since he or she was not yet known in the community. The workload was disproportionately falling on the established partners and delays in care were occurring.

CHALLENGE


People were paging the provider they knew best instead of the on-call provider

SOLUTION


Automatically paging the on-call role in RapidConnect

The call schedule for WakeMed Pediatric Endocrinology was built and maintained in RapidConnect and the role “Pediatric Endocrinologists On-Call” was created. The Emergency Department secretaries were trained to use this on-call role to request consults. Community physicians were given material on the best and quickest way to reach all specialists, including pediatric endocrinologists. All training urged people to use roles instead of physician names so that messages would be answered quickly. The Pediatric Endocrinologists who were not on call were then able set their status as unavailable, so that all messages would automatically forward to their on call partner. This prohibited users from circumventing the role.

When the practice added a new partner to their practice, that physician was automatically included in RapidConnect as part of the on-call schedule. No additional training was needed for the community or ED, since they were already accustomed to messaging via the on-call role instead of physician name.

RapidConnect allows for correct call schedule routing to the department and protects each provider on their days off by automatically routing messages to the on-call provider. A recent analysis of all incoming messages to Pediatric Endocrinology revealed that 97% of all messaging is now being directed to their on-call provider, supporting the most efficient care coordination to those who are reaching out to this practice.

During the newly hired partner’s first week of on-call responsibility, 100% of messages were directed toward him and none were sent to the more established partners. The team feedback has been very positive:

“Communication is faster and easier between the department and ED, inpatient, and/or community primary care providers. We are usually able to respond (either via text or call) within 5 minutes so we can all move on with our busy days.”

Efficient and dependable communication is impacting the delivery of care to the pediatric population. An example of this is when a child is diagnosed with possible diabetes in the primary care office. “We receive messages via RapidConnect asking for advice and notifying us that a patient is on the way to the ED. We can then alert the ED to be prepared for this patient since they need to be evaluated immediately.”

RapidConnect has helped take human error and questions about schedule out of the picture, supporting the need to distribute the workload appropriately and improving collaboration for the care of patients. “PCP’s also love that we are so easy to get in contact with!”

RESULTS


97% of all inbound messages are now being received by the on-call provider


Hospitalist service uses RapidConnect to enable direct communication, reduce patient wait times and ensure HIPAA compliance

Hospitalist service uses RapidConnect to enable Direct Communication, reduce patient wait times and ensure HIPAA compliance

"I use RapidConnect to reply to uncomplicated issues raised by staff. This ensures that we are on the same page and have a team understanding of the patient’s care.”

                    Abu Ahmed Rahman MD, Hospitalist

The Hospitalist Service at WakeMed Health and Hospitals consists of more than 150 providers, including moonlighters and residents who cover three campuses. Given the size and complexity of the service, there are frequent and last-minute scheduling changes.

The Hospitalist Service follows the majority of patients being admitted to the hospital and is the pipeline for consults to every specialist service. As a result, efficient delivery of care is often dependent on the ability to effectively and efficiently manage communication between their service and the ED, inpatient care team, specialty consulting services, and primary care teams.

Connecting with providers through traditional methods of communication via offices, P2P lines and answering services can be cumbersome and time consuming. Connecting via pagers is not secure and often leads to generic messaging and/or “coded” messages, leaving the consulted provider with too little information or worse, confusing information.

CHALLENGE


Complicated patient assignment plans and frequent changes to call schedules make hospitalist communication difficult

SOLUTION


Integrated call schedules and automated roles made messaging simple

RapidConnect rolled out in November, 2017 for the Adult Hospitalist group at WakeMed. The secure communication solution helped streamline collecting on-call information through a user-friendly call schedule builder and integrations with LightingBolt, AMiON, and Qgenda. Through the implementation of RapidConnect, the Hospitalist group had on-call information at their fingertips, with all schedules accessible via a mobile app. RapidConnect’s QuickCover allowed for coverage changes to be handled directly from a provider’s mobile app without disrupting the communication flow.

Providers now utilize defined roles in RapidConnect, eliminating the stress of remembering practice specific coverage “rules” (i.e. cardiology on-call). RapidConnect connects them to the right person at the right time without having to page through multiple call schedules.

By providing a tool for direct communication, RapidConnect sped up provider to provider communication and completely removed the middle man, saving time while ensuring HIPAA compliance. Providers were able to transmit specific patient health information, eliminating generic pages and confusing code talk. In addition, the Hospitalist Service onboarded their APPs, Residents/Interns, Students and RN Care Coordinators, enabling care coordination throughout the entire hospitalist team via RapidConnect.

The Hospitalist service participates in more than 12,000 messages a month and maintains an average response time of less than 4 minutes. With this breakthrough in communication timeliness, Hospitalists can communicate more effectively with the entire care team while strengthening patient care.

RESULTS


Speedy and robust messaging directly to the covering hospitalist reduced wait times for admits, consults and discharges


New Mental Health Program Relies on RapidConnect to Connect PCPs with Psychiatry Specialists

New Mental Health Program Relies on RapidConnect to Connect PCPs with Psychiatry Specialists

"Community pediatricians have commented on how simple the RapidConnect framework is to use once it is set up. It is very user friendly and saves time.”

                    John Parkhurst, PhD, Lurie Children’s

Lurie Children’s has a commitment to the overall health and wellbeing of children and families. Essential to the care of the whole child is the early identification and treatment of common mental health concerns including anxiety, ADHD, and depression. Since the need for mental health services was greater than could be supported by traditional visits to specialists, physicians in the Lurie Children’s Clinically Integrated Network set out to identify a way to enlarge the mental healthcare services offered through the Primary Care Provider (PCP). In the summer of 2018, Lurie launched the MAACC (Mood, Anxiety, ADHD Collaborative Care) program to improve early access to quality psychiatry care closer to home.

While MAACC is in its infancy, the goal is to develop a replicable and cost sustainable model of collaborative care. Lurie would like to grow this program statewide, to positively disrupt current mental health care models and train more professionals. The ability for a PCP to reach a consultant quickly and easily is essential to that growth.

The traditional method of calling the Psychiatry offices and waiting for a response would not meet the urgent communication needs of this program. The different forms of communication included EPIC, letters, faxes, and phone calls, all of which were not consistent in relaying secure quick information. The PCP needed a way to send PHI securely so that they could ask specific questions and provide the required background information for the specialists. In addition, Lurie’s Psychiatry service wanted to automatically route the questions coming in through the MAACC program to different resources depending on the type of question.

CHALLENGE


Providing direct and secure access to Psychiatry specialists without disruption

SOLUTION


Enable communication and collaboration through RapidConnect for better treatment of pediatric patients

RapidConnect was introduced to facilitate direct and secure communication between the trained PCP and the Lurie psychiatry specialty team; after being recommended by Lurie’s Clinically Integrated Network, a partner with the MAACC project, who had used RapidConnect for more than a year.

In RapidConnect, PCPs can quickly and easily choose from three pre-set “roles” (types of communication) including referrals (answered by an admin), assessments (answered by a psychologist) and medications (answered by a psychiatrist). A Lurie Children’s psychiatry specialist can respond to each message and provide the appropriate care based on message type, or forward the messages to another provider and send messages back regarding the patient. More roles can be added later as needed.

RapidConnect also automatically routes each message to the appropriate MAACC role, within the pre-determined time slots when a specialist is available to answer. Anything outside the window of availability shows the sender a popup message with the times and dates the program is open for messages (excludes nights and weekends).

RESULTS


At least 32 different PCPs have used RapidConnect to securely connect to Lurie’s Psychiatry service


RapidConnect Helps Hospital Control Total Cost of Care by avoiding unnecessary ED visits

RapidConnect Helps ACO address Total Cost of Care (TCoC) by avoiding unnecessary ED visits

"...because RapidConnect allows doctors to easily control their availability, the doctors didn’t have to worry about being contacted when they were off duty – it was a win-win situation.”

                    WKCC Physician

Wake Key Community Care (WKCC) is an ACO/CIN formed by WakeMed and Key IPA in 2013. With more than 1,000 physicians, WKCC currently manages over 210,000 lives under contract with both commercial and government payers. While WKCC TCoC performance has been exceptional, leadership was seeking method for driving down unnecessary ED visits by improving direct access to on call specialists.

Physician and administrative executives knew that with the ED as such a large cost driver, avoiding even a fraction of those visits would ensure that patients get better care while positively impacting the costs associated with that.

WakeMed and WKCC selected RapidConnect as its preferred method of doctor to doctor communication.  “RapidConnect allowed our providers to reach a doctor specifically by name or merely select the on-call provider for a particular service. Not only that, but because RapidConnect allows doctors to easily control their availability, the doctors didn’t have to worry about being contacted when they were off duty—it was a win-win situation,” said one physician who participated on the committee evaluating alternative solutions.

PROBLEM


Lack of direct access to specialists was driving up ED evaluations and total cost of care

SOLUTION


ACO implemented RapidConnect to streamline access to on-call specialists and services

A perfect example of ED avoidance happened recently and involved a community-based pediatrician and a pediatric surgeon. Based on patient presentation, the pediatrician strongly suspects an appendicitis. The normal course of action would have been to send the patient to the ED for further evaluation and decision.    However, through RapidConnect, the pediatrician reached out to the pediatric surgeon on call via secure text, with all the pertinent patient information and requested a call back.  Within two minutes, the pediatric surgeon received the message, called back, discussed the case and advised to send the patient directly to patient registration. The child was in surgery within two hours, and released to go home four hours after that.

Thanks to RapidConnect, the patient was able to avoid delays in the ED, potential unnecessary tests, delayed after-hours surgery and an overnight stay. On top of that, the pediatric surgeon used RapidConnect to relay status back to the pediatrician, enabling follow up the next day. No missed communication, no waiting on hold to find the doctor on call, no faxes communicating patient status — just rapid access to the right doctor with the right information at the right time.

“I was stunned by how smoothly this worked. I knew if the patient was sent to the ED she would end up waiting longer than necessary. RapidConnect allowed me and the specialists to communicate about the plan with no hassles. It was best for the patient and gave me peace of mind to know the status of her progress at every step,” said the referring pediatrician.

It is estimated that every avoided ED visit can save thousands of dollars in costs, between potentially redundant testing, the actual ED visit, delays in care and potential admission due to timing and staff availability.

Using RapidConnect, across the inpatient and outpatient environment, enables the reduction of total cost of care, and of course, the value of better, expedited, patient care is immeasurable.

RESULTS


Thousands saved per avoided ED visit, improved patient satisfaction and care


Eliminating Delays in Physician-Nursing Communication to Improve Patient Care

Eliminating Delays in Physician-Nursing Communication to Improve Patient Care

"RapidConnect is EXTREMELY helpful! There are many times that I just need to convey information to a provider, not necessarily in need of a response, and knowing that they read my message is wonderful.”

                    Holly Griffin, RN/BSN 3E CVIC

WakeMed Health and Hospitals, a 919 bed system with nearly 3500 nurses and 1100 physicians, had successfully used RapidConnect for physician to physician communication and chose to extend RapidConnect access to nursing in order to improve communication regarding patients in the hospital.

MDI worked with nursing leadership to formulate an on boarding plan which involved a floor by floor rollout, on-site training at all hospital locations, quicktips cards for the nursing stations, targeted training videos and a plan for follow up monitoring by MDI to ensure user satisfaction from both nurses and providers.

Communication delays can be attributed to dead cellular/page services within the hospital, paging the wrong level of provider, incorrect or unpublished call schedules, uncertainty in the delivery of one-way communication, and waiting for call backs and shift changes. When there is delayed communication, the quality and timeliness of patient care is affected. This can lead to medical errors, extended wait times, delayed discharges, poor decision making, and increased stress. A fast, seamless and complete line of communication is crucial to provide safe and effective patient care.

PROBLEM


Delayed communication between floor nurses and providers
negatively impacts patient satisfaction and quality of care

SOLUTION


Extend RapidConnect access to nursing to improve communication regarding patients in the hospital

RapidConnect access was deployed to all nurse workstations and to the over 800 shared mobile devices used by nursing to manage bedside. Using RapidConnect from both web and mobile devices, nurses were given direct access to providers and a quick and easy way to view call schedules. Every message sent identifies the chosen recipient for that service line and indicates read time. If ever a provider is covering for another provider, the nurse is able to see that the message has been rerouted.

Nurses and clinical staff no longer have to wait for a call back to share clinical information, can see read receipts on RapidConnect, can easily access accurate call schedules, and can easily forward information at shift change ensuring a clear lines of communication. Providers can now reply directly to the floor nurses via RapidConnect instead of calling the charge nurse and getting transferred.

Based on their success with RapidConnect, nursing management requested that additional ancillary services be given access to RapidConnect. Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Case Managers, Diabetes Nurse Educators and Wound Care Nurses have all started using RapidConnect too increasing robust communication throughout the entire system.

“RapidConnect has made it easier to give a detailed synopsis of what is going on with your patient, rather than the provider just calling a number back with no background. You can see which provider has read the message and when as well as receive a text message back from the provider if an order is not needed. Provider/nurse communication has greatly improved,“ explained Lindsey Seawell, RN WakeMed Cary.

RESULTS


Nearly 20,000 messages a month have been sent from nursing units: increasing communication speed, improving patient care and satisfying the care team


RapidConnect Improves Emergency Department Experience for Patients and Physicians

RapidConnect Improves Emergency Department Experience for Patients and Physicians

"I use RapidConnect every shift. It saves me time to send the exact clinical question I need to the provider, so when they call back they already have the answer. It easily saves time and improves patient care.”

                    Graham Snyder, PA Wake Emergency Physicians

In 2016, WakeMed was at risk of losing their American College of Cardiology (ACC) Heart Failure Accreditation (after not meeting their goal of having 75% of patients diagnosed with heart failure scheduled for a follow up visit within 7 days of a hospital discharge). The hospital initially tried to increase the number of follow-up visits by training their Advance Practice Providers (APPs) to use Epic’s Cadence module to schedule those appointments.

For primary care physicians (PCPs), referring patients to the Emergency Department (ED) can be a time-consuming process. Many PCPs leave the communication in the hands of a staff member, or neglect to notify the ED to expect a patient. As a result, key patient information can sometimes get lost or omitted. WakeMed Health & Hospitals recognized that the lack of direct clinical communication could easily impact ED care decisions, which would increase patient wait times, decrease satisfaction and drive up costs for the patient.

PROBLEM


Lack of direct clinical communication
compromises patient experience
and can drive up costs

SOLUTION


RapidConnect gives physicians
instant connection to the ED,
streamlining arrival process and treatment plan

To address this challenge, WakeMed provided every PCP in the care community with the RapidConnect mobile app, which allows for easy and secure transmission of Patient Health Information (PHI) directly to any of the system’s emergency departments or urgent care locations.

“RapidConnect is an easy way for me to communicate with the emergency department about patients in my office that need further evaluation there. I like that I get confirmation that my message has been read by a staff member of the ED. I am a big fan of RapidConnect,” says Brad Wasserman, MD, Oberlin Road Pediatrics.

Posting Clinical Information to the EHR
Ensuring a clinically appropriate and cost-efficient treatment plan required both an easier way for the physician to relay information and adherence to existing ED workflows. For the right information to be timely and accessible, it needed to be posted to the patient’s EHR and to the ED tracking board. To accomplish this goal, WakeMed chose to route incoming messages from the PCP to its OneCall Center which is staffed 24/7. OneCall nurses locate the patient’s EHR (if existing) or generate a new patient record, quickly post the patient’s pending arrival to the ED tracking board and forward the message to the ED staff.

Reducing Unnecessary Diagnostics

Speed, cost and quality of care can be negatively impacted if the ED is not prepared with a patient’s history and test results before he or she arrives. Using RapidConnect, providers can collaborate to facilitate better coordination of care for their patients, better patient outcomes and better resource utilization in two ways: 1) PCPs can share their clinical reasoning and judgment with the ED physician to streamline decisions about patient care, 2) ED physicians can quickly consult with specialists, providing patient-specific information to ensure a timely and accurate response from the specialty physician. Both of these factors can reduce or eliminate unnecessary diagnostics and reduce time to treatment.

Since WakeMed started using RapidConnect, more than 3,000 patients have arrived at the WakeMed EDs with clinical information already posted in the EHR and on the ED tracking board as a result of communication via RapidConnect. With an average response time of less than three minutes, PCPs can feel confident that their patient’s situation is understood and that their ED experience will be as seamless as possible. Patients wait less, move through the ED faster and physicians can rest assured that their clinical insight to the patient is incorporated into the care plan. A win for patients and physicians.

Wasserman continues, “Before RapidConnect, I would call the ED directly and either alert the charge nurse or the ER attending if available. Then I would discuss the case with the provider. OneCall was established to try and help streamline things and was a good starting point. We would call a special number, tell the operator whom we wanted to talk to, have that person paged and wait for a response. RapidConnect is much more streamlined.”

RESULTS


Improved ED time to treatment, patient satisfaction, cost of care and higher physician engagement with WakeMed


RapidConnect Streamlines Access to Orthopedic Specialists, Drives Referrals from Athletic Trainers and Physical Therapists

RapidConnect Streamlines Access to Orthopedic Specialists, Drives Referrals from Athletic Trainers and Physical Therapists

"RapidConnect has truly revolutionized the way we take care of patients.”

                    Mark Wood, MD, Wake Orthopaedics

When athletic trainers and physical therapists refer patients to orthopedic specialists, the process can be time consuming and problematic, requiring significant time spent on numerous phone calls, speaking with multiple people and trying to steer patients clear of the emergency department with a same-day appointment.

In August of 2017, The North Carolina Football Club (NCFC) and Wake Orthopaedics formed a partnership that enabled athletes to get timely orthopedic care by having orthopedic sports medicine physicians on call and providing same-day appointments.

For the partnership to be successful, Wake Orthopaedics knew that fast and secure communication was key.

Speeding up Access and Communication

As a result of its affiliation with WakeMed, Wake Orthopaedics was introduced to RapidConnect, a HIPAA-compliant solution developed by physicians to enable secure communication by text, by call, or via the web. Four Athletic Trainers and 12 Physical Therapists were given access to the RapidConnect app. Wake Orthopaedics uses RapidConnect each day to directly route messages to designated providers, dependent on whether the purpose is for consult, same day appointment, or concussion clinic. Messages contain patient contact information, allowing for quick, full-circle of communication for treatment plan.

PROBLEM


Referring patients is
time consuming and problematic

SOLUTION


One button access via mobile app connects AT/PT directly to physician, clinic or appointment team

“With RapidConnect, the speed of communication is faster and streamlined. Appointment scheduling time has been cut in half, and communication to parents can typically take place on the same day. As a result, I send all my players to Wake Orthopaedics,” stated Jason Bailey, Athletic Trainer, North Carolina Football Club.

He continued, “RapidConnect has definitely been a great addition, it is nice to be able to get notes and information about our players from any Wake Orthopaedics specialist or their urgent care facility. It has sped up access to providers and also helped with communication to parents.”

Making the Partnership a Success

RapidConnect is now the official communication pathway for the NCFC and Wake Orthopaedics partnership. On average, 90 RapidConnect messages are sent and received per month.

“RapidConnect has enabled us to build on established provider relationships (both within our system and the community) as well as access new opportunities with regional sports teams, trainers and therapists. Patient care questions, x-ray consultations, and follow-up arrangement are significantly more efficient and it has allowed our practice to increase access for referring providers,” shared Mark Wood, MD, Executive Medical Director, Physician Services, Wake Orthopaedics. RapidConnect provides Wake Orthopaedics and NCFC with fast, secure communication to ensure they provide the best care to athletes.

Creating new partnership opportunities

The success Wake Orthopaedics experienced using RapidConnect with NCFC has also helped them build better partnerships with local physical therapists such as Response Physical Therapy. “RapidConnect has allowed me to communicate much more easily with Wake Orthopaedics. Before, we could not email or text providers. We relied on faxing or sending the notes over with the patients. RapidConnect has allowed me to give the provider some history and context prior to a doctor’s visit. Getting in touch with the providers used to be more difficult. It was tough to get quick answers on precautions or concerns. With RapidConnect, communication is better now,” explained Dan Cyr, Physical Therapist, Owner and Founder, Response Physical Therapy.

RESULTS


Increased referrals & fewer delays in care, satisfying patients and parents


Lurie’s Clinically Integrated Network Bridges Communication Gap Between Inpatient and Outpatient Environments

RapidConnect Improves Communication and Collaboration for Lurie Children’s Health Partners Clinically Integrated Network

"As a NICU hospitalist, RapidConnect is a huge time saver. Now I can skip the operators and answering services and directly reach our pediatricians via voice or text in a HIPAA compliant manner.”

                    Patrick Lyons, MD, Hospital Based Medicine, Lurie Children’s Hospital

Last year, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago served more than 198,000 children from 50 states and 51 countries. To improve communication between referring physicians and Lurie Children’s specialists, the hospital along with its Clinically Integrated Network implemented RapidConnect.

RapidConnect – a HIPAA-compliant messaging platform for smartphones – replaces the outdated paging systems and devices, enabling hospital providers and community physicians to communicate with one another quickly, securely and on-the-go. With RapidConnect, Lurie Children’s Hospital can facilitate better coordination of care for Chicago’s pediatric patients, to improve patient outcomes and resource usage.

“As a NICU hospitalist, RapidConnect is a huge time saver. Now I can skip the operators and answering services and directly reach our pediatricians via voice or text in a HIPPA compliant manner,” states Patrick Lyons, MD, Hospital-Based Medicine, Lurie Children’s.

PROBLEM


Communication challenges
between referring physicians
and hospital specialists

SOLUTION


RapidConnect to improve communication between the inpatient and outpatient clinical environments

Streamlining Patient Data

Smooth implementation and adoption was important to Lurie Children’s, as one of their goals for the new system was that patient information needed to move with the communication and not be lost as the patient is referred to another physician. RapidConnect allows health providers to coordinate consults, share results, communicate patient information, notify of patient arrivals, process admissions and more. The company provides rolling implementation and on-going adoption support, ensuring minimal disruption.

“RapidConnect saves physicians the time it takes to make multiple phone calls, speak with multiple other staff, wait on hold, or wait for a return call in order to connect with another physician during a busy clinic day,” states Nan Walicki, MD, North Arlington Pediatrics.

“In particular I love it for sending non-urgent confidential questions to Lurie Children’s specialists about specific patients. My practice is not on Epic so I cannot do this through the electronic health record. Absolutely I would recommend it,” says Karen Kreiling, MD, Children’s Health Partners.

Easing Access to Lurie Resources

In its first full year, more than 3,000 messages have been sent, including communications from 35 PCP practices and 32 divisions at Lurie Children’s. Response time is less than 3 minutes for over 45% of messages and is under 25 minutes for over 80% of messages. The system connects more than 220 community pediatricians directly to nearly 1100 providers at Lurie Children’s Hospital, supporting true care coordination for their patients.

Adoption of RapidConnect continues to increase as new divisions and practices learn about the opportunities for more efficient and secure communication through RapidConnect.

RESULTS


3,300 messages between 35 PCP practices and 32 hospital divisions, half with response time of less than 3 minutes