COVID-19 spotlights safety benefits of remote collaboration technology

As surgery centers around the country slowly begin to re-open, business will be anything but “usual.”

Stringent protocols will be put in place so that staff and the community remain safe and avoid an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Beyond the obvious measures like the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing practices, remote collaboration technology is playing a vital role in ensuring patient and staff safety. 

Remote collaboration technology has grown in popularity among surgery centers for its ability to increase efficiency and reduced costs. What began as a central hub for accessing and sharing case information and updates between surgeons, anesthesiologists, clinical staff, office staff and vendor reps, has quickly evolved during the pandemic. Today, remote collaboration technology is deemed a critical tool for ensuring the safety of staff and patients who need to communicate without having to come into the facility.

Supporting patients and families

Patients want to feel safe and informed. Bringing historically in-person and paper-driven tasks online —like sharing schedules, document transfers, patient surveys, and general status updates—offers an additional layer of safety as it enables ASCs to minimize risk of exposure to patients and staff.  

Patient texting features are also proving to be very valuable during these uncertain times. Automated pre-op reminders, COVID-19 updates and videos, post-op check-ins, etc. sent to patients via text provide an added level of comfort that the information received is current while minimizing the need to touch paper. Patient texting features also extend to loved ones, providing valuable updates while they wait, often outside of the surgery center due to new COVID-19 restrictions. 

Ride texting capabilities alert waiting parties and individuals. They receive timely vital surgical updates and patient status. Patient engagement features also deliver valuable post-operative instructions, via text, to patients and caregivers. 

Protecting case members

Facility staff, physicians, anesthesiologists and med techs want to feel protected from virus exposure as well. Mobile, real-time access to schedules and case communication is proving to be a much-needed and unexpected lifeline as case members are not at centers as frequently as they once were. The ability to clearly communicate case details—without requiring staff to go to the facility—is more important than ever. Remote surgery coordination technology fills this need. 

Coordinating a surgery is a complex process that involves many intricate details and multiple people. Surgery coordination technology serves as a central hub for accessing and sharing all case-related information in a secure, HIPPA-compliant manner via mobile device. This technology has grown in popularity because better remote collaboration increases efficiency and case volume. Today, given the highly mobile nature of surgery coordination technology, it has quickly evolved to become a critical safety tool for staff and patients. It’s no longer simply nice to have the functionality to share urgent updates and information in real-time, it is a necessity to keep everyone safe. 

An opportunity to accelerate change 

Prior to the pandemic, many surgery centers adopted remote scheduling and collaboration technology to increase case volume. Centers not adopting this technology have been either satisfied with their case volume or content with coordinating cases using traditional phone calls, faxes, emails, and exchanges of paper. However, what was once a competitive advantage is now essential for safety reasons. The coronavirus pandemic created an urgent need for centers to adopt remote collaboration technology. 

The value of remote collaboration technology extends far beyond efficiency and case volume growth. Mistakes are greatly reduced, often eliminated, because everyone looks at the same, up-to-date information without having to pick up the phone or drive to the center. Added features like patient texting, online pre-admissions, ride texting and schedule access enables centers to deliver touch-free care, keeping patients and staff safe and informed. 

To help ASCs meet the urgent need to support patients and their loved ones who aren’t allowed in the facility, Casetabs is offering its patient texting, ride texting and pre-assessment technology at no charge through the end of 2020. To learn more about this free resource, visit https://lite.casetabs.com/covid-care/

Gavin Fabian is the founder and CEO of Casetabs, a provider of innovative cloud-based surgery scheduling and communication technology. Fabian began his career as an implant product manager and witnessed a lack of coordination between involved parties in operating rooms, leading him to start Casetabs in 2014. Today, Casetabs is used by roughly 500 surgical facilities across the U.S.

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