5 key questions to ask when evaluating solutions for your organization
As a clinical leader, you know the important advantages that mobile solutions can provide to help your clinicians improve the quality and responsiveness of patient care while improving care team collaboration, communication and workflow efficiency. But how can you be sure that the mobile solution you deploy will deliver the results and outcomes you want and expect? 

The following article highlights five key questions that can help you identify whether a potential solution has what it takes to measure up to the day-to-day demands of your clinical care teams as well as the strategic and business goals of your organization.

1) Is the solution designed specifically for healthcare?
Like medication, the efficacy of a mobile solution often depends on how precisely it’s designed to address the specific pain points of an industry or organization. That’s particularly true in healthcare. Just consider the vast number of communication challenges your caregivers confront every day, from disparate alert and notification systems to loud, disruptive care environments and compliance restrictions. Add to that a host of users and workflows that require specific mobile features and functionality as well as a highly challenging work environment that can damage or destroy non-ruggedized devices. 

A generic or consumer-grade mobile solution simply isn’t designed to address the depth and breadth of these day-to-day realities. And that puts your clinicians at a definite disadvantage when it comes to meeting productivity and patient-centered care goals. To achieve the results you want, you need to empower your staff with a mobile solution that’s purpose-built to meet today’s critical healthcare demands by empowering your clinicians to be more informed, collaborative and efficient across the care continuum.

2) Will it help my caregivers do their jobs better? Can they easily incorporate it into their daily workflows?
When mobile solutions and applications aren’t aligned to clinical workflows, they become a source of frustration rather than support for caregivers by complicating tasks and delaying access to critical information. A lack of integration with EHR and other core healthcare systems, for example, can limit care team connectivity, contribute to alert fatigue and lead to gaps in knowledge about current patient conditions and care teams. It can also create administrative headaches by creating additional stores of messages and clinical data that clinicians must sort through and manage, which takes time away from providing patient care.

Your mobile solution should provide ready integration with your existing hospital communication systems, including EHR, as well as clinical and custom apps that support and enhance your clinical workflows. Purpose-built mobile devices and workflow-aligned tools such as barcode scanners can further enhance your team’s productivity by automating data entry and other time-consuming tasks, while reducing errors and streamlining data updates. Effective training that goes beyond the basics to help clinicians understand how a solution supports their specific workflows is also an important consideration when evaluating solution options.

3) Will it help meet my needs and goals today—and in the future?
What you want and expect in a mobile solution today is likely much different than it was just a few years ago. Evolving patient care needs, compliance requirements and clinician expectations as well as ongoing technology advancements are just some of the factors that continuously shape and reshape your clinical mobile needs. So it’s important to choose a solution that gives you the flexibility to easily and cost-effectively adapt to and address your needs today—and tomorrow.

It’s important to consider whether a solution can easily scale to support growing populations of clinical users within your organization while providing an open platform for easy integration with new applications. It should also have versatile features and functionality that can easily support a wide and expanding range of current and future caregiver needs and patient care options, such as telemedicine and remote monitoring.

4) What services/support does the vendor offer to ensure my team’s success?
Don’t limit your solution evaluation to the mobile device or technology alone. Services and support can be a valuable part of your mobile solution—and a critical resource for you and your clinical care team. 

Ask about potential ways your vendor can work with you to enhance and optimize your solution success, from planning, design and thorough training through ongoing maintenance and support.  These critical services can help you troubleshoot and prevent potential problems that can limit user adoption or satisfaction while helping you and your organization realize the full value and ROI of your solution over time.

5) Is this a vendor I can trust?
The right mobile solution can be a powerful resource for your staff and your organization. But choosing the right mobile solution isn’t easy, even when you know the right questions to ask.  So having a vendor you trust and rely on to understand your specific mobile needs and requirements is critical to success.

For more than 25 years, Spectralink has worked in collaboration with clinical leaders and other healthcare professionals to develop innovative mobile solutions that empower clinicians to provide more responsive, efficient and collaborative patient care. Today, we provide a full portfolio of industry-leading clinical mobile solutions that meet and often exceed the specific needs and expectations of today’s clinical care teams.  We invite you to learn more about our the industry-aligned strengths and capabilities of our clinical mobile solutions, including our next-gen Versity smartphone, and how we can help you mobilize better outcomes for your organization. 

To learn more, visit Spectralink.com/healthcare

By Edward Baird

Director, Sales, Healthcare

Spectralink

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