Orginal Reporting by Tom Ballard of PYA and Teknovation
If you’ve ever been admitted to the hospital, you know that it can be a scary situation where the robustness of communication that occurs among your care team members is critically important.
Some four years after starting to build what he calls PerfectServe’s capstone feature, Terry Edwards says the Knoxville-based company is now rolling-out its patient-centered care team access system.
“The technologies that impact communication among care team members have been fragmented,” he explains. “The industry needed one solution for everyone . . . doctors, nurses, and ancillary providers in the acute care market.”
It’s a complete communication package that PerfectServe launched in Q4 of 2017, roughly 20 years after Edwards founded the company. More important, it addresses a core challenge for the healthcare industry that Edwards discovered years earlier while working as Vice President of Sales for Voice-Tel.
“Our product makes the patient the center of communication,” Edwards explains. It can connect the attending physicians, the patient’s primary care doctor, and any consulting physicians in addition to nurses, therapists, case managers, and others.
Using something called Dynamic Intelligent Routing®, PerfectServe’s product is built on customized algorithms for each client that compile and maintain all the workflow rules, call schedules and contact preferences for every workgroup, practice and care team member. The system connects a care team member with the right person when action is needed while keeping all team members informed.
In this world of mobile devices, Perfect Serve’s offering supports and unifies all devices and modalities – smartphones, web browsers, landline phones, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) devices, pagers and SMS text.
“This is really somewhat revolutionary,” Edwards says. “It’s already in use in several hospitals, and the feedback has been great.”
The new product and two other enhancements were spotlighted earlier this year at the HIMSS Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas. HIMSS is the acronym for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, a global, cause-based non-profit organization focused on better health through information and technology.
One of the new capabilities involves the Apple Watch. With its significant popularity, it makes sense that this mobile device would fit into the PerfectServe protocols.
“We’ve been sending notifications to the watch, but not messages,” Edwards says. With a new app coming out this spring, care team members will be able to receive notifications and respond in one of three ways.
“It’s a nice, novel feature but not revolutionary,” Edward adds.
The final new offering is something called the “Round Robin” scheduling tool that is geared to physicians with workflows that are complex. Edwards says those who would find it most useful are physicians that are receiving many consults, hospitalists, and residents.
“Round Robin” uses a time-sharing algorithm to balance patient assignments, based on schedules and other factors. In many cases, these decisions have been made through a manual process in the past.