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Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Implements NetRelay

Today, we offically announced that Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) has implemented NetRelay, our new healthcare communications platform that provides secure text and other features automating HIPAA-compliant message delivery, tracking and workflow across the hospital. Using NetRelay, SVMC has created efficiencies, dramatically improved workflow and throughput and boosted overall effectiveness.

SVMC was seeking a communications system that would help make the process of relaying important information from one clinician, staff member or department to another more efficient. Before implementing NetRelay, SVMC had been using manual tools processes, requiring communications such as lab and radiology results, patient discharges, housekeeping needs, patient dietary needs and meal orders, and even code alerts, to involve numerous steps, repeated phone calls and multiple alerts ─ basically, a long and inefficient process.

NetRelay integrates seamlessly with Healthcare Information System (HCIS) applications, taking any data from those systems and turning it into a secure message that is delivered to mobile devices, NetRelay Messaging Consoles and/or through the Interbit Data NetDelivery hospital data exchange to email, fax, printers and EMRs. Information and activity statuses can be relayed from one staff member or department to another. Automatic message escalation can be enabled for important messages requiring response. Message filtering based on importance allows only those messages a clinician considers important to be sent and escalated, helping to reduce alert fatigue.

“There are several different software applications out there that give clinicians the ability to have HIPAA-compliant communications with one another, but NetRelay is all of them rolled up into one, so you’re using one application and not five,” said Trey Dobson, Chief Medical Officer at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. “NetRelay makes it easy to receive and respond to a message. I’ll get a beep on my phone or watch and if I’m in a meeting or with a patient, I can just glance down and see what it’s about, then step out to address it when I can. I no longer have to worry about having a pager go off repeatedly and feeling compelled to leave a patient and go find out what it’s about. There are no longer interruptions to our workflow and to patient care.”

NetRelay Messaging Consoles are set up in numerous important areas across SVMC — nurses’ stations, the ED (emergency department), ICU (Intensive Care Unit), the cafeteria, housekeeping, the lobby (for handling patient discharges), and the lab and imaging — providing real-time messages and activity statuses of concern to those areas. The Messaging Consoles enable nurses to quickly and easily see which physicians and other nurses are assigned to each patient, any patient allergy confirmations, whether medication lists are needed, any pain reassessments needed, each patient’s dietary needs (whether a meal has been ordered or delivered), and any order acknowledgements needed.

NetRelay was able to reduce SVMC’s average critical value workflow time from 45 to 15 minutes, which helped reduce throughput, decrease patient wait times and improve responsiveness to patients. The hospital was also able to improve nursing pain reassessment documentation from 78% to 96% through the implementation of NetRelay’s automated reminders.

“NetRelay has helped significantly reduce physicians’ time-to-decision and time-to-treatment for patients with critical lab results,” said Dobson. “We have also reduced the number of interruptions to patient care, as we no longer have phone calls or pages constantly coming from the lab or an ED nurse. As a result, our responsiveness to patients has improved dramatically.”

NetRelay closes the loop on the critical lab value acknowledgement process by tracking all the steps in the process and automatically recording them in the NetRelay database. Then, whenever the SVMC lab staff needs to run a report for CAP (the College of American Pathologists) or The Joint Commission, they can do so with just one click, whereas previously they had to spend hours pulling together the required data.

NetRelay was developed in a hospital environment with the goal of enhancing clinical messaging speed and workflow, ultimately enabling more effective staff communications and greater efficiency and throughput leading to optimal patient care.

View the full case study on Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s success with NetRelay.