Project Using Reacts for Secure Communications at Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal
Communication methods are frequently fragmented, costly, and seldom meet security standards, thereby undermining effective service delivery within organizations and networks, as well as collaboration between healthcare professionals. As the healthcare system is under increasing financial and structural pressure, organizations need to be able to count on simple, secure and integrated collaborative solutions to meet their objectives.
This pilot project’s main goal consisted in assessing the feasibility and impact of implementing the Reacts platform, specifically its instant messaging and secure file transfer features, in order to optimize communications between members of the healthcare teams (physicians, pharmacists, nurses, etc.), and with administrative and support personnel (administrative agents, technologists, coordinators, etc.).
The 11-week assessment project was conducted in the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal’s Cardiology department (CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal), between June 12 and August 24, 2017. The professionals working in the cardiology department must be able to communicate with each other at all times, no matter their specific role within the team (physician, nurse, administrative agent, pharmacist, technologist, etc.) or where they work (ward, outpatient clinic, coronary care unit, echocardiography lab, operating room, interventional cardiology or electrophysiology labs, etc.).
All department staff needing to communicate with other department members were included in this project (n=58), thereby introducing a wide variety of users. Users were divided into two groups: the “Physicians” group (n=22), that included cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, and the “Other Professionals” group (n=36), that included head nurses, administrative agents, technologists, pharmacists, etc. Physicians mostly used the application’s mobile version (iOS) on their smartphones, while most users in the “Other Professionals” group used the standard version installed on their hospital workstations (PC).
Using the Reacts application as a secure instant messaging tool optimized communication between the various stakeholders within the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur’s cardiology department, with a marked improvement in efficiency and productivity. Participants mastered and used the application easily, and all of them adopted it quickly. Users easily integrated the instant messaging feature in their daily work flow, despite the range of professionals involved and the fact that the study occurred in the summer.
Physicians reported that using the Reacts application facilitated communications with the various stakeholders, thereby enabling them to get an answer to their questions faster (89%), spend less time on hold on the phone (100%) and become more efficient and productive (94%). As relates to users in the Other Professionals’ group, all users reported that the application facilitated and optimized communications with the various stakeholders, and specifically helped them get answers to their questions more quickly, spend less time on hold on the phone, and become more efficient and productive. This last point was further underscored by the fact that 75% of respondents said that improving operational efficiency was instant messaging’s most important benefit.
The hospital’s IT department found the application to be easy to roll out and support, which bodes well for any future large-scale deployment.
Participants and managers all acknowledged that using Reacts made communications more efficient, while complying with security, privacy and protection requirements regarding users’ health information.
Results of this project showed that healthcare teams were very interested in using a tool like Reacts, which facilitates communication and collaboration, and enables them to become more efficient and productive in their daily tasks. This user group’s quick adoption of the Reacts application shows that medical personnel are motivated to adopt and use such tools if they are simple and effective. Increased efficiency and productivity resulting from the various stakeholders’ use of a collaborative communication tool such as Reacts may directly contribute to improving the quality of care given to patients (faster decisions, shorter wait time until patient discharge, etc.). Moreover, greater operational efficiency could help reduce costs.
Read the full project’s report: