This was an innovation project supported by the Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund.
As part of a broader, multifaceted effort to improve the delivery of patient care at night, Monash Health looked at how it could enhance communication between the after-hours clinical staff working between 9pm and 8.30am.
Monash Health’s existing paging system, which overnight clinical staff were using as their primary means of communication, was rudimentary, manual and inefficient. It could only send messages in one direction, was unable to do what staff needed – such as effectively prioritise and delegate tasks to medical staff – and was prone to communication errors, potentially contributing to delays in patient care at night.
The paging system was used in conjunction with a paper-based task list, making it difficult for after-hours staff to communicate and track patient-related tasks.
To ensure timely, quality patient care continued to be delivered outside of regular business hours, Monash Health implemented a web-based task management system to make it easier for overnight clinical staff to communicate and manage their workload.
- Enhance clinical communication after hours
- Optimise clinical task management efficiency and effectiveness
- Improved the quality of information provided to medical teams after hours, with more staff complying with Monash Health's clinical communication protocol
- Improved patient care, according to reports from 94 per cent of staff, with 88 per cent of staff also reporting improvements in timely access to care
- Made it easier for staff to manage their workload, leading to savings of between 15 minutes and several hours per shift for 89 per cent of after-hours clinical staff surveyed
- Improved staff satisfaction, reducing frustration levels, perceived time pressure, and feelings of isolation in junior medical staff working overnight
- Reduced the volume of number/pager enquiries received by the contact centre by 24 per cent by enabling staff to directly message each other through the new task management system
March 2019 – Following the successful implementation of Smartpage at Monash Medical Centre and Monash Children’s Hospital, the system was scaled to a further four Monash Health campuses including Casey Hospital, Dandenong Hospital, Kingston Centre and Moorabbin Hospital. The project was also showcased via a poster presentation at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare 2019 in Glasgow, UK.