Appl Clin Inform 2022; 13(03): 677-680
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1750356
Letter to the Editor

An Electronic Communication Workflow Optimization for Inpatient Specialist Consultation at an Academic Health Care System

Maiah Zarrabi
1   Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
,
Leesa Li-Fossum
1   Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
,
Betty Tseng
2   Information Services and Solutions, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
,
Kelly Lockett
2   Information Services and Solutions, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
,
Arash Shamsian
2   Information Services and Solutions, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
,
Myung Shin Sim
3   Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
,
Daniel M. Kozman
3   Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
,
Mindy K. Ross
1   Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
› Author Affiliations
Funding This research was supported by NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881.

Background and Significance

Specialist team consultation is a mainstay of modern medical practice due to the increased complexity of inpatient medicine. Timely consultation can be crucial to patient assessment and treatment plans[1]; however, delayed consultation can occur due to communication barriers.[2] Communication for specialist consultation in the inpatient setting is often dependent upon the use of hospital phone operators, pager devices, and web-based systems that are separate from the electronic health record (EHR).[3] Given the growing amount of multidisciplinary care, limited human resources, and time constraints, it is advantageous to eliminate inefficiencies in communication wherever possible.

The adoption of inpatient technology-based EHR solutions for inpatient communication has been explored to address these inefficiencies.[4] Weigert et al demonstrated that a web-paging system standardized with required fields improved user satisfaction.[5] Other efforts have demonstrated potential for decreased errors, including permanent team pager numbers, care team identification, and messaging platforms.[6] [7] [8] [9] One system to contact consultants directly improved team communication,[10] though there is still need for further research to determine the most effective method for consulting specialists, and what the impact would be on time to consult by directly reaching consultants through the EHR.

* Co-first authors.


** Co-senior authors.


Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

The study was performed in compliance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects, and was reviewed by UCLA Institutional Review Board.




Publication History

Received: 31 January 2022

Accepted: 05 May 2022

Article published online:
06 July 2022

© 2022. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Rüdigerstraße 14, 70469 Stuttgart, Germany