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Illawarra Shoalhaven implements myBeepr to enhance clinician communication

Written by Pulse+IT on 10 December 2021.

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) has rolled out the myBeepr clinical communication platform to all eight hospitals in the district. myBeepr is a clinical collaboration platform that allows staff to create individual and group chats, conduct role-based messaging and transmit secure clinical photos. It can also be used as a LAN-paging replacement. The platform also allows hospitals to connect with GPs and specialists in the community, connecting acute and primary care. The implementation of myBeepr was accelerated given the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift in the hospital to a ward-based care model. myBeepr is now being used by more than 950 staff, boasting greater than 90 per cent user uptake among doctors, most popularly in general surgery and the emergency department. ISLHD is using it for secure messaging, live rostering, clinical photography and as a LAN-paging replacement for non-urgent communication. ISLHD’s director of medical workforce, Justine Harris, said that prior to the myBeepr implementation, clinical staff were using a combination of LAN-paging, email, phones and smartphone applications. “The widespread use of non-compliant smartphone applications represents a potential breach in patient privacy,” Dr Harris said. ISLHD accelerated the implementation of myBeepr in response to the need for enhanced communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. myBeepr customised the platform and created unique COVID-19 roles to support clinical staff in creating specific COVID care team groups. Geriatrician Clair Langford said the COVID-19 pandemic created an extremely fluid environment and clinical teams and staff were changing on a daily basis. “We knew we had to move to a ward-based care model and potentially shift back when cases eased and myBeepr supported that evolving framework,” Dr Langford said. An unexpected benefit from the implementation has been in mental health and wellbeing support for doctors, particularly junior medical officers. This has been particularly important for furloughed staff who were required to isolate away from colleagues. “myBeepr allowed junior doctors to form a social network,” she said. “Clinical staff set up support groups and the clinical coordinator was able to check in on staff to see how they were coping.” myBeepr also allowed some staff to work remotely and therefore stay in touch with their colleagues and the hospital system. Dr Langford said one of the major benefits of myBeepr has been the Live Directory feature and the ability to use the platform as an alternative to the antiquated LAN-paging system. myBeepr provided ISLHD staff with a live roster of all clinical staff, their roles and specialty, their clinical availability and whether or not they were on-call for their department. Dr Langford said it was difficult for the hospital switchboard to keep up to date with the latest roster. “Recently, I needed to contact the plastics registrar who was on-call and receive advice on a wound,” she said. “Using myBeepr made it easy to find out who was covering this role and, importantly, I was able to use the platform to quickly and easily send them a secure clinical photo.” myBeepr CEO Vikram Balakrishnan said the platform has been implemented in 14 sites in 2021 including in St George Hospital in NSW, as well as in Victoria and more recently Western Australia.

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