Mrs Meagan Gough1
1The Prince Charles Hospital, Queensland Health, Chermside, Australia
Digital Collaboration platforms provide an opportunity to optimise communication, increase productivity, and overcome administrative and workload challenges associated with traditional delegation systems in clinical teams. Adopting Microsoft Teams as a primary collaboration and communication tool provides opportunities to support Value Based Healthcare, by increasing communication agility through accessibility and reliability of communication, and ensures the right information is provided to the right person at the right time. The study aimed to trial and evaluate the use of Microsoft Teams for delegation in an occupational therapy hospital setting. A Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle was utilised to trial the use of Microsoft Teams. The impact of utilising Microsoft Teams on work productivity and effective delegation was evaluated by examining work productivity measures pre and post implementation. A purposely developed questionnaire with open and closed questions was used to measure work productivity, work efficiency, safety and quality. Results indicated that time spent on delegation was reduced by 50% presenting opportunity for disinvestment in paper based, centralised communication systems and reinvestment in clinical care. There was a minor decrease in the number of communication interactions from pre to post, with Microsoft Teams having the greatest impact on reducing time spent on delegation. Staff reported online collaboration had benefits for reducing administration burden, increasing communication efficiency and effectiveness when compared to traditional methods of communication. They reported a reduction in unnecessary communication, increased workload visibility and team productivity. Clinical teams using pathway, initiated delegation reported improvements in the quality of handover and feedback compared to clinical teams with complex communication requirements and higher Health Practitioner: Allied Health Assistants ratios. The results of the study overall indicate that there are significant efficiencies to be gained through the integration of digital platforms and smart devices into clinical practice.
Meagan Gough is a Team Leader in the Occupational Therapy Department at The Prince Charles Hospital, Metro North Hospital and Health Service. Meagan has over 20 years of clinical hospital experience in metropolitan and regional facilities in Queensland as well as recent workforce development experience.