Widespread outage disturbs healthcare operations

Many hospitals across the US experienced phone issues due to a nationwide outage from various cellular carriers. Hopefully, the outage did not impact patient safety and care. Health systems can utilize this outage to think about alternative solutions for communications with their patients and providers.

Step up the social game

We live in an omnichannel world and our communication mechanism should also adapt. Healthcare organizations need to ramp up their usage of social media as another communication tool. Approximately, 55% of Americans get their news from social media in a research conducted by Pew Research Center. Utilize your company’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to share updates with the community while holding private chat for personalized communication with specific customers or patients.

Alternative Messaging

This was a tweet sent by the President of Technology at Tmobile encouraging the use of alternative messaging services during the cellular network’s outage.

I found this to be very useful but it is not practiced at the enterprise level in healthcare. There is an opportunity for non-PHI communication using the alternative messaging service. Does your health system have a platform to work with solutions like WhatsApp, Signal, and others? I definitely recommend looking into these options.

Adopt Internal One to Many Communication Solutions

The outage today made me reflect on how health systems can use tools such as Facebook at Work, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and other enterprise-level collaboration tools to communicate the outage. Instead, most communication was transmitted by a mass email. The scenario today would have been a perfect use case for embracing the enterprise collaboration tool, unfortunately, adoption is slow in healthcare.

How were you impacted by the situation and did you have a creative way to communicate?




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ABOUT David Chou

David Chou serves as the SVP/CIO for a public academic health system.  Chou has held executive roles with the Cleveland Clinic, Children's Mercy Hospital, University Of Mississippi Medical Center, AHMC Healthcare, and Prime Healthcare.  

David is a dynamic keynote speaker and industry commentator working with clients to transform their business models using technology. He has spoken around the world at healthcare tech-related conference including keynotes for leading industry events and intimate executive settings. Chou is also one of the most mentioned CIOs in the media and well quoted in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Modern Healthcare, HIMSS Media, ZDNet, CIO.com, Huffington Post, and Becker's Healthcare.  David is an active member of both ACHE and HIMSS while serving on the board for CHIME. 



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