Project management is prevalent in almost every industry. From building a machine to creating software to planning an event, project management is key to getting all tasks and goals accomplished within a set time frame. It helps break down complex projects into manageable pieces so that the work gets done well and efficiently by each respective team member.
To support project management, organizations use tools that allow users to create tasks and share or assign these tasks to team members. The team can view each other’s progress and refer to any relevant website links or other information all in one central place. Even if the team is remote and working in different locations or at different hours, these platforms allow everyone to work asynchronously.
Patient care is complex, and managing this care among clinical teams is often haphazard, as team members have other patients to care for. If project management is so beneficial in other industries, why have similar concepts and tools not been adopted for clinical use? Clinical teams need similar tools that employ these same principles but are designed for patient care. Keep reading to learn more about project management for clinicians and what to look for in clinical project management software.
What is Project Management for Clinicians?
Project management is the process of directing a team to finish project tasks within an allotted time frame. Projects have a lot of moving parts. Each team member is doing different tasks to contribute to the overall project. And these team members have other projects they are working on.
Sound familiar? It’s very similar to how clinical teams manage patient care: multiple people working in teams on multiple patients to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
Clinicians can use project management to track patient care with the entire clinical team. There are a lot of tasks for patient care, including writing patient notes, getting labs or tests, writing prescriptions, collaborating with other clinicians, and more. But sometimes, it is unclear which team members should be doing each task, and tasks get duplicated or forgotten about. Implementing project management principles in healthcare helps clinicians organize these tasks to ensure they get completed in the appropriate time frame. If team members are working at different times or in different locations, they can be on the same page about tasks so they are able to do their part without constantly needing to track down all their team members for the latest updates.
Just like diverse teams that change based on the project in other industries, clinical teams vary based on the individual patient. Patients with chronic conditions may have a large team of specialists that work together to provide care, while other patients might rely on a single provider. These teams could include physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers, pharmacists, and more. And these team members may work at different organizations and healthcare settings. Regardless of the team size and composition, there are still tasks to do to ensure the patient receives the best care, and project management helps ensure these tasks are accomplished.
Project management may be especially important for clinicians that provide long-term care for patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes. For this clinician there are a lot of tasks to do over a long span of time, and a large team of other clinicians to collaborate with. This is like a long-term project that includes many tasks with many other team members, and may require more time and planning to ensure everything is being done properly.
What Should You Look For in Healthcare Project Management Software?
Project management software for clinicians needs to be adapted for how clinicians practice medicine and the sensitive nature of the information. First, the project management software should be HIPAA-compliant and secure. This is a non-negotiable requirement because there will be protected health information (PHI) in the patient notes, tasks, lab results, and more.
The project management software should allow everyone on the team to view, assign, and complete tasks. Assigning tasks helps ensure that tasks get done correctly and on time. It’s also important for everyone to be able to see who has been assigned to what tasks and if those tasks are completed so things are not skipped or unnecessarily repeated.
Healthcare project management software should be accessible on different devices, in different locations, and across different EHRs. Clinical teams can be large and complex, with people working in different spaces and with different EHRs. If the whole team cannot easily access the software, then they are less likely to use it.
CareAlign provides project management software for clinicians that meets these requirements and goes beyond to help make clinician’s work easier. Learn more about CareAlign and get started with the free version today!