Why Do Clinicians Need HIPAA-Compliant Task Management?

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When caring for patients, there are a lot of tasks that clinicians need to do. You may need to call another clinician for a consult, send a referral for a patient to see a specialist, order a refill for a prescription, respond to a call from a patient or another clinician, review test results, schedule lab work to be done, the list goes on and on. The issue is, where do you keep track of these tasks?

Some of these tasks could be put in the patient note, but others are not necessary to add there, and may just get lost in the sea of information in the patient chart. You could also jot down tasks in a notes app on your phone, send email reminders, write them on sticky notes, text them to yourself. The problem is that you spend a bunch of time trying to find all these tasks later. And, this type of task management isn’t always secure. Even if you keep all your own tasks in one space, what about the tasks other people on your team ask you to do? And speaking of your team, how do you coordinate who is doing what task and figure out which tasks are completed? Let’s look at a few examples where HIPAA-compliant task management would help clinicians. 

Examples of Where HIPAA-Compliant Task Management Would Help Clinicians

Laura is a physician assistant at a primary care office.  Laura works with three different physicians at the clinic, and she keeps all of her to-do tasks in a word document. But the three physicians she works with give her tasks to do in three different ways. One of them tells her the tasks in person, another sends them in emails, and the third one leaves sticky notes at Laura’s workspace. So Laura has to search in four different places to find the tasks she needs to do. Or, she can rewrite all the tasks into her word document. This is time-consuming and Laura is concerned she will forget about some of the tasks. 

Khalil is a nurse at a skilled nursing facility. There are a lot of clinicians who work there and care for the same patients. When his shift begins, Khalil goes over the tasks he should do first by looking at patient notes. But sometimes a task is written down, and he isn’t sure if the previous nurse did that task or not. He would rather the work get done twice than not at all, so Khalil does the task. He sometimes duplicates work, which is not a great use of resources and time, but Khalil doesn’t want to risk it not getting done and negatively impacting patient care. 

Jen is a physician that travels to patients’ homes for appointments. During these appointments, Jen writes down her to-do items in an app on her phone. When there are tasks that she wants the other clinicians on her team to do, she texts or calls them. Sometimes, if she has a lab or image that goes with the task, she sends that in an email. When Jen gets back to the office, she wants to know the status of the tasks she sent over. But wait, who did she send the task about ordering labs? Did she ever ask someone to refill a prescription for one of the patients? And how should she communicate with the other clinicians when some are in appointments with patients and others have left for the day? 

What Features Should A HIPAA-Compliant Task Management Platform Have? 

HIPAA-compliant task management can solve these issues. A good platform allows clinical teams to create tasks in a secure environment that they can easily access when and wherever they are providing care. The care team can access the task management space to view tasks, assign tasks to other team members, and mark when tasks are completed. It should be clear who is responsible for each task and clear when the task is finished. This task management should also be available to the entire care team, even if the team is in a different building or using a different EHR. 

CareAlign’s HIPAA-compliant task management platform allows individuals and teams to manage their tasks in one secure space. Clinicians can create tasks, view them in real-time, assign them to others, set reminders for future tasks, and more. CareAlign works in any location and with any EHR, so teams can keep working together even when they are not in the same room. 

Want to improve you and your teams’ clinical task management? Get started with a free version of CareAlign today!