The introduction of a secure mobile phone messaging system at an oncology clinic was associated with dramatic increases in nurse and provider staff satisfaction regarding communication between members of the care team, according to findings of a study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice.

Following findings from a National Database of Nursing quality indicator questionnaire administered to staff at a large radiation oncology clinic where the quality of physician-nurse interactions was ranked below the 10th percentile, a secure mobile messaging platform was developed for the purpose of facilitating communication between physician/nurse practitioner providers and registered nurses.  The aim of this study was to assess elements of the satisfaction of users with respect to communication between team members before and after implementation of this approach.

Online surveys evaluating satisfaction with communication methods, including efficiency, timeliness, effectiveness, and overall quality were administered to study participants before and after implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant mobile phone messaging platform. The level of respondent satisfaction regarding each communication component was scored using a 5-point Likert scale, with 1 meaning very dissatisfied and 5 meaning very satisfied.

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All of the 71 nurse and physician staff members of the radiation oncology department (25 nurses, 6 nurse practitioners, 24 attending physicians, and 16 resident physicians) were invited to participate in the study. Response rates prior to and following implementation of the mobile messaging platform were 33.8% and 54.9%, respectively.

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With respect to uptake of this new technology, more than 2000 messages were sent within the first month of its availability, and this number continued to increase over the subsequent 2 months.