A web-based and mobile patient-centered ''microblog'' messaging platform to improve care team communication in acute care

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2017 Apr 1;24(e1):e178-e184. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocw110.


Communication in acute care settings is fragmented and occurs asynchronously via a variety of electronic modalities. Providers are often not on the same page with regard to the plan of care. We designed and developed a secure, patient-centered "microblog" messaging platform that identifies care team members by synchronizing with the electronic health record, and directs providers to a single forum where they can communicate about the plan of care. The system was used for 35% of patients admitted to a medical intensive care unit over a 6-month period. Major themes in messages included care coordination (49%), clinical summarization (29%), and care team collaboration (27%). Message transparency and persistence were seen as useful features by 83% and 62% of respondents, respectively. Availability of alternative messaging tools and variable use by non-unit providers were seen as main barriers to adoption by 83% and 62% of respondents, respectively. This approach has much potential to improve communication across settings once barriers are addressed.

Keywords: care coordination; care team communication; innovation; quality improvement; secure messaging.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration
  • Internet*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Quality Improvement
  • Text Messaging