- Greenville, South Carolina-based OB Hospitalist Group (OBHG) wanted to build a collaborative website that would improve clinician engagement for its 740 clinicians in more than 165 partner hospitals across 32 states.
It was looking for a one-stop shop where its clinicians could connect, exchange information, and access online tools.
OBHG’s overall healthcare goal is to ensure that every expectant or postpartum mother going to a partner hospital receives consistent medical care by an experienced physician in order to improve patient safety, reduce risk, and increase quality of care.
OBHG Director of Shared Services Elaine Stephenson told HITInfrastructure.com that OBHG wanted to expand communication and collaboration among its clinical population. “We wanted to use a platform to share best practices, protocols, clinical tools, forums for physicians to have conversations with their peers, and educational programs. We wanted a one-stop shop for our physicians,” Stephenson said.
To find the right solution, OBHG first held focus groups with its clinicians to find out what they wanted in a collaborative platform.
OB Hospitalist Group looked at several vendors to meet the clinicians’ needs. “We selected Igloo Software because of ease of use for our clinicians, our administrators, and our site directors as well,” OBHG Content and Clinical Community Administrator April Morris told HITInfrastructure.com.
Morris said that the group wanted “scalability” because it is growing quickly.
Between November 2017 and October 2018, OBHG saw 403,558 patients, with 136,624 being high-risk cases and 46,628 being emergency interventions. The group participated in 32,665 baby deliveries and assisted in 19,924 Cesarean deliveries.
Stephenson said that the Igloo-powered Ob Exchange provides spaces where physicians can share protocols with large groups and with smaller, private groups so they can have peer-to-peer discussions. “This was a big selling point for the physicians,” she added.
“We now have one place where physicians can collaborate and share best practices. We can talk about protocols with the hospitals and see if we can improve the quality of care and patient safety,” said Stephenson.
Security is built into the Igloo platform to keep these discussions private. Only members can access the platform, and they need a password, related Morris.
In a blog post, Morris explained the rationale for selecting the Igloo platform.
“The connection side of the equation was out of necessity, since clinicians work disparate shifts. They see each other in passing, or maybe talk during a phone conference, but it’s extremely challenging to get people to sit down and discuss core issues for an extended period of time. We wanted to give them that communication without competing with shift schedules.”
Morris said that OBHG first held a soft-launch of the Ob Exchange platform with a small group of clinicians to get their feedback to improve it before it was released more broadly.
The success of the platform “took a lot of awareness, education, and promotional work among our hospitalists over time,” she related.
OBHG decided to move its OBHG University, which provided an educational resource for its clinicians, over to the Ob Exchange platform.
“The university existed previously on our public website as a place for clinicians to learn about best practices and updates. The transition to Igloo was a massive project, but went smoothly because of the versatility of the platform,” she explained.
Once that was completed, the group decided to add a digital workplace for its nonclinical teams on Ob Exchange.
“Ob Exchange has now become the primary location for professional connections, collaboration, and community support. Ob Exchange is our stellar, one-stop shop for our clinicians and support teams to develop and grow with each other,” Morris concluded.