Efficient communication and care coordination are critical for high-quality patient care in ambulatory oncology settings. Electronic huddles, where the cancer team connects in a virtual space to share critical insights and make collective decisions about patient care, leverage technology to facilitate interprofessional communication and decision-making. During a poster presentation on April 25, 2024, at the 49th Annual ONS Congress®, ONS members Tara Delgrippo, RN, MSN, NE-BC, OCN®, and Sarah Porzig, MSN, RN, OCN®, described how they implemented the innovative approach at their institution.

Electronic huddles allow healthcare providers to collaborate and make informed decisions from any location. By supporting communication and care coordination, they can enhance patient outcomes, improve patient care, and streamline workflows.

Delgrippo and Porzig’s institution has a wide geographic footprint, and in-person huddles were not successful because of barriers to staff gathering at a central location or traveling to other sites. After evaluating the utility of in-person huddles, the administration developed a platform for electronic communication. The research team created channels in that platform for each clinic location to participate in daily morning huddles. The software enabled providers to document items such as concerns, special patient considerations, room use, and pending tasks in their respective channels.

In evaluating their initiative, the research team found that electronic huddles supported ambulatory care teams in providing more efficient and patient-centered health care, improving communication, throughput, and efficiency in daily clinic flow. The huddles also supported communication across the geographically widespread organization and enhanced staff engagement with their teams.

Electronic huddles allowed staff to be present for the huddle without leaving their workplace, and staff could immediately begin their morning clinic sessions after the huddle. In addition, the documentation in each channel allowed administration to confirm that huddles occurred and share critical information across teams.

Integrating electronic huddles into the ambulatory care setting can support the interprofessional care team in communicating, coordinating care, and making decisions. The technology offers an innovative method to support communication and coordination for healthcare teams, leading to improved patient care and greater efficiency.