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Are you using Halo correctly?

The app makes our work easier, but some etiquette should be heeded.

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Halo has transformed the way we communicate, but along with its convenience, the secure text messaging app also has potential for misuse and overuse. Misuse and overuse can lead to Halo alert fatigue and inaccurate communication, which in turn may contribute to adverse events.

As a reminder for all staff who use Halo to communicate with providers, please heed the following guidelines.

Check before paging

Before contacting a hospitalist or provider, always review active orders, ordered protocols and progress notes to see if an issue has been addressed. This will help curb some of the high message volumes — up to 115 in a 12-hour period — many providers are receiving.

Provide details

If you do need to contact the provider, be sure to include:

  • The patient’s full name.
  • The patient’s date of birth.
  • The patient’s room number.
  • A brief SBAR (subject, background, assessment, recommendation).
  • Your name and call-back number.

Provider orders

Orders should never be sent via Halo. This is not only against Asante policy, it’s a violation of CMS regulations. Instead, providers should enter orders into Epic or verbally over the phone. See our policy on transcribing provider orders.

For verbal or phone orders:

  • Have the patient’s chart open.
  • If you need clarification, ask the provider during this conversation.
  • Remember to read back the order to the provider in real time.

This isn’t texting

  • Never use abbreviations, slang or “text” shorthand. This is inappropriate and doesn’t provide the necessary information. If a patient needs oxycodone or oxycontin, for example, spell the words out instead of typing “oxy.”
  • Always check with the charge nurse to confirm that paging the provider is appropriate.
  • Avoid emojis and refrain from responding with “Thanks.” The app’s “read” function confirms that the message has been received.

Device stewardship

Nurses and CNAs must auto-forward their assigned mobile device to covering staff.

If you need help troubleshooting a device problem, call 14141. Be sure to state your location, device number and the specific malfunction. For example, “Locked,” “Dropped network,” etc.

Alternative communication

Not all providers use Halo, so make sure you’re communicating with them using their method of choice. During business hours, call their office; after hours, call their answering service.

Following these guidelines not only help smooth our communication, they’re vital to ensuring we are delivering quality care to our patients. Thank you for your cooperation.

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