On the 3rd Day of #HITChristmas … Kelly Benning from Halo Communications

Note: In case you missed the other 12 Days of #HITChristmas, you can start with the first day here along with the story behind #HITChristmas or read all 12 days here as they are published.

On the 3rd Day of #HITChristmas we’re excited to feature, Kelly Benning from Halo Communications.

Tell us a little about Halo Communications for those not familiar with the company.

Clinical communication and collaboration are the keys to better patient care and outcomes. One of the biggest challenges health systems continually face is poor and outdated communication technology – where analytics, security, reliability, speed and accuracy are all lacking.

Halo changes all of that. Providing fast delivery of actionable information across the acute and ambulatory environments, patients receive care faster, which leads to reduced length of stays and readmission rates. Better communication results in fewer errors, providing high patient and care team satisfaction.

What are some examples where the Halo Communications platform has improved patient care?

100% of our clients would buy from us again. We are extremely proud of this achievement! We know Halo improves a myriad of outcomes, so we typically begin helping organizations focus on the areas first that are an obvious impediment to patient care, such as pagers.  Halo replaces outdated pagers for providers and teams resulting in faster time to treatment, and importantly higher levels of provider and nurse satisfaction. The Halo platform allows providers to send and receive text messages that include complete patient information. The information provided means hospitalists can take action immediately to assist the patient. No need to call the operator for more details. And, no risk that there will be confusion about which patient needs care.  Pager replacement improves workflow efficiency and patient safety by reducing delays in care and ensuring treatment of the right patient at the right time.

Halo Communications seems to have a special place in their hearts for nurses.  For example, you’re hosting a “Most Interesting Nurse in the World” contest.  Where does this appreciation for nurses come from?

Jose Barreau, MD, founded Halo Communications because he wanted a better means of real time, mission critical communication between providers and nurses as well as between nurses or even nurse to patient, all from one easy to use platform. Dr. Barreau is passionate about nurses because he knows they are the backbone of real time patient care, which he witnessed each day in his oncology practice. When he noticed nurses carrying multiple devices and using multiple platforms to make calls or texts, combined with the amount of time they were spending in the EMR, he knew there had to be better solution. A solution which reduces nursing burnout and gives nurses more meaningful time with their patients.

What makes Halo Communications special in a pretty crowded healthcare communications space?

Halo is a clinical communications platform featuring Messaging, Voice and Alerts, powered by on-call Scheduling and Teams. As the only clinical collaboration company founded by a clinician, its sophisticated technology keeps the clinical experience at the forefront of mind, meaning we don’t hijack clinician and nursing workflows. And, because Halo is cloud based it is interoperable, highly configurable and scale-able for healthcare systems.

What can the healthcare IT community do to help Halo Communications?

The way healthcare organizations buy technology is primarily departmental, which leads to buying technology that is difficult to scale, pay for and manage. We see IT vendors, consultants and industry experts still focused on projects with tightly defined scopes, with one departmental buyer and one departmental defined end-user. While this does reduce risk for the healthcare systems, it also unfortunately leads to poor outcomes as they can never achieve the results that a true enterprise wide clinical collaboration platform can achieve.

IT vendors, consultants and industry experts can help healthcare systems focus on technology that is easiest to deploy, scale and maintain, which means system wide implementation and adoption. We have to help clients learn to assess risk better and take bigger risks that result in higher rewards associated with enterprise wide technology solutions.  We all need to help healthcare see the big picture.

Be sure to follow all of the 12 Day of #HITChristmas.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Improving transition of patient care from one provider to another is the most cost effective enhancement we can make in our clinical settings. The surprise is that we haven’t systemically embraced making this happen across our health systems. I agree with Benning that it must occur at the enterprise level to be fully effective. It’s low cost and in the case of Halo, can be measured in the Donabedian quality framework which is of paramount importance, specially given CMS’s measurement requirements. (I have no affiliation with the company but have seen Halo up close).
    Dr. Gregg Tarquinio, Associate Dean, Einstein College of Medicine.

  • The article is very good and outlines why we need to replace outdated technology so that providers can take better care of patients! Well done.

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