Thursday, September 29, 2022

Enabling the smart healthcare institution of the future

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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If Abraham Maslow created a hierarchy of needs for acute health systems and long-term care facilities, an engaged workforce and an economically viable model of care would be as existential as air and water.

Today, healthcare executives are consumed with two realities.

• The amount of work required of our caregivers is humanly impossible.

• The current costs of healthcare are fiscally unsustainable.

The physical, emotional and economic burden on our caregivers has never been more challenging. Aside from the human toll, the resulting burnout and staff shortages have exacerbated already high healthcare costs. Unlike other companies, healthcare organizations can’t just raise their prices to cover higher costs – instead, higher costs go straight to the bottom line, a crushing blow to many healthcare organizations.

When looking for solutions, decision makers are confused by the deafening noise of a plethora of products with unclear or limited value propositions that prematurely target more than the immediate needs of healthcare facilities.

As many have learned, deploying a set of disparate point solutions fragments their already weak clinical and operational workflows. Look no further than EHRs to see that far too often investments in technology have made the lives of healthcare providers more difficult, not easier.

How can you improve quality, safety and compliance while reducing labor costs? Healthcare organizations must reshape the underlying business and clinical models of healthcare delivery with transformational change, not incremental improvements.

Lessons proven in other sectors

In transportation, with the addition of rear-view cameras in cars, we now have fewer fenders in the parking lot and avoid looking over our shoulders when reversing. A clear incremental improvement, but the transformational future of transportation lies in the wider capabilities of the self-driving car. Automatic braking, lane change assist and dynamic rerouting are among the first features of autonomous protection against human weaknesses. As a result, society will avoid long-accepted costs and inefficiencies such as car insurance, traffic, road construction and maintenance, deployment of first responders, and so on.

Many other industries such as aerospace, manufacturing, retail, distribution and the military have already proven the same technology of advanced sensors and artificial intelligence to accelerate innovation, maximize human capital and improve quality, safety and compliance.

At every FedEx distribution center, smart sensors and data science have radically improved efficiency and quality while reducing costs. Employees don’t “clock in and out” or step away from their core work to type a document describing the task they just completed.

Furthermore, the environmental intelligence inherent to an Amazon Go store, shoppers can enter, collect and exit their items with a simplicity that can only be achieved when technology becomes invisible.

Look no further than your local post office or shopping center to understand the existential contrast.

Introducing the Smart Care Facility

• Omnipresent: Ambient and continuous 24/7 data collection.

Strategically placed advanced sensors record important new data far beyond what can be typed into a medical record for retrospective decision making. New capabilities such as virtual nursing, telesitting and remote patient monitoring are not separate products, but important integrated features of a more comprehensive smart care solution, supported by the foundation of advanced sensors.

Initial concerns regarding patient and caregiver privacy are allayed by the inherent configurability of the platform. Patients and their loved ones are comforted by the protection of continuous environmental monitoring and the safety of on-demand virtual caregivers.

Overburdened doctors and nurses, suspicious of any new technology that involves extra work, are relieved by the power of simplicity. Critical information that would otherwise have gone unnoticed is captured without human limitations, such as seeing in only two dimensions, selective listening, and being physically only in one place at a time.

• Omniscient: Intelligence can fully understand and dynamically apply information in real time.

Smart healthcare organizations automate continuous learning and improvement to optimize how, who, where and when to take action. Complementing human limitations such as fatigue, bias, experience and education, the vast amount of newly captured data is continuously processed in real-time, with a more complete context, to support healthcare providers’ decision-making.

As fears of artificial intelligence taking over clinical control give way to the idea of ​​ambient intelligence and decision support, clinicians are confident that they are delivering the most appropriate, safest, knowledge-based care.

• Contemporary: Make use of existing investments.

By integrating seamlessly with existing resources such as nurse call systems, electronic health records and patient monitors, operationalizing a smart healthcare facility requires minimal change management to immediately realize significant new benefits.

• Compassionate: Provide care with a more human touch.

By making powerful technology invisible, any caregiver currently burdened by inefficiency and distraction from unnecessary tasks is free to devote their limited time to why they originally chose their profession – to do what only they can do: love people, care, touch and heal.

Practical and convincing first use cases for a smart healthcare facility

With a focus on restoring the humanity of healthcare delivery to energize our caregivers, there are immediate and obvious first steps any hospital and nursing home can take today. The return on investment of virtual nursing and environmental monitoring ranges from lower labor costs to revenue optimization and lower operating costs of new automated clinical and operational workflows and includes the following.

• Fall and pressure ulcer prevention.

• Infection prevention and control.

• Completion and regulatory compliance.

• Reduction in contract labor expenditure.

• Improving recruitment and retention.

• Optimization of patient throughput.

• Care at home development.

usher in the future

For many legacy healthcare organizations that have been dulled by the human and financial costs of healthcare, maintaining the status quo or simply adjusting the edges of new healthcare delivery models is no longer an option. New competitive pressures and economic realities have created existential risks.

At the same time, the power of ambient intelligence has been proven in many other industries to harmonize man and machine. We must now deliver on the transformational promise of the smart healthcare facilities of the future to deliver a level of care the world has never seen. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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