Nov 28 2018

Prioritize Workflow to Ensure High-Quality Patient Service

Careful deployment of infrastructure and end-user solutions is key to helping clinical teams provide seamless care.

For clinicians caring for patients around the clock, IT is often an afterthought. When a nurse or an emergency physician uses a mobile device to enter information into a patient’s chart, for instance, the speed and uptime of their facility’s wireless network is likely the last thing on their mind. IT, as it should, blends into the background — enabling, not hindering, patient care.

Make no mistake, though: The reliability, speed and flexibility of an organization’s IT infrastructure and end-user solutions are critical to ensuring workflow efficiency. When seconds can change the quality and outcome of patient care, providers can ill afford any disruptions to service.

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IT Reliability Gets a Shot in the Arm

One organization that’s worked hard to bolster its IT reliability over the past few years is Batesville, Ark.-based White River Health System, which recently deployed an array of Extreme Networks solutions to support a bevy of connected devices. In particular, WRHS’ use of ExtremeAnalytics gives it detailed information about network traffic patterns, allowing IT staff to view performance at a granular level and track and react to problems in real time.

“When clinicians aren’t worrying about the performance and reliability of their networked devices and applications, they’re able to focus more on caring for patients,” CIO Jeff Reifsteck told HealthTech.

Through its solutions and partnerships, Cisco can also help provide healthcare organizations with IT infrastructure peace of mind. For instance, its Fast Lane partnership with Apple helps to prioritize mission-critical applications via a whitelist policy. One application that benefits from the Fast Lane partnership is Mobile Heartbeat’s MH-CURE, which enables secure and direct mobile communication among care team members.

Automatic Notifications Keep Nurses Alert

At the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives 2018 Fall Forum in San Diego in early November, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer David Higginson shared how he and his team have worked to ease workflow demands for the organization’s nursing staff. 

Higginson said that the hospital designed an interface that automatically triggers nudge notifications when specific events occur in the electronic health record.

“We don’t want the input to just come from a monitor or something that’s connected via an interface,” he said. “We’ve got information that’s in our EHR in real time that we want to then package up and provide in a useful way, so that people not only have knowledge of what’s going on, but they can take action on it.”

Reliability, speed and relevant information — clinicians depend on all three to deliver the right care to the right patient at the right time. Care team workflow must always be top of mind for IT personnel. By blending into the background and keeping systems running smoothly, technology professionals can truly stand out.

This article is part of HealthTech’s MonITor blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using #WellnessIT.


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