Optimizing patient satisfaction and care encounters continues to be a priority for healthcare providers in their technology deployment. New research conducted at HIMSS19 in Orlando, Fla., by Stoltenberg Consulting, for instance, finds that 42 percent of more than 100 health IT leaders surveyed called “updating technology to improve the patient experience” their primary goal in 2019.
How, then, can organizations approach these important efforts? It all boils down to the right solutions and strategies.
Analytics and Infrastructure Build the Foundation for Better Care
At Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, leaders are leveraging data analytics and visualization to help monitor operating room processes. The use of interactive dashboards helped the organization increase on-time starts by 25 percent, which has boosted patient satisfaction and led to savings of nearly $300,000 per month. The insights gleaned have also helped Jefferson Health to reduce the time that patients in the intensive care unit spend on ventilators, which lowers the risk of associated illness.
Meanwhile, installation of a hyperconverged infrastructure at Lewisville, Texas-based StoneGate Senior Living — which operates communities in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado — has been key to improving the organization’s IT foundation, which has enabled it to elevate care levels to meet evolving patient and resident demands. Increased storage and compute and faster access to patient information have helped StoneGate to reduce both patient falls resulting in major injury and the use of antipsychotic medication.
Mobile Tools Can Enable Patient Empowerment
Patient-facing tools are also key. At Phoenix Children’s Hospital, every patient room is equipped with its own customized iPad device. The tools allow patients to log in to social media accounts or stream kid-safe movies and educational videos, and also provide parents access medical records and treatment plans.
Similarly, NYU Langone Health’s Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Pavilion leverages bedside tablets for patient use, in addition to a 75-inch high-definition display dubbed MyWall, another medium from which patients can order meals, read educational materials or review their care plans.
“Research shows that the quality of stay for patients and their potential medical recovery can be greatly influenced by whether they have a distraction device like this,” Phoenix Children’s Hospital COO David Higginson told HealthTech.
Organizations Must Be Mindful of the Patient Perspective
Despite such successes, providers still must remain hypervigilant about how and when to use different solutions. In the past month alone, I’ve read about two instances when patients deemed the use of telehealth technology for a virtual doctor’s visit to be inappropriate for their circumstances.
Healthcare is changing rapidly, and technology is at the center of that change. It’s critical that the patient always be top of mind when it comes to technology deployment and use.