Aug 24 2023
Digital Workspace

How to Create Healthcare Workspaces that Support Clinicians and Patients

Healthcare workspaces are evolving to support new care models and the hybrid workforce.

Thanks to the widespread adoption of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, healthcare delivery is no longer confined to hospitals and doctor’s offices. This expansion beyond the four walls of traditional healthcare organizations is transforming care delivery and redefining healthcare workspaces.

While the pandemic is often cited as a reason for the rapid adoption of virtual care, it also increased the strain on a struggling workforce. High levels of attrition and burnout dealt a severe blow to an already tenuous staffing outlook. This, in turn, increased the demand for agency or travel nurses to support the nursing shortage. At the same time, remote and hybrid work expanded among administrative and shared services departments, such as IT. In many cases, these departments moved to permanent remote work, accelerating the hybrid workforce transition.

With travel nurses coming and going from hospitals and other staff working from home, more flexibility and mobility needed to be built into healthcare workspaces.

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Now, as healthcare leaders explore how to further optimize care delivery and create efficiencies, many are targeting clinical workflows. Mobile devices are helping organizations accomplish improved clinical collaboration and gain workflow efficiencies. Mobile phones and tablets can provide many of the capabilities of a traditional workstation on wheels without taking up valuable exam room space. This evolution in mobility has been aided by the platform vendors, who recognize the shift in the industry.

As IT and clinical leaders consider the best ways to navigate today’s healthcare workspaces, it’s important for them to be aware of common challenges, best practices and how a technology partner can help.

How to Overcome Today’s Workspace Challenges in Healthcare

Healthcare organizations often prefer to standardize their workstations, tablets and laptops for management and security purposes. The realities of a hybrid workforce are driving organizations to support more device types across geographies while retaining an on-premises experience. This can be challenging due to the limitations of platforms and prescriptive hardware and software requirements. Healthcare customers can overcome this challenge with the assistance of a technology partner such as CDW. Mobile device management or unified endpoint management solutions play a key role in a modern workspace strategy.

UEM solutions allow you to manage all aspects of the operating system and installed applications, regardless of hardware. UEM is an evolution of mobile device management that goes beyond operating systems and devices, enabling healthcare organizations to use the same platform to manage laptops and other mobile devices, including BYOD. In this way, a healthcare organization can manage the end-user experiences of a physician on the golf course or a physician on rounds in the hospital.

Deploying a UEM platform such as Microsoft Intune helps organizations manage a wide variety of devices no matter where they are and helps them do so securely and at a lower cost.

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How to Optimize Healthcare Workspaces and Support Clinicians

When implementing mobile device or application management, it’s critical that organizations keep security in mind. Clinicians may need to access protected health information from their homes or elsewhere beyond the hospital campus. Effective UEM can enable clinicians to access this data securely without compromising patient privacy.

However, it’s equally important to create a frictionless experience for clinicians that balances security and privacy with usability. If you make it easy for physicians to do the right thing from a security perspective, their overall experience and that of their patients will be enhanced.

Mobility improves clinical communication while also allowing clinicians to spend more time with their patients rather than doing documentation away from them. Mobility is synonymous with collaboration and access, so it’s important that security and privacy controls protect the organization and patient data without creating inefficiencies that burden clinicians.

When it comes to workspace optimization, health IT and clinical leaders must take an outcome-based approach focused on the organization’s objectives rather than focusing on the technology itself. To that end, standardization is always helpful, but it isn’t the complete answer to optimizing workspaces. There are opportunities to leverage technology to support similar experiences across different devices. However, supporting the needs of the organization through the application of technology should always be the goal, not driving the organization toward a particular hardware solution.

It's important to first focus on the patients and workflows involved in providing care. That will help organizations identify technology solutions that can be helpful in improving those workflows and patient outcomes.

LEARN MORE: How planning and design can set up clinical automation for success.

How Partnering with CDW Experts Can Better Your Hospital

Partnering with technology experts such as CDW can help healthcare organizations optimize their unique workspaces. CDW experts start by understanding the technical landscape for each organization and discussing where leadership envisions care being delivered in the next two to five years. They create a full picture of the care setting by walking the floors and seeing how clinicians interact. It’s important to establish what those human factors are before adding technology. In most cases, the technology is the easy part; how that technology supports the clinicians and patient experience is paramount.

CDW partners with a wide selection of vendors and employs engineers with expertise in healthcare workspaces generally and as vendor-specific solutions. CDW experts can help healthcare organizations with a full-stack approach to workspace optimization. We start at the beginning of a problem, identify the desired outcome, then develop solutions to achieve that outcome.

This article is part of HealthTech’s MonITor blog series.


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