Healthcare organizations need innovative technologies and full-spectrum support solutions

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Healthcare organizations are increasingly investing in emerging technologies that support remote patient monitoring and virtual care.1 However, Jason Case, VP of R&D for Patient Monitoring & Respiratory Interventions at Medtronic, maintains that they can make a real difference when they deliver the right information at the right time. To do so, these solutions need connectivity and interoperability.

“If you consider patient monitoring that can provide actionable insights, you want a solution that delivers them to the right clinician in a timely manner,” Case said. “That means you need solutions that are connected so that pertinent data can automatically get to where it’s needed, whether that’s directly into the clinician’s hands or into the electronic medical record (EMR) so the next person who accesses it can take appropriate and timely action.”

Improving patient safety and reducing clinical burnout

Unfortunately, many transformative technologies remain siloed from other healthcare solutions. And that, Case pointed out, can result in significant risks to hospitals and health systems.

“When these solutions are not connected and not interoperable, you are escalating the amount of cognitive load on your clinicians,” he said. “Instead of being able to focus on patient care, knowing they have all the data they need to make the best decisions, clinicians instead need to document different measurements and then manually put it into the EMR. And that’s when things start to slip through the cracks and unnecessary escalations of care occur.”

Bounce-back readmissions in intensive care units (ICUs), for example, can result when clinicians are overloaded and underinformed. Without access to the right data at the right time, busy physicians might miss signs of deterioration that later send patients back to critical care units. When clinicians use remote monitoring tools like Medtronic’s HealthCast™ Vital Sync™ remote monitoring system, however, they are more likely to have easy, real-time access to data that can help avoid costly bounce-backs.

The additional administrative burden that comes with many technologies can also contribute to clinician burnout. To help reduce burnout, healthcare organizations must identify ways to eliminate unnecessary manual tasks.2

“The Center for Medical Interoperability tells us that, in the United States, most hospitals use numerous devices that could be connected. Still, even today, nearly two-thirds remain unconnected,” said Case.3 “This means that your clinicians have to manually check and then document or transmit what’s reported on the devices. It is a significant burden. But when you can connect and integrate these devices, you can automate much of that manual administrative activity so clinicians can focus on patient care.”

Lightening the IT load

Full-spectrum solutions with comprehensive support empower hospital IT departments to do more with less. IT leaders are deluged with requests for new solutions and deployments. Technologies that are capital light and come with turn-key implementation services reduce the resources required to get new solutions deployed.

“When you can integrate a solution and make it interoperable with current infrastructure, you make it easier for everyone,” Case said. “When things are light and easily configurable, you can stand up a solution and optimize it while minimizing workloads for both clinical and IT teams.”

This kind of integration allowed Medtronic to help New York state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) quickly stand up a patient overflow center at New York City’s Javits Center during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were able to bring in our HealthCast™ Vital Sync™ remote patient monitoring solution to open up 400 beds over Easter weekend,” he said. “This is a great example of why it’s so important to be light and to have solutions that are easy for IT to consume.”

Looking forward

Digital transformation with connected, interoperable solutions from the right partner offers hospitals and health systems an opportunity to transition from a reactive to a proactive care model.

“Even if you have a technically sound solution to help deliver good patient outcomes, if it doesn’t fit in the clinician workflow, if it isn’t automated, if it doesn’t get the patient data to where it’s needed when it’s needed, it is hard to drive adoption,” Case said. “Workflow, administrative burden and IT integration really matter. By coupling simple, integrated and full-spectrum solutions with world-class services like those offered by the HealthCast™ services team, you can deliver the kind of value that will keep the focus on your patients’ and your staff’s well-being.”

References

  1. Deloitte. 2023. 2023 Global Health Care Outlook.https://www.deloitte.com/content/dam/assets-shared/docs/2023-health-care-outlook-final.pdf.
  2. Berg, S. 27 September 2023. Reduce physician burnout now — or face rising doctor shortages. American Medical Association. https://www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/physician-health/reduce-physician-burnout-now-or-face-rising-doctor-shortages.
  3. Center for Medical Interoperability. Need for change. https://medicalinteroperability.org/need-for-change/.

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