Integrated solutions improve clinician response and enable connected patient care. A few Aha! moments can help us see the bigger picture in digital healthcare
We are all familiar with sayings like: “the pieces of a puzzle seem to come together when you least expect it,” or, “the small pieces make up the bigger picture.”
This is such a moment, where the vision for our integrated digital healthcare solution, together with the first feedback from our customers on the global health crisis, and a recent U.S. Mayo Clinic finding, have brought the bigger picture into focus to create an aha! moment.
A few of my Aha! moments along the way
I’ve been involved in designing communications and infrastructure solutions for hospitals and assisted living facilities for the last 30 years and I’ve had a few aha! moments that I’d like to share with you.
During the many days that I have spent in hospitals, as a father and husband, and fortunately not as a patient, it became clear to me that, while Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are an important and necessary tool, they also put extra strain on doctors and nurses. And, while many would agree with this assessment, including the Ministry of Health (MoH) at least to a certain extent, it was difficult to prove. That is, until recently when a report from the Mayo Clinic in the U.S. highlighted a link between EMR usability and professional burnout rates . This finding validates the increase in burnout rates we are also seeing in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region as digital tools are added to healthcare environments.
Since 2000, when I began working on telehealth solutions, I have seen the market evolve from simple video-sessions to connected patient care that integrates applications adapted to meet the needs of doctors and patients. These include online appointments, virtual waiting rooms, EMR integration, Internet of Things (IoT) integration, video sessions, as well as prescription delivery with payment. However, many of these integrated applications are developed by start-ups and not by the care-providers. While the start-ups are working hard exploring technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and auto-triage, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, as experts in the industry, continue to work with healthcare customers on the frontline of this global pandemic. One example is in the area of teleconsulting within the hospital which can reduce the requirement for much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) when consulting with patients, and can help clinicians automate patient triage.
We already know that putting mobile communication devices in clinicians hands can drastically improve a hospital’s efficiency, however, when you combine telehealth integrated applications (adapted to the clinicians care pathway), with the mobile communication devices, you get EMR and collaboration in the hands of the clinicians at the point of care. This not only improves efficiency by as much as 30% (depending how well you integrate the EMR with the collaboration tools), but it also adds applications to engage the patient while reducing the clinician burnout rate. Aha! #1.
As we further investigate AI and IoT integration, it’s clear that an optimal and price acceptable solution will not be possible as long as we continue to create information silos. Telehealth and in-hospital, Hospital Information System (HIS)/EMR and collaboration information (including audio/video) must be consolidated to become Big Data/AI efficient. Aha! #2.
Based on the above, as well as the preliminary feedback on this healthcare crisis from our customers, the network infrastructure needed to support HIS/EMR, collaboration, IoT-medical devices, and mobile devices among others, must be flexible. It must be secure-by-design and it must be able to reconfigure and scale up or down automatically. The healthcare network infrastructure landscape is rapidly changing as the pieces come together. We are confident that ALE Digital Age Networking based on a Service Defined Network for healthcare is THE way forward. Aha! #3.
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• Mobile care pathway-centric applications for caregivers and patients
• Integrating the new care delivery services
• Securing connected healthcare adoption