Monthly Archives: September 2020

Improving Patient Care Through Technology Orchestration

As healthcare shifts towards a more patient-centric approach, health providers across the world are looking for innovative ways to enhance the patient care journey. The infusion of software solutions into the healthcare industry has helped providers improve the overall patient experience. One of these solutions is Care Orchestration, a method that uses Information Technology (IT) to improve the care journey. Care Orchestration can be defined as the coordination of many complex computer systems, servers, and applications in a way that enhances the care journey. In a clinical setting, Orchestration allows for a simplification of patient workflows and an overall improvement in efficiency. Care Orchestration helps healthcare providers streamline their existing care journey by identifying and addressing their current inefficiencies. 

Care Orchestration and Value-Based Care

Care Orchestration is an instrumental asset for health systems that seek to adopt a value-based outlook. This system is a polar opposite from the traditional fee-for-service view as value-based care rewards health systems that can improve patient experiences and outcomes. Orchestration allows clinics to achieve this by streamlining the entire patient workflow. Patients are not met with any unwanted obstacles at any point in their care journey. The data processing efficiency of orchestration tools increases the speed at which physicians can treat and diagnose patients. 

Benefits of Orchestration in healthcare 

How Artificial Intelligence works with Orchestration

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become increasingly popular as a reliable solution for modern health tech issues. AI is well known for its operational efficiency thanks to its command of complex human attributes such as comprehension, interpretation, and analysis. It becomes quite evident that AI and Orchestration are similar concepts by reviewing their capabilities. In fact, many health systems employ a software system that uses AI and Orchestration together. The difference between these concepts lies in the scale of their abilities. AI is generally used for replacing human services by introducing automation for individual tasks. This is in contrast with Orchestration which generally involves coordination of complex, multi-step procedures. Using AI and Orchestration together results in an automated workflow that requires little human input. This partnership is extremely efficient due to the ability of AI to process millions of data points in a matter of seconds. Orchestration is also quite productive as it allows AI to automate over a series of procedures rather than just one action.

Benefits of Orchestration

The introduction of Orchestration into a clinical setting has brought many positive results for both care providers and patients. Here are some of the primary benefits:

  • Smoother Care Journey: Having a straightforward care journey greatly benefits patients as their once tiresome and time-consuming clinical visits are now simple and convenient. By displaying command of complex methods, Orchestration ensures that there are no gaps in the care journey. Patients are expedited through the care journey in an efficient manner, enhancing the patient outcomes and improving the overall experience. 
  • Increased Operational Efficiency: Care Orchestration helps health systems simplify their workflow processes while maximizing the available resources. Effective orchestration performs tasks such as data organization in a fraction of the time that humans would take. This means Clinical staff can perform their duties more effectively while also gaining the ability to spend more time with patients. 
  • Increased Profits: Another operational benefit of Orchestration is its ability to positively impact a clinic’s bottom line. The aforementioned efficiency allows clinics to expand their capacity and serve more patients. This allows for an increase in revenue without compromising on quality of care. Clinics are simultaneously able to lower their costs as orchestration prevents expensive rifts in operation such as referral leakage. 

Care Orchestration is extremely powerful with the potential to transform health systems across the country. The extensive multi-faceted approach in improving the experience of both patients and care providers separates orchestration from other IT solutions.

Talk to us to understand more about the advancements in the healthcare industry and we will guide you to achieve our common goal “Quality Care for All” seamlessly.

The Evolution Of The Health Tech: Positive Change Through Interoperable Solutions

The American Healthcare Industry has experienced many large-scale changes in the past few decades. This timeframe has afforded us many drastic reforms in the industry such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or the widespread shift towards Value-Based Care. However, the most noteworthy and significant change is the gradual adoption of software solutions into the healthcare industry. The digitization of healthcare has brought numerous benefits to healthcare organizations that are able to streamline their day-to-day operations. More importantly, these solutions have made life easier for care providers and patients by simplifying the delivery of care. In order for these complex systems to operate, they need to display competency in Interoperability. 

How Interoperability Ties It All Together

Interoperability in the context of healthcare refers to the use of many complex systems and information technology (IT) to exchange and interpret health-based data. As many software systems were designed for specific tasks, the transfer of data between different systems emerged as a significant challenge. Interoperability allowed for different computer systems that operate on different platforms to interact with each other. This gave health organizations the ability to employ multiple systems for their varying needs. At the foundational level, interoperability is present in roughly 75% of health systems in the US. The incorporation of more advanced levels allows organizations to expand the scale of their services.

How Technology is Combatting COVID-19

The COVID-19 Pandemic has proved to be a challenging obstacle for the healthcare industry. While the pandemic continues to test the industry’s existing abilities, the prevalence of computer systems currently in use have helped in the fight to control COVID-19. The use of virtual health services has skyrocketed since the outbreak as clinics across the country shift their focus to COVID-19. Patients are able to access health services like routine check-ups from their tablet or computer. The significance of this service is that it ensures patients with chronic conditions can receive medical services without the risk of being infected with COVID-19. It also helps clinics establish stable cash flow and make up for revenue shortfall due to the pandemic. 

Examples of Interoperable Health Tech Solutions:

Telehealth

Interoperable Health Tech Solutions

Telehealth involves the transfer of healthcare services through a telecommunications platform. While the primary use of telehealth is for virtual conferencing between patients and physicians, it is also used for monitoring and educating patients. The most popular form of telehealth is video conferencing where patients and physicians can perform most tasks required in a typical check-up. According to the American Hospital Organization (AHA), 3 out of every 4 hospitals offer some form of telehealth service. Telehealth has proven to be a valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19, while also eliminating long wait times and nonessential clinical visits. Telehealth must be interoperable with other platforms in order to share Electronic Health Records (EMR). Reviewing these records is crucial for physicians who are deciding the next course of action for a patient. 

Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote Physiological Monitoring (RPM) uses real-time technology to collect vital parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, weight, or any other relevant health-based measure. These devices are worn by patients to track the parameters of their health while simultaneously sending the results to a qualified health professional. This professional can analyze the information and intervene if there is any abnormal data. These gadgets have been extremely helpful for chronic care patients who can avoid the hassle of regular clinical visits. Clinics who effectively use these devices can significantly reduce the number of readmissions, which costs the industry over $41 billion a year. Interoperability is crucial in the RPM care delivery as data must be transferred from the patient’s device to the health system without any errors. 

Workflow and Referral Management

Remote Patient Monitoring

The goal of Workflow Management is to streamline the patient workflow by eliminating inefficiencies in the process. Tech solutions such as Smart Rooming help nurses room the patient and transfer the responsibility of care in a time-efficient manner. Referral Management is also an extremely crucial part of clinical operations. Referral Leakage, which occurs when a patient’s Referral loop is not closed, costs the industry millions of dollars a year. Interoperable platforms would transfer information from the physician to the specialist in a timely manner and without any gaps. 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Primary Benefits of healthcare technology

While still extremely developmental in nature Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) provide a glimpse into the future of healthcare. AI and ML both use machines to perform human activities such as comprehension, interpretation, and analysis. Despite a limited role, they are both currently used for routine activities like streamlining workflows, patient education, diagnosis, and predictive analysis. AI/ML can help health tech innovators attain interoperability by assisting computer systems in receiving and analyzing data. 

Primary Benefits

The influx of interoperable systems has revolutionized the healthcare industry. Listed below are the main benefits of these solutions. 

 

  • Improved Patient Experience: One of the main focuses of these innovative software solutions was to improve the overall experience of patients. The introduction of Telehealth and RPM increases access to healthcare for all patients. Tools such as AI and ML are life-saving as they quickly and accurately diagnose conditions. 
  • Simplifying the Care Journey: In the traditional Care Journey, patients may have to spend an entire day in a clinic while physicians shuttle back and forth to tend to them. Software Solutions have streamlined this process by assisting clinics with scheduling, rooming, and diagnosis. Nurses, Physicians, and Clinical staff can allocate their time more efficiently, resulting in a smoother Care Journey for patients. 
  • Optimal Operational Efficiency: Health Organizations are able to maximize the use of their resources thanks to health tech solutions. Using tools like Referral Management and Care Orchestration allows organizations to streamline patient workflows. This helps them serve more patients without having to expand or increase costs. 

 

Increased Profit: Perhaps the greatest benefit for organizations is the ability to increase clinical profits. Efficient software solutions help organizations identify and eliminate inefficient practices. At the same time, solutions like RPM provide additional revenue streams for clinics with little additional cost. While Interoperable solutions may incur an initial cost, effective development and use of the product will have a positive impact in the long run.

Talk to us to understand more about the advancements in the healthcare industry and we will guide you to achieve our common goal “Quality Care for All” seamlessly.

How Patient Rooming Checklists Streamline the Patient Care Journey

Patient Rooming is the process where nurses greet and familiarize patients with their clinical surroundings before transitioning the responsibility of care to physicians or other health professionals. It is an integral part of the care journey as patients can address any pressing concerns before their doctor or specialist arrives. Despite this, many clinics fail to maximize the patient experience of the rooming process. Long wait times, inefficient use of staff, and the lack of centralized patient records are the primary issues that clinics face when rooming patients. Smart Rooming Checklists can prevent these issues by simplifying the rooming process for patients and nurses.

Pre-Rooming Preparation in healthcare

What are Smart Rooming Checklists?

Smart Rooming Checklists remind Medical Assistants to perform important tasks related to the Rooming of each patient. They contain three sections: Pre-Rooming, Rooming, and the Handoff. Pre-Rooming involves any preparation work that assistants must take part in before the patient arrives. Rooming is the most important section as it requires assistants to greet patients and address any concerns. Finally, the Handoff is when the assistant briefs the physician on any important information in relation to the patient. Each of these sections contains many subsections that detail individual tasks that the assistant is responsible for.   

Pre-Rooming Preparation

The first section of the checklist is the Pre-Rooming preparation. This part involves any tasks that the medical assistant would need to perform before meeting with the patient. The medical assistant would start off by Reviewing the Patient’s Medical History. This helps the assistant understand their existing conditions and treatment plan. After this, assistants would review the patient’s recent test/screening results. To finish off the preparation, assistants would take note of any additional relevant information. This could include feedback from past visits. The objective of pre-visit preparation is for assistants to be proactive about the questions or concerns the patients may have. By planning for these in advance, assistants can save time and generate better responses while rooming the patient. Once this section of the checklist is complete, the assistant can approach the patient and begin the formal rooming process. 

Rooming

The Rooming section is the most important portion of the checklist as it highlights the tasks that must be completed when interacting with the patient. To maximize rooming efficiency, assistants must ensure that the time from Patient Introduction to the Handoff is minimized without compromising on quality. Assistants can refer to their pre-visit research to streamline this process. Here are the common steps involved in Patient Rooming:

  • Patient Introduction: Greet the patient in the waiting room and lead them to the appointment room. Ensure that you are engaging with the patient in a warm and welcoming fashion.
  • Inquire About Appointment Objective: In a kind and compassionate manner, inquire about the patient’s objective of the appointment. Understand why they are there and what they seek to accomplish from the visit. Identify the most high-priority health concerns. 
  • Update Health Records: Add any new conditions or symptoms to the patient’s health record. Be sure that any recent tests or screenings have been indicated on the record.  
  • Address Patient Questions: Encourage patients to be open about any concerns they have about their treatment or condition. Inform the physician of any questions that are relevant to the appointment. 
  • Conduct Patient Screening: Screen the patient using standard protocol to determine any tests or procedures that they will need to undergo. Prepare the patient for any tests that the physician will be performing and if necessary provide them with the appropriate protective gear.

The Handoff

The Handoff occurs when the responsibility of care is transferred from the assistant to the physician. This occurs directly after the Rooming process is complete. Just before the handoff, assistants must take note of the most important takeaways from the Preparation and Rooming process. This can include reaction to treatment, recent test results, or any new concerns. They must then articulate this to the physician in a very direct and brief manner. Once the Handoff is complete, the rooming process is officially over. 

Why are Checklists Important?

Smart Rooming checklists can help medical assistants perform their everyday activities in a more efficient manner. By tracking every step of the rooming process, assistants can make sure they don’t forget important tasks. Using this guide will also help them tend to patients faster, which in turn means the clinic can serve more patients and maximize revenue.  

Talk to us to understand more about the advancements in the healthcare industry and we will guide you to achieve our common goal “Quality Care for All” seamlessly.

Why Interoperability is Crucial in Healthcare Operations

Healthcare Interoperability involves the use of many complex systems and information technology (IT) to exchange and interpret health-based data. It has been a key aspect of the extensive shift towards computerizing the healthcare industry. As of 2019, a fundamental level of interoperability has been achieved by roughly 75% of healthcare providers in the US. The ability to transfer data from one health system to another becomes quite challenging when acknowledging the differences in technological platforms. The main objective of Interoperability is to ensure a smooth exchange of data across various systems. 

Interoperability and COVID-19

The COVID-19 Pandemic has exposed the need for better interoperability in the healthcare industry. The Pandemic has resulted in a significant uptick in the transfer of patient data. This data is crucial for public health officials as it includes testing results, pre-existing conditions, and potential hotspots. Interoperability would allow county and state officials to identify and assist clinics with shortages in essential resources like staff, beds, or ventilators. Without a clean exchange, lots of patient data could slip through the cracks, leaving public officials and health administrators with inaccurate or insufficient information. The inability to make well-informed decisions could impede health officials from containing the spread of the virus. This data must also be shared between clinics, health systems, and insurance providers to determine the scale and responsibility of payment. The lack of a robustly interoperable platform could cost millions to both healthcare organizations and their patients. 

Levels of Interoperability in healthcare

Despite exposing a weakness with existing practices, the Pandemic could actually be beneficial for the future of healthcare interoperability. COVID-19 has allowed healthcare providers to address the inefficiencies that plague their existing practices. Many health organizations across the country are fast-tracking the rate at which they establish interoperable systems. By adapting on the run, these providers are positioning themselves for optimal performance during the pandemic while investing in their long-term sustainability. 

Levels of Interoperability

Different health systems possess varying levels of interoperability that depend on their size, scale, and complexity.  

  • Foundational Interoperability: The most basic level involves a health system that can send and receive data from another system. It is ideal for smaller systems that need basic interoperability functions. 
  • Structural Interoperability: An intermediate level which allows health systems to exchange data and interpret information with certain limitations. This level is useful for systems that are expanding. 
  • Semantic Interoperability: The most complex level where data can be exchanged across multiple platforms and interpreted without limitations. This level is ideal for large health systems with complex and multidimensional data transfers. 

Key Benefits

Emphasis on Efficiency

Interoperability allows organizations to prioritize operational efficiency. The speed at which providers and patients can access Electronic Health Records (EHRs) greatly cuts down on the time spent on each patient without compromising on quality. This allows providers to care for more patients and increase clinical revenue. Easily accessible health records also let health professionals understand the patient before they even meet. Care providers can anticipate the issues the patient might be having and prepare a treatment plan ahead of time. Most notably, Interoperability decreases the burden on Administrative staff by streamlining the data exchange process. 

Enhanced Patient Experience

Patients can expect higher quality care due to a faster and more insightful care journey. Digitizing the care journey eliminates unnecessary paperwork which is inconvenient for patients and time consuming for staff. In the case of referrals, the emergence of EHRs helps smoothen the transition of care between physicians and specialists. With a comprehensive summary of the patient’s health history, care providers are able to treat and diagnose patients with greater efficiency. 

Deeper Understanding of Healthcare

Healthcare Interoperability involves large amounts of valuable health-related data which can be extremely useful in multiple ways. Patient data can help scientists and researchers understand more about general and demographic health trends. In a pandemic situation, this data can be used to create an organized and systematic response which increases the likelihood of containment. In addition, patient data can be used in the trial stages of potential vaccines. From a holistic standpoint, interoperability can help public health officials gain insight into the condition of the industry.  

Talk to us to understand more about the advancements in the healthcare industry and we will guide you to achieve our common goal “Quality Care for All” seamlessly.