Tag Archives: healthcare

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.

Innovative RPM Developments that will revolutionize Care Delivery

The efficiency and effectiveness of Remote Physiological Monitoring (RPM) has allowed it to emerge as a popular practice in the healthcare industry. RPM has greatly increased the accessibility of healthcare, especially for chronic care patients. It has also allowed care providers to increase their revenue through the CPT reimbursement codes. The industry shift towards a patient-centric, Value-Based Model has allowed for sustained growth for RPM devices in the market. The current innovations in RPM devices have the opportunity to reshape the overall Patient experience. 

Remote Surgery Robots

How COVID-19 is accelerating RPM growth

The COVID-19 Pandemic has expedited the large-scale adoption of RPM. As health centers across the world focus on treating COVID-19, patients with other conditions have been encouraged or instructed to avoid health facilities. This has caused a large deficiency in the transfer of care. This disproportionately affects small clinics that need periodic cash flow and chronic care patients who require frequent clinic visits. RPM devices allow patients to bypass the restrictions by monitoring their health conditions from home. These machines help patients and providers stay up to date with their care plan progress. It also allows clinics to recover some of their lost revenue due to the pandemic. Moving forward, it appears that RPM will increasingly become an integral part of care delivery. 

Robot Assistants

The prospect of robotic devices has long been entertained in the healthcare industry. Developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in the past decade have made a future with these devices more realistic. Acting as a personal assistant to long-term patients is one way that robots could make their way into mainstream healthcare. Many patients with chronic conditions require periodic monitoring and extended hospital stays. Robot Assistants could track the vitals of the patients and input the results into the patient’s Electronic Health Record (EHR). These machines would be especially beneficial to patients at rural or undermanned health clinics. It is at such places where Robot Assistants would significantly enhance the quality of care without replacing a human. A significant issue associated with Robot assistants are liability/legal concerns. Should any issues arise while the patient is under the robot’s care, it is unclear who would be responsible. 

Remote Surgery Robots

A more complicated manner in which Robots can enter the industry is through Remote Surgery. These machines can assist surgeons by simplifying complex procedures in ways that are not humanly possible. For example, they can use AI or ML to improve the accuracy of existing practices. Another benefit of Remote Surgery is the opportunity for long-distance procedures. An advanced Remote Surgery Robot could allow for a surgeon to perform on a patient thousands of miles away. The primary hurdle facing Robot devices involve high development and operational costs. Both the software and hardware of these machines are extremely intricate in nature. If this concern is addressed, Robots could become a cornerstone of modern healthcare.

Wearable Devices

Wearable RPM devices are already in common use by chronic care patients across the country. In a more loosely defined manner, fitness and smartwatches can also be considered as they perform many similar tasks as a medical RPM device. In this sense, over 20% of Americans already use one of these wearable devices. The main reason wearable RPM devices have yet to take off is the lack of multi-use devices. While a smartwatch has multiple functions, many medical RPM devices have very specific uses. This causes many patients to shy away from making a financial commitment to these products. An example of how this issue can be solved is exemplified in DexCom’s partnership with Apple. DexCom is using the Apple Watch as a platform for people to access their Glucose monitoring products. By using an established, multi-dimensional platform, DexCom is able to generate a larger outreach. A breakthrough in wearable RPM devices would greatly benefit patients with diabetes or cardiovascular issues. A device that they could wear around the clock would provide medical professionals with the data to better understand their condition. 

Future of RPM

The RPM market has significant potential for growth in the upcoming decades. The shift towards a more patient-centric focus has resulted in a positive outlook for future RPM development. Advancements in the overall quality and scale of RPM devices can transform the Patient Care Journey of tomorrow. 

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Improving Patient Experience through Patient Smart Rooming

The Traditional Patient Care Journey is an inherently time and resource inefficient process. Many patients dread clinical visits due to long and uncomfortable wait times. For clinics, this improper use of staff and money results in increased costs and lost revenue. However, a centralized planning system that streamlines the patient workflow could transform the Care Journey. This is where Patient Smart Rooming can emerge as an efficient tool for streamlining the patient journey. Before diving into this innovative solution, it is important to understand the Patient Rooming process. 

Pre-Visit Preparation

Before engaging with the patient, it is important for the medical assistant to understand more about them. Medical Assistants can use a pre-visit checklist to prepare for the appointment by learning more about the patient’s medical history. Assistants should review the patients’ current condition, treatment plan, and feedback from past visits. Previous test/screening results should be readily available for the physician to observe. Ensure that any age or condition-specific tests, screenings, and immunizations are up to date. 

By preparing for the patient prior to the visits, medical assistants can be proactive about what they may be facing during the rooming process. They better anticipate any patient questions/concerns and prepare accordingly. This also allows them to share any glaring concerns with the patient and physician. A Pre-Visit checklist can also save time by identifying areas of concern before the patient even arrives. After completing this checklist, the assistant can approach the patient and begin the rooming process. 

Patient Rooming Tasks

Efficient Patient Rooming requires the medical assistant to perform a variety of tasks. 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.
  • Briefing The Physician: After collecting all the required details from the patient, be able to summarize this information to the physician. Highlight any glaring issues from the health record or any urgent patient concerns.

The Rooming process ends when the Medical Assistant transfers the responsibility of care to the physician. An efficient exchange of care means minimizing time without compromising on the quality of care.

Characteristics of Patient Smart Rooming

Patient Smart Rooming has risen from the increasing acceptance of Value-Based Care. This shift emphasizes the importance of patient outcomes as opposed to the purely profit-based “fee-for-service” outlook. Patient Smart Rooming can increase the convenience of care and subsequently enhance patient satisfaction. 

  • Centralized Platform: An all-inclusive software platform that has relevant data at readily available.
  • Pre-Visit Checklist: Acts as a guide for what Medical Assistants should cover in the rooming process.
  • Access to EMR/EHR: Informs the Assistants about the patient’s existing conditions or previous tests/procedures.

How Patient Smart Rooming Streamlines the Care Journey

Due to the many different steps involved, Patient Rooming is often a long and tedious process for both patients and care providers. HealthViewX’s Patient Smart Rooming software provides clinics the opportunity to digitize the entire care journey. By utilizing a centralized software, care providers can access any important patient information on one platform. This tool also allows clinics to track valuable data like wait/rooming times or availability of assistants. This allows clinics to identify inefficiencies in their practice by tracking every step of the patient journey. 

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.