Healthcare is going through its own digital transformation. New technology, such as wearables, telemedicine and IoT connectivity is making its way into hospitals, clinics and care homes. It is aimed at optimizing care pathways to reduce average hospital stays and improve patient welfare. But without the right infrastructure in place to support new devices and applications working on the front-line of healthcare, the limitations of existing systems will hinder technology adoption and the weaknesses in security will be laid bare – as has been shown by recent attacks on the National Health Service in the U.Kand data breaches in the U.S.
Reach beyond hospital borders for better healthcare outcomes
Healthcare providers are not immune from the rise in patient expectations when it comes to technology. Patients now have access to a wide range of medical information online and are accustomed to digital services and connectivity. The challenge for many healthcare providers today is to meet these digital service expectations while using enhanced connectivity to promote better health outcomes.
The answer lies in using technology to develop an optimized care pathway – one that reaches right across the healthcare ecosystem for a continuum of care. This means connecting with patients outside hospital or clinic boundaries through fast-response contact centers, automated patient reminders to cut down missed appointments, video diagnoses and remote monitoring or health tracking.
Connecting staff and devices to the Internet of Healthcare Things
On-site, any care pathway must presume the default mode of connecting most devices on the network is going to be wireless. User devices such as workstations on wheels, tablets and smartphones, and clinical devices such as mobile image capture, infusion pumps and location tags all rely on being mobile and connected to the network.
Caregivers can’t be in two places at once, but with the right applications and tools, nurses can monitor wards and patient events 24/7. Simplified bedside voice and text communications or integrated notification and alarm systems can send information straight to caregivers’ workstations or mobile devices meaning round-the-clock care, at the desk or on the move.
Clinicians can access EMRs at the bedside or easily connect and collaborate with colleagues without having to return to their desks. Not only does this save caregivers valuable time, it also streamlines patient care by communicating crucial clinical information to team members, regardless of location.
Connecting departments and staff with enterprise-grade, mobile collaboration will be as important as reliable IoT connectivity and is central to properly supporting multidisciplinary healthcare and optimizing staff’s time and workflows.
Continuing PART 2 …..
Nicole Hill leads the Healthcare division at global networking and communications provider, ALE, and has a goal – to make everyone and everything connect. Connecting patients for a better hospital experience, connecting healthcare professionals to ensure continuity of care and access to patient data, and connecting healthcare facilities to harness the power of the Internet of Things. Here she explains that healthcare is entering a second wave of digitization which moves beyond electronic medical records (EMRs) with technology that touches every step of the patient journey. Now is the time to capitalize on these by creating a strategy for the digital transformation of healthcare providers.