Bridging the digital and physical divide in hospitals

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No healthcare executive can safely ignore the changes brought by digital technologies to nearly every touchpoint of the consumer journey. Patients and consumers now blend their digital and physical worlds so tightly together they can’t comprehend why hospitals and healthcare systems haven’t done the same. While our industry has examined at length the issue of EHRs and online patient portals in recent years, there have been noticeably fewer discussions and slower movement around digital-physical fusion.

Look no further than the waiting rooms and hallways of nearly every hospital in America for evidence of the digital-physical divide. Everywhere you look, caregivers are Googling symptoms and conditions on their smartphones, checking their bank accounts and keeping loved ones updated through text and email. And yet, clinicians and nurses still rush around with pagers in hand, relics from another era, unable to communicate as rapidly or effectively as their own patients and their patients’ loved ones.

Some experts claim that technology has rendered the idea of sustainable competitive advantage dead in the water. Technology now changes so rapidly that organizations must be able to move quickly from one wave of opportunity to the next just to keep up with consumer expectations. The problem with this approach is that a hospital or healthcare system may end up pouring resources into risky systems and tools that have no competitive edge or scalability, when there is fundamental room for improvement in the digital-physical space, as the example of nurses using outdated pagers and alarms for communication clearly shows. The lack of digital-physical fusion in this case effects everything from quality of care and error rates to staff retention and nurse burnout.

Building your growth strategy around digital-physical opportunities that mitigate these points of friction in the patient experience can be your hospital’s competitive edge. It all starts with bringing your team’s communication capabilities into the 21st century.

There is no better way to generate revenue to fund continued evolution and build the digital capabilities essential to future success than by starting with communication. Begin by implementing communication technology that uses mobile devices and real-time alerts rather than pagers, noisy patient alarms and high stakes guesswork. Empower your nurse team with automated reminders, alarms and streamlined communication in the palm of their hands.

We understand the greatest barrier to adopting digital-physical solutions like Amplion is not always doubt about their promise. More often, it’s inexperience with execution or simply not knowing where to start. Healthcare executives are intrigued by new technology and understand its potential but are uncertain how it will fit into their existing system, and more importantly, how it will be received by their clinical staff on the physical side of things.

That is why we embrace high-touch support that makes it easy and cost-effective for our hospital clients to stay on the cutting edge of digital-physical fusion. Just ask our client Beth O’Neill, Chief Nursing Officer at Morgan Memorial Hospital:

“We’re simply over the moon with Amplion Alert. We brag about it at every opportunity. It’s been transformational.”

We worked onsite with Beth’s team at Morgan Memorial to implement our system, and the results of this new digital-physical fusion for the hospital have been dramatic. Since launching Amplion’s nurse call technology in early 2016, MMH hasn’t had to file one report of unanswered patient requests—a frequent issue with the hospital’s former manual (and extremely noisy) legacy nurse call system. When reviewing the two most recent months of data, MMH experienced zero reported patient falls, a crucial safety metric for all hospitals.

In short order, Morgan Memorial has begun to nurture a sustainable competitive advantage by implementing communication technology that has fundamentally transformed nurse responsiveness, accountability, and patient safety.

Bridging the physical and digital promises to transform nearly every element of healthcare and care delivery. We encourage you to view your hospital through this digital-physical lens and embrace communication as the bridge to digital transformation. 

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Topics: Blog, Real-Time Technology, Nurse Call

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