Hospital leaders are inundated with data that could potentially improve patient care, but outdated technologies, technological silos and the lack of interoperability between healthcare IT systems make efforts to tap into this insight fragmented and inefficient. Actually using this data to communicate, coordinate care and improve patient outcomes is a daunting task for clinicians and C-suite executives. As the healthcare industry makes the shift to value-based care, where reimbursement is directly tied to the quality of patient care, hospitals must overcome this hurdle so they can be more proactive about managing their patient populations.
Fortunately, there is a new set of technologies that may be the ticket to helping hospitals and healthcare systems share, analyze and use data more effectively and efficiently. Gartner calls this set of technologies the Real-time Health System (RTHS). These technologies help put the most current data at the fingertips of doctors, nurses and administrators.
Our newest eBook, Real Time or Left Behind?, explores the momentum behind the RTHS trend and offers insights from industry leaders on how hospitals can adopt it and thrive in the new age of real-time health data. Here are three ways executives can use RTHS technology to drive better outcomes and business results for their hospitals.
1. RTHS Technologies Improve the Patient Experience
Patients can use their smartphones to pay for a cup of coffee, monitor their stock portfolios and update their social media statuses. They expect medical technology to be as current and up-to-date as the technology they use on a daily basis. They want treatment plans, prescriptions and billing information to be easily accessible and available to them online or through their apps.
Hospitals can take advantage of this shift and use real-time, actionable data collected by RTHS technologies to better understand where problems lie in the patient experience. While hospitals “can’t fix every little problem, we can zero in on the things that matter,” Dr. James Merino, former chief experience officer at the Cleveland Clinic, writes in this Health Catalyst post. “And the only way to know how to zero in on what matters is by looking at the data.”
Hospitals can also use data from RTHS technologies to improve communication between staff members, engage patients and their family members, and provide more consistent, high-quality care. A better patient experience leads to higher HCAHPS scores, which, in turn, result in more hospital reimbursements, a better community reputation and increased business.
2. RTHS Technologies Boost Productivity
RTHS technologies not only improve patient-staff communication, but they are also capable of delivering real-time data and analytics to help hospitals improve staff responsiveness and performance, manage workflow, balance workloads and prevent safety issues that can cost hospitals millions of dollars. These technologies enable hospitals to close the loop on care, making care teams more productive, keeping patients safer and more satisfied, and making hospitals more profitable.
RTHS technologies can also help streamline processes. Take nurse call, for example. Traditional nurse call systems—a complicated system of wiring with limited reporting capabilities—dates back to technology from the 1970s. Next-generation nurse call systems like the Amplion Alert platform allows users to report data related to the patient and the nursing staff’s response. Using smart technology, our system helps reduce alarm fatigue and increase productivity by reconfiguring the dome light so it supports a variety of alarm signals and automatically assesses the status and urgency of patient needs.
3. RTHS Technologies Reduce Costly Never Events
RTHS technologies can help hospitals alleviate two of the most expensive and preventable care-related never events: pressure ulcers and falls. Between 700,000–1 million patients fall in hospitals each year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Falls can result in serious injuries such as fractures, lacerations or internal bleeding, which may add nearly a week to the average hospital stay and more than $13,000 in additional care, according to The Joint Commission. Pressure ulcers are even more costly, incurring about $20,00–$151,700 in costs per patient, reports the AHRQ, and causing more than 60,000 patient deaths each year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services prevents reimbursements for these events, so hospitals must shoulder the costs themselves.
RTHS technologies can help caregivers institute more purposeful rounding so patients become used to regular visits from nurses and are more likely to wait for their help than to try to do things on their own. By automating notifications for rounding, hospitals can prevent falls and make sure that patients susceptible to pressure ulcers are turned routinely. Amplion Alert’s platform, for example, sends nurses automated reminders to do hourly rounding and includes display screens that track which rooms throughout the unit are overdue for rounds. Nurses also receive alerts each time a call bell, chair alarm or bed pad alarm goes off. If alerts are rejected, messages are routed to another staff member until someone responds.
How Amplion Can Help
Our care assurance platform at Amplion combines the best features of the Real-time Health System, including advanced clinical communication and collaboration, interactive patient care, alarm management and next-generation nurse call, in a single-source, integrated solution. Our platform also offers mobile device support, messaging and real-time data, reporting and analytics to increase accessibility, visibility and accountability for care teams.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation with us and download our eBook for an in-depth look at how your hospital can apply RTHS technologies and harness point-of-care data to take your patient care to the next level.