Key Themes From HIMSS 2018

Posted by Sherry Henricks, MBA RRT on March 16, 2018

HIMSS18_blog graphic-2.jpgThe Amplion team enjoyed the chance to exhibit and present in the Innovation Zone at the 2018 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition, which wrapped up last week in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference—with the theme of “Where the World Connects for Health”—attracted 45,000 health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from around the world for five days of education, networking and health IT product demonstrations.

The Benefits of Real-Time Health Data

Obviously, one of the highlights of the conference for us was the Innovation Live Theater session on Tuesday, March 6 called “Real-Time Is Here: Don’t Be Left Behind” by Amplion President and CEO Frank Grant. Grant discussed how harnessing point-of-care data can help monitor, manage and nurture an exceptional patient experience—and even yield higher Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores and lower costs.

As hospitals move toward the adoption of Real-Time Health Systems (RTHS), the real-time health data that it yields can help the staffing process by assigning nurses to patient rooms based on demand rather than acuity, helping to balance workload and avoiding burnout. Such a system also breaks down data silos, making information flow when and how you want it to flow. "Speed, time and competition compresses the need for real-time health system,” Grant remarked in his talk. “The smarter use of point-of-care data not only increases a hospital’s visibility into its time and resource spend now rather than later, but it also allows the facility to be proactive and anticipate upcoming challenges and opportunities.”

Other Key Themes

Our team also attended educational sessions on topics such as the importance of healthcare data analytics and visualization, machine learning and artificial intelligence, population health and precision medicine. Seema Verma of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator, announced new initiatives for interoperability and promised an overhaul of the meaningful use program and its guidelines for electronic health record technology. Surprise guest Jared Kushner, director of The White House Office of American Innovation, spoke broadly about a plan for greater interoperability for all Americans.

In addition, a few key themes stood out throughout the conference:

Elevating the patient experience. With the shift to value-based care emphasizing patient satisfaction measures like HCAHPS—not to mention social media sites such as Healthgrades and Yelp capturing patient reviews—hospital systems are working to deliver better patient experiences that differentiate themselves from the pack, build customer loyalty and drive profitability. Leaders from Dignity Health, a large San Francisco-based health system, and startup Docent Health, described how they were elevating the patient experience for their maternity patients by connecting them with empathic, service-oriented professionals dubbed docents. Docents contact the patient throughout the pregnancy journey to educate them on their benefits, help them get access to prenatal education resources and services, and answer questions. Emphasizing a human/technology combo, the hospital analyzes data from patient surveys and electronic health records to anticipate these patients’ needs and preferences. The results have been promising: Last year, the system earned an 80th percentile in HCAHPS overall rating, up from 65th percentile from the previous year. According to Candice Monge, chief nurse executive officer at Marian Regional Health Center, the increased engagement not only builds patients’ trust, but also likely helps clinicians intervene sooner.

Realizing the benefits of applied interoperability. Peter Schoch, regional vice president of value based care and payment with SSM Health at the time of his HIMSS18 presentation, discussed how a multi-pronged applied interoperability project helped his system develop a meaningfully connected community of care. The outcomes of the medication reconciliation phase of the project were impressive: Reported errors went from 11 to 0 and more than 560,000 medications and 13,500 allergies were added to medical record from outside sources. The system also experienced better patient admission and intake results and saw fewer unnecessary readmissions. The results of the diabetic eye exam phase of the project were equally impressive: Improved diabetic care was seen in increased testing (89.2 to 92 percent), an increased number of patients for the system (64.6 to 69 percent) and rise in yearly eye exams (33.8 to 36.1 percent).

Standardizing clinical communication. Nick Wirth and Peter Grimaldi with New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery discussed the results of a project that synced inpatient and outpatient communication onto one platform. The project made care coordination patient-centric and standardized, phased out pagers for a big cost savings, and connected clinicians and providers with bidirectional texting. The results have been positive: Response times decreased and patient satisfaction scores increased, and sepsis and stroke/seizure protocols have been put in place. Even the accountants were happy: The budget for clinical communications was able to move from a variable to fixed cost model.

Learn more about how Amplion is advancing innovation and enhancing patient care in hospitals with our data-driven nurse call Care Assurance Platform that is forever changing what nurse call can and should do.

Topics: Blog, Amplion News & Events

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