Technology has long been shaking up the status quo for industries like banking, retail, transportation, hospitality and more. We use our smartphones to pay bills, make purchases, get directions, schedule flights and find places to stay when traveling. We can stream favorite music, movies and TV shows on to our tablets and monitor our home security systems from our mobile devices.
But healthcare tends to lag behind other industries when it comes to adopting integrated technologies. Many healthcare systems rely on medical devices, software and technologies that don’t communicate with each other or share data easily, limiting the functionality of these tools and making it more difficult for clinicians to deliver the highest quality of patient care.
With the industry rapidly moving from fee-for-service to value-based payment models, the needs for these technologies are starting to change. Hospitals face mounting pressure to deliver better, safer care at a lower cost, while also managing tight budgets and the growing demands of today’s tech-savvy consumers. Patient experience and outcomes matter more than ever before—and that’s where technologies that disrupt and transform how care is traditionally delivered can help hospital adapt.
Our hometown of Nashville—where hospitals make up the heart of the city’s $40 billion healthcare industry—is a hot spot for these innovative technologies. At Amplion, we see ourselves as a healthcare technology disruptor, and we were thrilled to be part of a panel discussion last week on how disruptive healthcare technologies are transforming traditional care delivery at the Nashville Business Journal’s Health Care of the Future event. The panel featured industry leaders like Charlie Martin, a former hospital executive and founder of healthcare tech investment firm Martin Ventures; Jeffery Balser, president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Jonathan Perlin, clinical services and chief medical officer for HCA Healthcare; and Paul Ketchel, founder and CEO of online healthcare marketplace MDsave.
Courtesy of the Nashville Business Journal and Nathan Morgan
Disruption often has a negative connotation in healthcare, but disruptive technologies can be a positive force for helping hospitals deliver care more effectively and efficiently. Here are a few of our takeaways from the conversation and the promise disruptive technologies hold for taking patient care, outcomes and satisfaction to the next level.
- Improving visibility and insights. Disruptive technologies that collect and analyze data in real time can give hospitals greater insight into clinical and financial operations, identify areas where more efficiency is needed and drive meaningful change. “Data can be used to detect things that clinicians can’t see,” Perlin said. Having access to more timely, detailed information about patient care can help nurses prioritize tasks better and make the best decisions for individual patients. Big data can also guide nursing managers in making the best scheduling and staffing decisions.
- Simplifying communication and care coordination. For disruptive technologies to be effective, they must fit seamlessly into the workflow and provide clinicians with easy-to-use tools and easy-to-interpret data that make their jobs easier. They also must streamline communication and make coordination between care teams care simpler, not more complicated. Inertia within healthcare systems keeps many hospitals from adopting technologies that could improve and simplify the delivery of care. That’s why the Medical Center for Interoperability—a Nashville-based nonprofit dedicated to improving data exchange between medical technologies and systems—seeks to bring providers investing in these technologies together with the vendors who are creating them, so they can collaborate on the best ways to improve communication and sharing across devices and platforms.
- Putting patients at the center of their care. Not only do disruptive technologies have potential for giving clinicians more face-to-face time to spend with patients, but they can also put care back into the hands of patients by equipping them with the insights and direction they need to make the best choices for their own health and wellness. Many patients feel like they are at the mercy of providers and insurance companies, Martin noted, but outcomes and satisfaction naturally rise when patients feel a sense of ownership and accountability for their health and the care they seek and receive. Panelists agreed that hospitals should focus less on treating sick people and more on helping people improve their health. “The time is right to make ourselves known for the number of lives we improve, not just the number of beds we manage,” HCA Healthcare CEO Milton Johnson said at the event.