Picture this scenario: It’s time to upgrade your hospital’s nurse call system. First, you research and select a vendor, then schedule installation, training and Go Live. That’s it, right? Not if you want to take advantage of new technologies available in next generation nurse call communications systems.
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and shift toward a value-based reimbursement model, hospitals and healthcare organizations are seeking innovative ways to lower costs, provide higher-quality care and improve efficiency. And that’s why hospital leadership is increasingly looking to technology as a means to streamline care and increase productivity.
Not all heroes wear capes—some wear scrubs and a stethoscope. It’s no secret that nurses are superheroes, juggling a multitude of life-saving duties during every shift without breaking a sweat. Not only do they perform physical exams, talk to patients about medical histories and health education, and administer medications, but they also coordinate care with other medical professionals, comfort grieving family members, and reassure scared patients.
Technological innovation is accelerating at a rapid pace for hospitals, especially when it comes to digital health. Investment in digital health startups brought in a record $4.7 billion into the healthcare industry in 2017—and is set to grow even more this year. With hospitals under growing pressure to cut costs while delivering more affordable, higher quality care, more providers are leaning on data-driven technology to improve operational efficiency and clinical workflows, as well as interaction and engagement with patients. This technology is being integrated into care delivery, and it’s creating value for patients who increasingly expect the same convenience and experiences from healthcare providers, that they get from other industries.
Adopting new technology doesn’t come without risks, but it can lead to tremendous financial and clinical benefits for healthcare organizations by improving insights, simplifying communication and care coordination, and putting patients at the center of their care, as we explored in our previous post on the promise of disruptive technology and big data for hospitals.
Managing a hospital successfully can seem overwhelming in today’s changing operating environment. Providers must accept a larger share of financial risk for the outcomes they deliver, and patients are becoming savvier about their healthcare choices.
Rising to those challenges requires hospitals to break down the technological silos where clinical information gets stuck and can’t be shared across healthcare IT systems throughout the organization. Breaking these silos down—achieving interoperability—requires hospitals to get their systems and applications talking to one another, so they can exchange data in meaningful ways and use those insights to make the best care decisions.
From medical devices at the bedside to care collaboration and patient communication systems such as nurse call, hospitals need technologies with interoperable, open platforms that share information and insights in real time. That means they must look beyond the limitations of existing, outdated UL standards, which many use to measure the success of their healthcare IT systems. Simply complying with UL standards was sufficient when a nurse call system consisted of a light above the patient’s door and a bell at the nurse station. But with today’s healthcare demands, hospitals need a system that shares data, so nurses can efficiently manage growing patient loads and administrators can track the flow and delivery of care floor by floor.
Fortunately, an emerging set of technologies are capable of helping hospitals access, exchange and use point-of-care data more effectively across the patient journey. Gartner calls this group of technologies the Real-Time Health System (RTHS). RTHS technologies break down traditional barriers to sharing, analyzing and using information. Combining advancements in nurse call, clinical communication and collaboration, interactive patient care, and alarm management, these technologies leverage data, analytics and real-time communication tools, including mobile platforms, to improve the consistency and quality of care.
The Amplion Alert platform uses the best features of the RTHS to take patient care to the next level. While nurses deliver care to patients, the platform collects data at the bedside and flows the information into an integrated reporting and analytics portal that provides administrators with colorful, visualized reports. These insights give hospitals the information they need to better manage clinical teams, improve accountability across departments, and close communication and care loops with patients. Not only can hospitals use this information to enhance patient care and satisfaction, but they can also gain visibility to control labor costs and maximize reimbursements to drive better business results.
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.
Nurses pour so much of their passion and energy into caring for patients that it’s easy for the daily stresses and demands of the job to take a toll. What can hospitals do to alleviate nurse burnout and give nurses a helping hand with their ever-expanding patient care duties?
Real-time Health System (RTHS) technologies like our next-generation nurse call system can step into the gap, improving patient and staff communication while also delivering valuable real-time data and analytics to help balance workloads and alarm fatigue that lead to staff burnout.
Keeping healthcare technology up-to-date in hospitals is necessary to expand services, cut costs, recruit the best medical talent, and improve clinical workflows as well as patient outcomes and experience. But determining the best purchasing processes for these crucial tech tools is one of the most challenging decisions hospital leaders face.
Amplion will join thousands of nurses in Baltimore this week for the annual American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) conference. To mark the founding of the organization in 1967, this year’s conference will celebrate 50 years of inspiring nursing leaders and providing nurses with leadership training, professional development and research to help them excel. Not only does the event allow nurses to connect with colleagues across the country, but it also gives them a chance to glimpse the latest technological innovations in the field—including our next-generation nurse call system, which we will be exhibiting there.