FierceHealthcare: 8 Ways Technology Plays a Vital Role in Value-Based Healthcare
The U.S. healthcare system’s transition from fee-for-service
to value-based payments has been a massive change for nearly all healthcare
organizations. This has led many hospitals to shut their doors and others to
seek partnerships with larger healthcare organizations in order to survive. At
the same time, clinician shortages and burnout add additional stress and
financial burdens to organizations already struggling.
Hospitals and other facilities are increasingly seeking
creative solutions that will allow them to reduce costs, provide better patient
care, improve workflow efficiency and retain physicians and nurses. Technology
and data can play a big role in helping healthcare organizations overcome the
challenges of moving from a volume to value mindset and holding onto staff
hospitals today don’t have insight into what’s happening at the
bedside because they’re missing the critical data around those visits. Clinical
intervention data has been invisible in the past but thanks to today’s Internet
of Things (IoT), this data is now available. When captured and used properly, clinical intervention data can reduce costs and drive
profits, increase patient satisfaction, improve workflows and efficiencies, and
positively impact staff retention. Here’s what’s possible:
- Improve the patient experience by measuring
provider visits. Do you know how often clinicians in your hospital visit
patients under their care? Do you know which factors cause patients to get
checked on less frequently? Does the day of the week or the time of day matter?
This data is now available so leadership can view patterns in checking on
patients…or failing to do so.
- Reduce falls by measuring nurse rounding.
Many organizations have policies related to how frequently providers are
supposed to interact with patients. It’s one thing to make policies, but can
you really tell if your nurses are checking on each patient once per hour?
Previously, this was unknown, but now managers can see how regularly patients
are being cared for, especially those that present a fall risk.
- Increase patient satisfaction of those in
isolation. According to our data, on average, typical patients are visited
by clinicians 3.3 times more often than those in isolation, and 4.2 times more
often than patients suffering from C. diff. Hospitals can now view this
data for their facility and take steps to ensure that the sickest patients are
getting the care they need, ultimately leading to higher satisfaction.
- Address shift fatigue. We have found a
predictable pattern throughout a shift related to the frequency with which providers
check on their patients. For example, during day shifts, there’s a noticeable
dip between noon and 4:00 pm. With this data in hand, healthcare organizations
can address shift fatigue issues.
- Decrease the cost of treating providers
through exposure tracking. When a patient tests positive for TB or another
highly contagious organism after an extended hospitalization, the standard has
been to prophylactically treat every provider on that unit. Now, with clinical
intervention data, hospitals can see which providers were in that patient’s
room, and how often, drastically reducing the number of healthcare workers that
need to be treated or tested.
- Reduce healthcare-associated infections
(HAIs) by increasing hand hygiene. Technology can measure whether or not
clinicians are cleaning their hands every time they enter or exit a patient’s
room, and some solutions can remind them to sanitize when they forget. This can
reduce HAIs by an average of over 66 percent, saving the typical hospital
millions of dollars a year.
- Identify infection sources with contact
tracing. If HAIs start to spread, healthcare organizations need to act
fast. IOT data can help identify whether the patient acquired the infection at
the hospital or in the community prior to admittance. Perhaps more importantly,
it can provide insight into why the infections are spreading so healthcare
organizations can roll-out targeted interventions to stop the problem.
- Improve workflow efficiencies by solving
previously unseen bottlenecks. When hospital leadership is able to analyze
clinical intervention data, outliers can be easily identified to suggest
workflow improvements that can make the entire organization run more smoothly.
During these challenging times for healthcare organizations, technology can offer innovative ways to reduce costs, improve efficiency and retain staff. There’s no longer a reason to remain in the dark on what’s happening hour by hour, clinician by clinician and patient room by patient room.
To read the original article in Fierce Healthcare, click here.
Chris Hermann, Founder and CEO of Clean Hands-Safe Hands,
has a PhD in Bioengineering, an
MS in Mechanical Engineering, and a BS in Biomedical Engineering with High
Honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an MD from Emory School of