Author Archives: Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

The Patient Journey, Technology, and Aftercare

64895307_sAs a recap in case you missed the beginning of this series, a patient journey map has two lines.  One line is the patient’s expected level of satisfaction.  This is the base level of expectation of what they feel a normal patient experience entails.  The second line contours the experience itself.  This line typically goes up and down throughout the patient journey, many times above the level of expectation, and many times dropping below gradually, or sometimes suddenly before returning.  These are called cliffs, and many times the patient careens off of these cliffs into a ravine of dissatisfaction.

We have followed the patient from the waiting room and admissions as well as throughout their inpatient stay to see how technology may bridge the cliffs and valleys in the patient journey.  Now it’s time to look at the patient journey as it pertains to aftercare.  Ironically, the first step of aftercare actually starts in the facility itself, before the patient is discharged.

Cliff One: Discharge Instructions

You’ve been in the hospital for several days.  Many times you have been a little incoherent due to the pain medication you’ve been on.  Then an hour before you are to be discharged, a nurse comes in and gives you some verbal instructions on how to continue caring for yourself at home.  A few minutes later the doctor comes in and also gives you some instructions and they vary slightly.  Then you are asked to sign some papers saying that you have been advised of your responsibilities once you return home and you are handed a stack of carbon copies for future reference.  No wonder you are slightly confused about what to do.

Imagine instead that your aftercare instructions have been recorded so that they are consistent and clear.  You are given access to the videos from your in room flat panel television the day before your discharge, meaning that you can watch them at your discretion when you feel the best and most able to understand them.  Then upon your discharge, you are also given a link to the same videos on the provider’s website for future reference, in case something was unclear.  All of a sudden, the cliff created by the human element of delivering discharge instructions has been bridged by a simple technology solution, one that also keep a digital record for the provider, mitigating their liabilities as well.  This is the value of an interactive patient education system.

Cliff Two:  Follow Up Appointments

Being discharged doesn’t always mean that the patient is better.  They’re just well enough to recover at home.  Typically there are several follow-up visits to a physician after a hospital stay.  These visits typically discuss persistence of symptoms, how the patient feels, and they also evaluate the healing process.  Follow up in assuring positive patient outcomes and also in reducing costly readmissions.  However, many times these follow up appointments and tests can be tedious.  So much so that the patient is dissatisfied in having to attend them or worse, skips the follow up care altogether.  Utilizing video teleconferencing (VTC) technology for follow up visits can make them extremely convenient for both the patient and the physician and reduce the barriers to attendance.  When used in conjunction with biometric sensors given to the patient at discharge, the physician can actually collect real time data during the VTC session assuring that the course of treatment prescribed is accurate.

Patient journey mapping is the ultimate way to make sure that you are aware of your patient experience, especially the places that your patient ends up getting pushed off a virtual cliff.  Once you have isolated the cliffs, it’s time to look at the most efficient way to bridge those satisfaction gaps.  Many times, as illustrated in the last few posts, that solution can be found in the innovative technology being implemented in healthcare today.

Do you want to evaluate your technology experience?  Take our technology health assessment here.

Avidex AV is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities and doctors are delivering care. Their 20 years of experience is being leveraged to drive down the cost of care while promoting positive healthcare outcomes. Is your organization looking for a new kind of technology partner? Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn more.

Resources:

https://www.google.com/search?q=JOurney+mapping&oq=JOurney+mapping&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.3066j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

http://blog.avidex.com/creating-better-patient-outcomes-through-interactive-technology/

http://blog.avidex.com/deliver-better-care-be-more-sensor-tive/

http://blog.avidex.com/how-healthy-is-your-technology-experience/

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

The Patient Journey, Technology, and the Waiting Room

As a recap in case you missed the be21497517 - group of patients sitting in waiting room of a doctorginning of this series, a patient journey map has two lines.  One line is the patient’s expected level of satisfaction.  This is the base level of expectation of what they feel a normal patient experience entails.  The second line contours the experience itself.  This line typically goes up and down throughout the patient journey, many times above the level of expectation, and many times dropping below gradually, or sometimes suddenly before returning.  These are called cliffs, and many times the patient careens off of these cliffs into a ravine of dissatisfaction.

The patient journey through the Waiting Room can be full of these cliffs.  However, through the use of some innovative healthcare technology, those valleys can be bridges, assuring increased patient satisfaction. Cliff One: Wait Times Ask anyone about their worst healthcare experience and it is almost assured that you will hear them mention wait times.  ERs across the country are overcrowded and their talented professionals are stretched to their limits daily.  There is one very simple piece of technology that can make a huge dent in wait times and that is video teleconferencing, (VTC). Video teleconferencing can be implemented in a couple ways to relieve ERs, Urgent Care facilities, and even PCP offices of overcrowded waiting rooms. The first way is to utilize VTC is to utilize it in lieu of an in person visit.  Facilities that have VTC can set up hotlines for patients considering coming into the facility to call beforehand, potentially allowing them to receive the care they need remotely.  Given that an increasing amount of visits to the ER and Urgent care are actually not emergencies or even urgent, this would help relieve a large part of the burden.  A licensed provider can make themselves available to discuss symptoms while looking up the patient’s health history via electronic health records, to potentially deliver treatment remotely and call in prescriptions, etc if appropriate. The second way to use VTC is for patients to utilize it in the facility itself.  For those coming into the ER or Urgent Care facilities, upon check-in they may be offered a remote visit with a physician depending on the severity of their symptoms.  In this case they would be offered a private room where a VTC system would be utilized to talk to a physician remotely from the ER itself, decreasing the patient’s wait time as well as keeping physician resources and exam rooms free for patients who do have emergencies, decreasing their wait times as well.  Given these patients are onsite at medical facilities, remote sensors can also be used in these consultations to transmit vitals and other biometric data to the licensed professional so that they may assure accurate diagnosis and course of treatment. Cliff Two:  Referral to Specialists Many times a patient waits for hours to see a physician at the ER or Urgent Care, only to find that what is ailing them is better addressed by a specialist.  That specialist may be booked for some time depending on their particular practice, delaying the patient’s journey toward wellness and sending them off the cliff of uncertainty while awaiting that appointment.  Again, through the use of a VTC system, the facility could offer the patient a specialist referral remotely via video conference as a way to get an initial assessment of the patient’s health.  An in person appointment may still be appropriate, but the initial consultation can go a long way to put the patient’s mind at ease, giving them some idea of severity of their situation and not negatively affecting their patient journey. As a provider, these may seem like simple solutions, but the best ones typically are.  Providing the patient with a path to talk to a remote healthcare professional face to face, whether they are at home or at one of your facilities, is the best way to assure that the waiting isn’t the hardest part. Avidex AV is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities and doctors are delivering care. Their 20 years of experience is being leveraged to drive down the cost of care while promoting positive healthcare outcomes. Is your organization looking for a new kind of technology partner? Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn more. Resources: https://www.google.com/search?q=JOurney+mapping&oq=JOurney+mapping&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.3066j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 http://blog.avidex.com/the-ed-epidemic-and-what-to-do-about-it/ http://blog.avidex.com/the-wait-is-over-technology-and-the-continuum-of-care/

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

The ED Epidemic (and what to do about it)

polycom photo vid conNationwide, the epidemic of Emergency Departments (Emergency Rooms) being used as “primary care” by patients who don’t necessarily require emergency care has been on the increase for years. Although it varies from state to state, there are a number of variables that contribute to these occurrences. However, in all cases, an over-crowded ED can translate into ED physicians becoming a more limited resource. It goes without saying that any patient seeking care for a non-emergent event potentially procures the physicians’ time away from patients with potentially life threatening conditions.

Estimates vary in regards to the percentages of ED patients who actually need emergent care, with some rates as low as 30%. The trend isn’t decreasing any time soon. In fact, healthcare systems such as Scripps Health Network (San Diego) have seen up to a 160% increase in the number of emergency room visits for non-emergent care in a single year.

Something must be done–and soon–because what’s happening in California ERs is a public health crisis, and it’s happening now.” – Chris Van Gorder, CEO, Scripps Health

Van Gorder suggests that telemedicine can play a key role in reducing ED overcrowding by encouraging preventative care for the elderly. In some areas, elderly populations may not seek preventative care due to access limitations and/or logistical issues involved in seeing a physician. A recent study supports his theory.

“A three-and-a-half year study concludes that the use of “high-intensity” telemedicine at senior-living communities significantly reduces visits to emergency departments (ED).

Acute illness among senior-living community residents often leads to emergency department visits,” said Dr. Manish Shah, vice chair of research in the department of emergency medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “We found that these virtual doctors’ visits reduced the rate of emergency department use by 18 percent over the course of a year.” 

Technology can certainly play a key role in the resolution of “ED overcrowding” by not only being used as a preventative measure, but also if it utilized at the point of care during the triage process.

New York Presbyterian’s Health System is an 11-facility network and is now utilizing a telemedicine platform called NYP OnDemand. Early returns indicate that this platform is dramatically reducing patient wait-times for patients with non-life threatening and non-emergent conditions.  The process is fairly straight-forward. Patients checking into the ED for non-emergent or non-life threatening conditions have the opportunity to go into a designated room and speak to a physician via a telemedicine application.  The physician is housed in another room within the facility, but has the ability to serve multiple telemedicine exam rooms. This application also allows for these physicians to serve and triage urgent care patients in remote locations (home, etc.).  Each visit (telemedicine exam) is approximately 30 minutes (depending upon the patient’s condition) and helps reduce the number of non-emergent patients in the ED.  This not only assists with staffing efficiency, but also helps ED physicians focus more effectively on the higher acuity patients.

“It’s all about delivering care more efficiently”, said Daniel Barchi, the system’s chief information officer. “If we can create an environment where a virtual visit allows that doctor to see many patients in a really efficient model, that’s the ultimate goal,” he said.

Thus, telemedicine technology applications play a key role in facilitating greater access to preventative care and more efficient treatment of non-life threatening conditions in ED and urgent care settings.

“I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription, is more telemedicine.”

Avidex AV is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities and doctors are delivering care. Their 20 years of experience is being leveraged to drive down the cost of care while promoting positive healthcare outcomes. Is your organization looking for a new kind of technology partner? Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn more.

Resources:

#1: http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/emergency-rooms-facing-public-health-crisis.html

#2: http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/healthcare/4-ways-to-reduce-non-emergency-er-use

#3: http://www.med.wisc.edu/news-events/telemedicine-reduces-ed-visits-among-senior-living-community-residents/46498

#4: http://www.pressreader.com/usa/modern-healthcare/20170320/281724089366113

 

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

The Advantages of Telepsychiatry

Video ConferencingIf you are a technology manager in a healthcare facility, one organization that should be on your radar is the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), whose stated mission is to help “transform healthcare by improving the quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world.”

In addition to being a member community for sharing best practices, track local and state legislation as it pertains to healthcare and technology, and be connected to vendors and providers, the ATA also sponsors an annual conference each year.  At this year’s ATA conference, several companies were recognized for their thought leadership within the health care technology industry.  As a partner in the healthcare technology industry ourselves, we focus special attention to the awards given to thought leaders and pioneers in the field along with analyzing comparable trends to those that we see everyday as we assist our clients in implementing new technology.

Last year, our article concerning connected sensors and asthma was based upon the ATA award given to Propeller Health.

This year, our attention was focused on the Industry Leader Award that went to Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of InSight Telepsychiatry.

This award came as no surprise as the benefits of telemedicine, especially in connecting patients to specialists who may be more difficult to access, is a common problem in many areas of the country.  However, as sometimes happens in the life-business matrix, this award sparked some relevance based on a story I had read recently while doing research for another blog on the epidemic of overcrowding in the ER.

Chris Van Gorder is president and CEO of San Diego-based Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in California.  He recently gave his thoughts on the causes of overcrowding in the ER.  One of his main concerns was the influx of patients with behavioral health issues.

“Compounding the problem is the impact on emergency rooms by patients who also have behavioral health conditions — an increasing share of all ER visits. Acute care hospitals are woefully underfunded to pay for the psychiatrists or facilities these patients require. Yet every day, they come to us for help or are brought in by law enforcement because there is nowhere appropriate to take them. And they stay in the ER too long for that same reason.”

He goes on to expound that the problem goes beyond his experiences in California.

“Throughout this nation, emergency rooms are being misused, they are overcrowded, they’re boarding behavioral health patients while searching for someplace willing to take them, and there’s a lack of funding and focus needed for behavioral health issues both inside and outside the hospital.”

Those comments resonated with me when I originally read that piece, and when I saw Mr. Boyce recognized for his leadership at InSight, everything came together.

Thus, given this context, InSight Telepsychiatry has developed a program that specifically addresses hospital-based telepsychiatry with the stated benefits of lowering inappropriate admissions, reducing length of stays and improving emergency department throughput.

The first step in providing this health care service is setting up an exam room at the healthcare facility, (as well as at the practitioner’s preferred remote location), to perform these visits via a video teleconferencing. InSight then provides access to psychiatry practitioners that perform remote evaluations, prescribe medications, and set follow up appointments.  And all the while, this “patient assessment” function reduces the hospital’s risk and liability while also providing all required documentation back to the ER to be incorporated into the patient’s medical record.

If this is a need your health care facility could improve upon, look into InSight and what services they offer. Avidex can then assist your team in setting up the proper technology to maximize their services.

 

Avidex AV is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities and doctors are delivering care. Their 20 years of experience is being leveraged to drive down the cost of care while promoting positive healthcare outcomes.  Is your organization looking for a new kind of technology partner? Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn more.

Resources:

#1: http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/emergency-rooms-facing-public-health-crisis.html

#2: http://blog.avidex.com/innovation-at-ata-2016/

#3: https://thesource.americantelemed.org/blogs/jessica-washington/2017/04/26/industry-leaders-recognized-at-ata-2017-telehealth-20

#4: http://insighttelepsychiatry.com/

#5: http://insighttelepsychiatry.com/hospital-based-services/

 

 

 

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

Aligning Outcomes

A couple months back we took a look at how important patient satisfaction is becoming in healthcare. Payments are transferring to a model that evaluates outcomes and requires that the patient is satisfied with their care in order to receive the full amount billed for the services rendered.64895307_s

One potential problem for providers however, is trying to hit a satisfaction target that varies from patient to patient. Two patients could receive identical treatment for identical issues from the same practitioner and those two people may rate their experiences completely differently.

The challenge is that patients bring their own situational implications with them. Each patient has a different history with a variety of providers, and those experiences shape the expectations of the patient. If there’s one thing that is certain about satisfaction, it is that it’s implicitly tied to expectation. If a visit to the ER, Urgent Care, or even a well check don’t measure up to the bar that the patient has already set in their head prior to their visit, you will inevitably end up with a dissatisfied patient.

Given all this, it may seem impossible to even institute a program that would address the varying levels of patient expectations that healthcare providers will encounter. However, there is in fact a way to start the process.

The best way to assure that you are meeting a patient’s expectations is to be involved in setting them in the first place.

A healthcare provider that sets up a system where there is proactive communication and education with the patient on their condition, the steps being taken to treat the condition, and the range of outcomes that the patient can expect, allows the provider to set expectations for the upcoming stages of their healthcare journey.

“Gone — in many ways thankfully — are the days of the paternalist model of medicine where “doctor knows best” is the tagline. Today, patients are increasingly empowered to take part in their own healthcare journeys through access to online information. But they can only do that effectively when their decisions are guided by advanced educational sources.”

– Dr. Linda Grigis

Given that many online resources provide incorrect information to patients, some estimates say well under 50% of medical websites provide correct treatment recommendations, there is a unique opportunity for providers to invest in and curate their own patient education resources. These resources can be leveraged online before upcoming visits, during examinations or consultations on screens in the examination rooms, and even made available during extended hospitalization through the flat panels in the patient rooms. Education empowers patients to become active participants in their healthcare decisions, and people who make educated choices typically take more shared personal responsibility for the outcome, meaning they may be less likely to place all the blame on the practitioner if the preferred outcome is not immediately achieved.

At the end of the day, patient education systems can go a long way to set proper expectations and empower patients to make better, informed choices about their care, improving patient satisfaction. As an added benefit, these same systems also help educate patients on aftercare instructions and future preventative measures to take to avoid recurrence of the condition or readmission to the hospital, which can also be costly to providers and detrimental to long term patient satisfaction and loyalty.

Treating patients like partners, opening up lines of communication and education, and aligning the provider’s and patient’s preferred outcomes are all necessary to be successful in today’s healthcare environment.

Avidex AV is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities and doctors are delivering care. Their 20 years of experience is being leveraged to drive down the cost of care while promoting positive healthcare outcomes. Is your organization looking for a new kind of technology partner? Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn more.

Resources:

#1: https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/customer-expectations/

#2: http://blog.avidex.com/the-role-of-technology-in-patient-satisfaction/

#3: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/accuracy-of-medical-information-on-the-internet/

#4: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/12/cme-isnt-today-align-empower-patient-outcomes.html

 

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

If you are an avid follower of technology news, you can’t help but have heard the term “AI”. AI stands for Artificial Intelligence, a field of technology pioneered by Alan Turing when he created a machine to break the German’s Enigma Code during World War II. The end goal for those developing AI will be the creation of a sentient machine that can think like a human being. Needless to say, that is still a long way off. However, during the course of 2016, the field of AI saw many advancements and investments, and the large number of those were related to healthcare applications.33728200 - doctor is using tablet pc

Why is that?

“Machine learning is improving diagnostics, predicting outcomes, and just beginning to scratch the surface of personalized care.”

In order to understand exactly how technology can contribute to better patient outcomes, we need to look beyond the vision of the sentient robot and focus in on two very specific areas where AI can assist medical professionals today.

Predictive Analytics

The first area of AI that is immediately accessible to today’s healthcare professional is predictive analytics or the use of a computer to analyze large amounts of data to make recommendations on care or predict potential health issues before they arise. Analyzing data means that you must first be collecting it and providing access to the data to the system in question.

The proliferation of devices that collect patient data has already begun. There are wearables like the familiar Apple Watch or FitBit, but there are also implantable and ingestible medical sensors that can relay information on everything from blood sugar and oxygen levels to the frequency of asthma attacks in the varying quality of air. We put together a list of some interesting sensors last year, but one thing is for certain: The ability to collect and communicate patient health data is only increasing.

Of course the course of treatment is still determined by a living, breathing doctor, but having a relevant, data driven history of the patient’s health only makes that diagnosis and treatment plan better.

Deep Learning

Deep Learning takes over where predictive analytics stops. According to one definition,

“Deep Learning is a branch of machine learning based on a set of algorithms that attempt to model high-level abstractions in data by using model architectures, with complex structures or otherwise, composed of multiple non-linear transformations.” 

That definition, being as clear as mud, can really be boiled down to this. Deep Learning allows computers to analyze not only the data, but also to catalog the human responses to that data, allowing the computer to reach its own conclusions (learn).

Predictive analysis would say that a patient has high sodium that may lead to hypertension and should be assessed for cardiac health, where deep learning would go a step further and recommend potential treatments based on the treatment of other patients that fit the same profile.

Again, deep learning requires that both the data from the patient and the response of the physician are both accessible in order to draw these correlations. Again, deep learning is not a replacement for the experience and discernment of a physician, but can be helpful in situations where a doctor is not yet available. According to Forbes’ Bernard Marr, 30% of providers will use this type of technology by 2018. He even puts forth an example of a patient visit that leverages deep learning.

“Imagine walking in to see your doctor with an ache or pain. After listening to your symptoms, she inputs them into her computer, which pulls up the latest research she might need to know about how to diagnose and treat your problem.  You have an MRI or an x-ray and a computer helps the radiologist detect any problems that could be too small for a human to see. Finally, a computer looks at your medical records and family history and compares that with the best and most recent research to suggest a treatment protocol to your doctor that is specifically tailored to your needs.”

Now imagine the added benefit of the same technology to those in a remote location who need emergency care and are able to receive it via telemedicine.

In discussions on healthcare reform, there are always discussions about breaking down artificial barriers between patients and caregivers to deliver better and more efficient care. However, this may be one instance when adding an artificial layer, in the form of technology using artificial intelligence, may actually be of benefit to both the patient and the physician.

Avidex AV is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities and doctors are delivering care. Their 20 years of experience is being leveraged to drive down the cost of care while promoting positive healthcare outcomes. Is your organization looking for a new kind of technology partner? Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn more.

Resources:

#1: https://www.hpcwire.com/2016/12/26/capitalizing-machine-learning-life-sciences-financial-services/

#2: https://www.wired.com/2014/06/ai-healthcare/

#3: http://blog.avidex.com/deliver-better-care-be-more-sensor-tive/

#4: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/predictive-analytics-machine-learning-deep-artificial-mark-rabkin

 

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

3 Tips for Better Wayfinding in the Modern Healthcare Facility

49213316 - spacious waiting room in a modern clinicWhen most people think of a hospital or a medical facility, the first thing that comes to mind is not design. However the modern healthcare facility is no longer permeated by sterile white walls, industrial grade linoleum floors, and stainless steel sinks as its primary design cues. Design is now an integral part of healthcare. If you don’t believe me, take a look at modern waiting rooms and patient rooms. They utilize soothing colors, cutting edge materials, and innovative technology to soothe anxiety and provide comfort to their patients and their visitors.

Design has even permeated places like radiology rooms. GE Healthcare has a whole division dedicated to design, creating environments like adventure rooms in children’s hospitals that make nerve racking procedures like MRIs more palatable for children.

However, design in healthcare today doesn’t stop at the doorway of the “rooms” within the facility, but extends into the hallways, passageways, and breezeways that connect all the areas as well. Nowhere is this design more important than in the category of wayfinding.

Wayfinding includes traditional environmental signage, like the color coded signs that depict room numbers and room types and also includes digital wayfinding and technology design as well. A properly designed wayfinding system will utilize both the analog and digital counterparts and is key in creating comfort in a foreign environment.

“Airports and hospitals have one very important thing in common: Lots of anxious visitors trying to find their way, many of whom have never (or rarely) been there.”

An investment in good wayfinding can greatly reduce anxiety for both visitors and patients, assuring that family and friends can be connected as quickly and as easily as possible in what is typically an already stressful situation.

Here are 3 opportunities for using technology in your wayfinding design to provide exceptional experiences to your patients and their friends and families.

  1. Interactive Kiosks- Go to any mall in America and you’ll find a Directory with a “you are here” star denoting your location as well as the locations of every store in the mall. An interactive kiosk in your healthcare facility takes that concept and kicks it up a notch. Visitors can come into the facility, approach the kiosk and search for their loved one by name, locate their room, and then get directions to that part of the facility based on their current location. If your facility also utilizes a patient tracking system, data from that system can also be leveraged to let visitors know that the patient may be in a different location or unavailable during testing etc.
  2. Digital Signage- Healthcare facilities are already using traditional environmental signage to denote departments, floors, specialties, etc within their facilities, as well as note room numbers and designations. Given that, what is the advantage of utilizing a digital signage system? Small displays outside each patient room can denote the patient’s name so that visitors find them easier. Signs in hallways or above departments can be changed easily to accurately describe the current use of the space. Upcoming events, department schedules, and other important information can all be updated to inform patients, staff and visitors about important events.
  3. App Based Navigation- Healthcare facilities like the Mayo Clinic are also leveraging personal devices in their wayfinding. Specialized mapping apps that utilize location services in the devices can give visitors and patients a turn by turn walkthrough of the facility, assuring they reach their destination as intended. The app also extends beyond the clinic to help users find accommodations and restaurants during their visit to the facility.

As you can see, adding a digital component to wayfinding can add flexibility and detail that environmental signage cannot easily offer. The digital component is meant to supplement traditional signage or volunteer and staff assistance, not replace it. Technology design doesn’t stop at the waiting or patient room, it extends to every passage way of the facility. A properly implemented digital wayfinding system can reduce anxiety and frustration for patients and visitors and increase overall patient satisfaction, which is always a good thing.

Avidex AV is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities and doctors are delivering care. Their 20 years of experience is being leveraged to drive down the cost of care while promoting positive healthcare outcomes. Is your organization looking for a new kind of technology partner? Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn more.

Resources:

#1: http://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/blogs/kristin-zeit/hospital-wayfinding-and-anxiety-factor

#2: http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com/scienceandempathy/

#3: http://blog.avidex.com/patient-tracking-systems-reducing-the-cost-of-healthcare-and-waiting-room-anxiety/

#4: http://www.healthcarefacilitiestoday.com/posts/Digital-wayfinding-improves-hospital-navigation-patient-experience–1382

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

“Are You Not Entertained?”

If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night or found yourself home from work sick, you know how difficult it can be to find something42402604 - senior female patient watching tv in hospital bed worthwhile on television. The experience is usually marked by listless channel surfing before you settle on a movie you’ve seen 18 times only to realize that every 10 minutes the movie pauses to launch into a 5 minute commercial break. At home fortunately you are not confined to one room or a bed, and you have access to other entertainment options like a favorite DVD or book. Imagine however you find yourself in a hospital bed, connected to medical equipment with nothing to focus your attention on but the TV hanging in the corner. In the past, this may have been a source of patient anxiety, but in today’s high tech world, it doesn’t have to be that way.

The modern medical facility has a great number of options when it comes to providing an “at home” entertainment experience to their patients. Gone are the days when an off-air antenna or a stack of cable boxes in the basement provided a few channels of content to patient rooms over coax. The patient entertainment experience can now be highly customizable and individualized. This allows the healthcare facility to offer more patient amenities similar to the hospitality industry.

An investment in a comprehensive visual communications solution provides the following advantages:

High Definition Programming- Nothing says, “I’m not at home”, more than a 19” TV up in the corner playing a static ridden rerun of The Brady Bunch. HD displays combined with HD content are familiar and a default patient expectation.

Diverse Channel Line Ups- Whether you choose IPTV, Direct TV, or cable, new systems allow the healthcare provider to create customized channel line-ups that best reflect the needs of their diverse patient population.

Customized Content- Need to share menu information around hospital meal options, general material on hospital offerings, or important accreditation communications? Facilities can create their own channels to share this news and more.

Patient-Specific Information- Provide easy, on-demand access to information, after-care instructions, and discharge information that patients can review at their own pace and frequency and create a digital record for your hospital files for reduction of liability and accreditation purposes. Hospitals can automate the delivery of this information by interfacing with their EMR, providing another way to leverage their existing investment.

On-Demand Entertainment- No more starting a movie in the middle and then watching an equal amount of commercials. Choose from an extended library of movies and shows just like you would at home.

Relaxation- Nothing provides a more optimal healing environment more than your soothing music and calming imagery. Modern systems offer access to this programming because a reduction of stress is shown to promote positive medical outcomes.

Not every patient has an iPad at their side and even if they did, the WiFi would have a hard time keeping up. A well planned, integrated visual communications system allows healthcare facilities to leverage existing investments in healthcare televisions and infrastructure, while providing a more reliable and universally accessible way for patients to pass the time while hospitalized. Add in the benefits of providing on-demand patient education, and you will be providing an experience that also reduces readmissions and empowers your patients in the recovery process. It’s a winning solution for both the facility and the patient.

Avidex AV is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities and doctors are delivering care. Their 20 years of experience is being leveraged to drive down the cost of care while promoting positive healthcare outcomes. Is your organization looking for a new kind of technology partner? Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn more.

Resources:

#1: https://www.quora.com/Why-do-hospitals-feel-like-prisons-sometimes

#2: http://blog.avidex.com/from-hospital-to-hospitality-how-does-your-facility-rate/

#3: http://www.telehealth.com/television-solutions/patient-programming

#4: http://blog.avidex.com/how-healthy-is-your-technology-experience/

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

A FastPass for VA Wait Times?

21497517 - group of patients sitting in waiting room of a doctor“The waiting is the hardest part”- Tom Petty

Headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place… for people just waiting.” – Dr. Seuss

You look down at the face of your daughter as the initial excitement of being at Disneyworld gives way to the reality of the situation at hand. She has had her heart set on riding Frozen Ever After but the full ramifications of a 300 minute wait are starting to set in. The whole day will be wasted waiting for this 3 minute experience to start.

If you’ve ever been to a Disney Park, you can identify with the situation above. It is frustrating to say the least, and waiting in line is never any fun. Now take the scenario above, substitute a Veteran for your daughter, a needed doctor’s appointment or prescription for the Frozen Ever After ride, and turn that 5 hour wait time into several days, weeks or even months. How would that situation make you feel?

Given the gravely different stakes of waiting for medical care and waiting for an amusement park ride, you may be taking exception to my analogy. However, I did not come up with the comparison, Robert McDonald did. He is the Secretary in charge of Veteran’s Affairs, and he took more than a little heat for his comments, saying that like Disney, wait times at the VA shouldn’t matter, only the end experience.

I will refrain from debating the quality of the experience of VA medical care in this blog. There are varying opinions on that subject and efforts under way to make those end experiences better. However, given that the VA chief specifically stated that Disney doesn’t track or care about wait times so they shouldn’t either, I wanted to offer a couple thoughts on that specifically.

First of all, as others have pointed out as well, Disney does track wait times, and arguably just the fact that they do means they care about them as well. The reason they care is that wait times do affect the overall experience. If you are familiar with the peak-end theory, it says that experiences are not remembered in whole but are typically remembered based on what the peak emotional point was and how the experience ended. If the peak emotion is the frustration of waiting for 300 minutes, then the end experience is brought down by that. So how did Disney address that and could the VA take a lesson from it?

Disney took their knowledge of rides and wait times and being the innovative company that they are, addressed them with technology. They created a FastPass kiosk system to allow guests to reserve a place in line while being able to do other things in the park and not spend all their time waiting. Could technology offer a similar solution and net benefit to the VA as well?

There is definitely an opportunity to utilize technology. To give them credit, the VA has started to use online appointment requests and scheduling for patients’ to choose preferred dates etc for appointments. However these appointments still seem to be farther out than needed. Online systems also don’t solve the problems of waiting at the VA for urgent care or prescriptions. It seems that a kiosk based system such as Nexistant could be beneficial in allowing patients to check in, see their place in line, and even have the system send them a text when their place in line was coming up within the next half hour, allowing them to do other things while waiting.

For patients needing follow up visits or for those who need periodic check-ups for chronic care conditions, telemedicine systems could be key in giving veterans access to nurses or physician’s assistants who may are well versed in this type of care and qualified to provide continued care instructions as well as determine whether a physician needs to be engaged ASAP via the video call to better assess new developments or an unexpected, prolonged recovery.

Both of these ideas, if implemented on a wide scale could take the unnecessary insult out of the wait times, and provide a type of FastPass for care and information that not only increases efficiency and reduces costs for the VA, but also decreases wait times while increasing quality of care for our veterans who have sacrificed so much already.

Avidex AV is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities and doctors are delivering care. Their 20 years of experience is being leveraged to drive down the cost of care while promoting positive healthcare outcomes. Is your organization looking for a new kind of technology partner? Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn more.

Resources:

#1: http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Frozen-Ever-After-Wait-Time-41738934

#2: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/05/23/va-chief-compares-waits-for-veteran-care-to-disneyland-they-dont-measure-and-we-shouldnt-either/

#3: http://nexistant.com/

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

Innovation at ATA 2016

As a health care professional, if you were in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 14th to 17th this year, you were most likely at the American Telemedicine Association’s annual conference, ATA 2016.WebRTC If you were not there or if this event has not historically been on your radar… it should be!

The ATA’s annual conference is the world’s largest and most comprehensive meeting focused on telemedicine, digital, connected and mobile health” and “the premier forum for healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs in the telemedicine, telehealth and mHealth space.”

It is a place where physicians, healthcare providers, and healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators all come together to share case studies, explore new ways to deliver care, and showcase groundbreaking new technology.

With so many talented people all in one place, it seems appropriate that each year several are recognized with ATA President’s awards for their achievements and contributions. This year, at ATA 2016, the President’s Award for Innovation in Remote Healthcare went to a company called Propeller Health.

Propeller Health uses connected sensor technology in combination with a mobile app to help patients manage asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder). In short, their sensor attaches to the patient’s inhaler, recording dosages, when they are taken, and utilizing the capabilities of the patient’s mobile device to combine this data with things like weather conditions and geographic location. This not only help patients manage the timing of their medication, but also to proactively prescribe preventative action to avoid episodes based on local conditions that have historically triggered their personal symptoms.

Propeller has a great video on their homepage as well as a “How It Works” page if you’d like to see their explanation of the technology.

Now on its own this is a great piece of technology worthy of the award it was given. It makes a dramatic difference in the daily lives of those suffering from asthma and COPD. Their studies show that using Propeller results in up to 79% fewer asthma attacks, 50% more symptom free days, and 50% more doses of medication taken on schedule. That is a huge jump in the quality of life for those using the technology. As a stand-alone, personal health management system it has huge value. However, as with most things, there is a bigger picture and potentially larger benefit when combined with other technologies and communicating the data to the patient’s physician.

Propeller, when combined with fitness tracking applications, could also correlate asthma and COPD data with heart rate and blood oxygen levels. It could create a secure transmission of data to a secure file in the patient’s Electronic Health Records so that any relevant events can be assessed by the patient’s physician during scheduled check-ups. It would also allow for alerts to be generated to alert the healthcare provider if events are becoming more frequent or more severe to proactively assess the current treatment plan and adjust it if necessary.

Propeller is a prime example as to how the Internet of Healthcare and all of its connected sensors can be leveraged to deliver better quality of care and reduce unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office which promotes efficiency and greatly reduces costs as well.

Congratulations to Propeller Health for their President’s Award this year at ATA 2016. If you didn’t make it to the show this year, maybe we can connect there in 2017 to explore the floor together!

Avidex AV is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities and doctors are delivering care. Their 20 years of experience is being leveraged to drive down the cost of care while promoting positive healthcare outcomes. Is your organization looking for a new kind of technology partner? Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn more.

Resources:

#1: http://hub.americantelemed.org/ata2016new/about/aboutata2016

#2: http://hub.americantelemed.org/ata2016new/events/event-description?CalendarEventKey=5401bbe1-60af-4911-98a0-1654b9c11688&CommunityKey=cee2dcb7-7be2-4d04-9090-40ec1e264035

#3: https://www.propellerhealth.com/

#4: https://www.propellerhealth.com/how-it-works/

#5: http://blog.avidex.com/next-stop-the-ioh-will-there-be-an-internet-of-healthcare/

#6: http://blog.avidex.com/deliver-better-care-be-more-sensor-tive/

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com