Tag Archives: Biometrics

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

Deliver Better Care, Be More ‘Sensor’-tive.

A four year old is admitted to the hospital with a congenital heart condition. Traditionally,child in hospital ipad the hospital staff would connect him to a multitude of modern machinery to track blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and breathing rate.  Each of these systems would require wires that restrict the child’s movement and would be able to alert the staff if any of the systems drop below an acceptable baseline.  Today however, a few small wireless sensors are placed on the child’s chest to track all of these things.  Not only are there no wires, but the sensors work together to identify relationships and trends across this bio data, creating a predictive analysis of any potential deterioration in the child’s condition before any single reading drops to a dangerous level.

If this sounds improbable, it’s not. It’s actually being done in the UK at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital where 4 year old Maci was the first child to utilize the program.

It’s all an extension of the Internet of Things (IoT), but instead of allowing someone to control their lights from their iPhone, it is potentially saving lives and creating better patient outcomes in healthcare.

The implications of wireless connected sensors in a hospital environment are huge. They can communicate with each other, with hospital staff, and even with patient tracking systems as well. They allow patients to remain connected to vital monitoring equipment while moving through different departments and tests without having to be continually disconnected and reconnected at each stop.  In short they increase staff efficiency and promote better patient outcomes. Now imagine the impact these same types of sensors have on remote healthcare services like telemedicine.

With the advent of sensor technologies, telemedicine goes way beyond a video conference with your doctor. There are a variety of sensors currently on the market and even more on the way, that all work to better assist healthcare providers with gathering important biometric data remotely.  Some states like Texas are starting to put regulations in place that require a doctor to have either a previous in-person relationship with a patient and/or a way to perform a similar medical evaluation a patient would get in the office before prescribing care.

They argue, “How can a physician make an accurate diagnosis when they have no objective diagnostic data? All they have is what the patient has told them.” But sensors are turning that argument on its head by providing real objective data, the same data collected in an in-person exam.

Imagine how telemedicine can be enhanced by sensors like:

  • Wireless, needle-free, glucose monitors for diabetes
  • Shoe insoles that track amputees’ gait for prosthetic evaluations
  • Stick sensors that monitor hydration levels
  • Wearable and ingestible sensors that track ingestions and physiologic data
  • Sensors that collect ECG and pulse oximetry data
  • A connected asthma inhaler tracking dosage, frequency and location of use
  • A breast cancer detection sensor tracking cell temperatures over time
  • A sensor that can be placed on the forehead for 10 seconds to get heart rate, blood oxygen levels, temperature, and blood pressure with 99% accuracy.

The small sample of the sensors above are either on the market or in development today. It’s obvious the benefit this type of technology provides to remote health monitoring, especially to telemedicine.

With access to electronic health records and sensor data, a doctor can sit across from a patient virtually through an HD teleconference and make real-time diagnoses and care recommendations based on health history and current biometric data. Fitbit eat your heart out.

To the casual observer, all this data collection is happening invisibly. No longer does a patient have to wear large recording devices or battery packs.  Sensors are now wearable, embeddable, and ingestible. They utilize new printing techniques and materials to make them comfortable, with some even deeming the resulting sensors as eSkin. Data flows to secure phones or mobile devices or to HIPPA compliant cloud based systems in a “store and forward” fashion for later access and review.

Given the state of sensor technology in healthcare, it’s time to get connected to your patients in new and exciting ways, whether they are inside your facility or at home. The IoT just got very interesting didn’t it?

For more than 20 years Avidex AV has provided innovative technologies that drive business outcomes for our clients. 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.mhealthnews.com/press-release/isansys-wearable-technology-and-wireless-patient-monitoring-platform-scale-deployment-

#2: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/06/02/408513139/texas-put-brakes-on-telemedicine-and-teladoc-cries-foul

#3: http://www.mhealthnews.com/content/infographic-are-you-ready-sensors-healthcare

#4: http://www.vivalnk.com/eskin

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com