Tag Archives: Healthcare Technology

The Role of Technology in Patient Satisfaction

There has been a recent shift in healthcare from a fee-for-service environment to a pay-for-performance model.  The shift is a good one in most people’s eyes as it focuses more on the patient and the actual results than it does the provider and their services.20984020 - happy couple looking at digital tablet held by doctor  The performance of a healthcare provider is now evaluated based on patient outcomes (70%) and patient satisfaction (30%) and payments are dependent on performance in both areas.  Due to this, healthcare providers are more focused on patient satisfaction, at least from a metrics standpoint, than ever before.  “In fact, more than half (54%) of healthcare executives say patient experience and satisfaction is one of their top three priorities.”  

So how is patient experience data gathered and reported?  Enter the HCAHPS survey.  What is that you ask?  “The HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care.”  It is a required survey in all hospitals now, and the answers patients give matter to the payments received.

There have been many studies on the impact that nurses and physicians have on patient satisfaction.  Nothing will ever do more for generating comfort than the human touch and a great bedside manner.  However, technology can play an important role in assisting the caregiver and increasing patient satisfaction in 3 important ways.

Reducing Anxiety and Pain

Nothing is more stressful than being in a foreign place where you feel alone and helpless.  Moving from the patient room to multiple locations in the facility for radiology, MRIs, blood panels and the like make the experience even more bewildering and uncomfortable.  Add to that a sterile white wall or ceiling with nothing to look at and an ear ringing silence and you have nothing to focus on BUT the procedure and itself and any pain and discomfort that may go along with it.

Audio visual technology has been shown to decrease patient anxiety in many procedures, with the combination of soothing sounds and visuals together being greater than the sum of their parts.  According to one study in this arena:

“The presentation of audiovisual stimuli during a medical examination, can reduce anxiety and consequently enhance the overall patient experience.  Visual and auditory stimuli decreased pain, stress and anxiety… reduced discomfort and distress…and  significantly increased pain threshold and pain tolerance.”

The other way to decrease patient anxiety through the use of technology may not be as obvious, but is just as valuable.  Patient Education Systems.  Nothing can assist the physician or nurse in explaining a potentially complicated medical procedure better than a short video or computer animation that can be accessed in the patient room on the TV.  Providing visual aides before a procedure to help the patient understand the upcoming treatment can greatly reduce fear of the unknown and give the patient peace of mind.

Providing Access and Control

Given how central the act of communication is to the human experience, there are many questions on the HCAHPS survey that ask about communication between the patient and staff.  Communication can have a profound effect on the impression a patient has of their care, regardless of whether or not their ailment is treated properly.  Patients also find some level of comfort in having some control.  Being hospitalized leaves many feeling helpless and providing some sense of control to patients alleviates this feeling.  In both cases providing the patient with access to both staff and information fulfill these needs.

If a patient has a direct line to the nurse’s station via the call button, creating a video call between the attendant and themselves they can take comfort in the fact that they can express their needs.  In cases where specialists may be shared between facilities, patients can also access staff for detailed questions and concerns remotely and efficiently without the barriers of travel time between locations.  Finally, access to information on treatments and control of entertainment options during down time also help provide access and control when needed.

Increasing Communication

Finally, technology also assists in providing more positive patient impressions at the time of discharge.  Patient Education Systems as described above allow patients to review discharge instructions, at home treatments, and follow up visit schedules at their leisure when they are most receptive to receiving the information.  It has also been shown that information is retained much longer and more accurately when it is presented both visually and audibly.  Training organizations like OSHA have long understood this phenomenon in promoting better understanding and retention of information.  In this case, it means the chances of readmissions also go down, and the digital nature of the information sharing also creates the added bonus of a record of communicating the information to the patient to mitigate any future liability as well.

As you can see, although technology will most likely never be able to replace the human element of patient satisfaction, it can greatly assist the healthcare practitioner in making sure their patients are at ease and are well informed both about the procedures they are about to undergo as well as how to best care for themselves once they are back in the comfort of their own homes.  Never before has bedside manner been tied in such a way to the payment of healthcare services, and a small investment in some assistive technology can make the difference in how a patient remembers the experience as a whole.

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://apihealthcare.com/sites/default/files/MC_CL_PAS_PPA_0000000001.pdf

#2: http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/4-strategies-to-boost-hospitals-hcahps-scores.html

#3: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811356_2

#4: http://www.hcahpsonline.org/home.aspx

#5: http://www.rufwork.com/110/mats/oshaVisualAids.html

Anthony Paoletti

About Anthony Paoletti

Anthony brings over 23 years of audiovisual experience and has worn nearly every "hat" in the industry; from Consultant to End User; Account Representative to Install Technician; Project Manager to Systems Engineer. Contact Anthony at apaoletti@avidexav.com

Design vs. Disruption in 2015

The healthcare industry is experiencing a mighty wave of technology that is inevitably changing its landscape. Last year, we saw the telehealth market booming, and a wide-scale adoption of telemedicine and remote monitoring took place. Those changes indicate the coming of a bigger and more divisive force that could change the face of healthcare sector completely. Many are wondering if the approach is best suited for the healthcare industry, or if a more sustainable and design-oriented approach is more appropriate. A recent article featured in MedCity.com discusses the Disruption vs. Design conundrum in the context of the healthcare industry.

The article cites the views of Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, senior manager for clinical design for San Francisco-based Castlight Health, who has questioned the viability of the disruptive model of innovation in her review of “Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast: A Blueprint for Transformation from the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation.” The book, written by the three founding members of Mayo’s Center for Innovation, Nicholas LaRusso, Barbara Spurrier and Gianrico Farrugia, talks about a more subtle approach to innovation in healthcare: sustaining or “transformational” innovation, which is “an evolutionary form of innovation built on an undivided focus on the customer and customer experience,” they write.

Design is an important factor for these authors and they assert that, when applied properly and practiced over time, it can eliminate the need for disruption. Kellerman has observed that the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation is “implicitly skeptical” of the disruptive theory:

“The authors of ‘Think Big’ are quick to acknowledge the relatively modest ambitions of their brand of innovation. ‘Is our Pediatric Phlebotomy Chair a disruptive innovation? … Probably not,’ they write.” Although it did transform the patient experience, it’s hardly a game changer —and really, that’s by design. Tearing down everything and starting over is not an option in health care.” According to Kellerman, supporting design-oriented innovation is not meant to reject the disruptive approach, but rather to promote “non-disruptive innovation—not because the theory of disruption is bankrupt, but because sustaining innovation is a necessary and valid endeavor in its own right.”

With the promise of new technologies starting to transform the healthcare industry, the coming years will witness industry evolution in new ways. We’ll have to wait and watch if the changes that occur disrupt or take on a more design-oriented approach.

We would love for you to share your thoughts about the pros and cons of the Disruption vs. Design approach in the healthcare industry. Which way do you think we are headed?

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

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – The Challenge of Nonstandard Communication Links

Dr on Smart phoneBYOD is becoming extremely popular in today’s workforce. According to IT research firm Gartner, by the year 2018 70% of mobile professionals will handle their work using personal smartphones. There are some key benefits of BYOD policies: companies spend less money on computer equipment and workers are free to work in more places than ever before. There are also some challenges of nonstandard communication links with BYOD that must be understood and overcome by organizations that want to implement these kinds of policies successfully.

Security Concerns

One of the biggest challenges of using a BYOD policy in the workplace is coming up with a comprehensive security policy that can keep devices safe, especially when considering nonstandard devices that may not have the same security measures in place as normal devices. Ellyne Phneah at ZDNet writes that some of the BYOD security challenges involve lost or stolen mobile devices and unauthorized access of company data by third-party applications. To overcome these kinds of challenges of nonstandard communication links with BYOD, it is important that companies have a security policy that prevents against these types of risks, such as a comprehensive software suite that can separate company data from personal data on a user’s device. Often, these security tools can be used to remotely lock a device that is lost and then wipe all of the phone’s information if it cannot be recovered.

Picking The Right Platform

When you are going to be integrating a BYOD policy into your workplace, it is important that you are using the right kind of technological platform so that all of your devices are properly compatible with each other. This is one of the most difficult challenges of nonstandard communication links with BYOD. Are your nonstandard employee devices going to be able to access company servers? Will they be compatible with the collaboration or ERP software that you are currently using? To answer these types of questions, it may be necessary to bring in a specialist or an outside IT consulting firm that can help you ensure that all of your devices are compatible and will not cause any issues for your network in terms of compatibility.

Maintaining Compliance With Telehealth Regulations

Despite the security risks that are involved when BYOD policies are used in healthcare, it is still extremely popular with healthcare professionals. In a recent article in Healthcare IT News, it was reported that 9 out of every 10 Americans employed in healthcare use personal smartphones for work. Mike Lovett, executive VP of NextGen Healthcare, advises healthcare organizations that are looking to implement BYOD to ensure that they are using devices appropriate for the tasks that are being completed and create boundaries so that devices are not used in ways that could cause security risks for the organization.

These are three of the biggest challenges of nonstandard communication links with BYOD, however there are plenty of other obstacles that organizations looking to implement BYOD successfully will face. Make sure that you think carefully about how your organization will implement BYOD in a way that is safe, effective, and meets all of the standards put in place that govern your industry. 

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

Telemedicine Is Key To Big Savings In Healthcare

money and stethascopeOne of the truly great things about technology investments are that they are rarely purchased purely for technology, but rather as a means to running healthier, stronger and more profitable organizations.

So while the initial investment may cause organizations to take pause, often times the ability for the technology to drive greater profits through enhanced revenues or cost reductions makes the investment more than worthwhile.

In the healthcare industry, it turns out that this is the case; especially when it comes to Telemedicine.

As we all know, the delivery of healthcare is expensive. This cost puts pressure on insurers, healthcare organizations and perhaps more than any other, on the consumer.  Just about anytime we have to go visit the doctor we have to think long and hard about what it might cost us. But isn’t this something that technology can help?

In a recent article on “Health and Data Management” there is an exploration into how much out of pocket cost could be saved for consumers through the use of Telemedicine. As it turns out, the numbers are large; in fact 6 billion large according to global professional services company Towers Watson.

This statistic alone is encouraging, however the biggest hurdle noted in the article is challenges for healthcare organizations to get reimbursed, which is currently seeing improvement after AMA sent guidance on how reimbursement should be handled.

At Avidex AV we work closely with our healthcare partners to implement the technology that helps drive more productive organizations. Let’s connect to find out how we can help your organization advance into the future.

Joel Harris

About Joel Harris

Joel Harris brings invaluable insight to the Avidex team in his role as CEO, with years of experience leading national technology, healthcare and business organizations. You can reach Joel at jharris@avidexav.com

Important Considerations for Picking a Telehealth Partner

practitioner-cart-lg-1At this point the growth of technology-enabled healthcare has become almost inevitable. With support from the largest industry associations including the American Medical Association, it is safe to say, telemedicine and telehealth are turning a corner in their adoption curve.

So now that the technology acceptance phase has reached critical mass, the next question that healthcare organizations may want to ask is, “Whom should we partner with for our telemedicine deployments?”

When it comes to technology, most who have been through any number of project lifecycles knows that it is rare that a project goes smooth from end to end. Problems can come about in the product selection, project management, training or even the post sales service.

In order to avoid problems throughout the project process, choosing the right partner is a critical consideration. With healthcare’s future leaning heavily on the integration and use of video collaboration, what should healthcare providers be looking for in a partner? We know how important partnership is, in fact, our friends at Polycom provide some interesting insights on the topic that we would love to share with our readers. Check out this article found on the Polycom “View” – The Future of Healthcare is about Collaboration.

What are the keys to successful partnerships for your organization?

At Avidex we believe in closely partnering with our healthcare clients to provide the best in telemedicine solutions as well as audio, video and other collaboration solutions. Connect with us to find out how we can help your organization with its technology needs.

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

Skilled Nurses Using Telepresence To Bridge An Important Healthcare Gap

As the aging population increases and more and more seniors move into skilled nursing facilities, the requirements for specialized care continue to increase.

With certain facilities within immediate reach of highly specialized physicians, around the clock care may seem manageable, but for many of these skilled nursing facilities where patient requirements can vary and timing is all but impossible to plan, proximity alone isn’t enough to make sure all of their bases are covered.

For healthcare organizations, having all of the specialties within your practice is rare, so for skilled nursing facilities, this can provide challenges to even those with hospitals close by.

This is why there is more and more talk about how telemedicine can serve the skilled nursing industry by making healthcare more accessible around the clock. Furthermore, the use of telemedicine can provide connections between patients and highly specialized doctors that may or may not be within a reasonable distance from the skilled nursing facility.

In a recent article found on McKnight’s, Expanding horizons to include telemedicine in skilled nursing facilities -  there was a specific mention of how difficult it is for older patients to travel distance to see a specialist and for many, the use of telemedicine as a means of providing healthcare may actually be preferred.  The article also references some comparative data against skilled nursing facilities that do not offer telemedicine as a service and it was found that in cases where telemedicine is utilized readmission rates see a significant decrease while patient satisfaction goes up.

At Avidex, we are committed to helping our healthcare partners utilize technology to enhance their telehealth and telemedicine practices so the main focus can be on running a productive healthcare organization that delivers the highest levels of patient care. To find out more about Avidex, connect with us (link) and find out how we can help you.

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

Will Doctors Be Required To Be Licensed In Every State They Practice Telemedicine?

dr with a mapThis past June, the Chicago based American Medical Association published a set of recommended policies for the advancement of telemedicine. With growth in usage being imminent for the healthcare industry, this timely set of policies is designed to help healthcare organizations properly understand and utilize telemedicine as part of their growth strategies.

With their policy recommendations, the AMA also made it clear that they see the future of telepresence as important for providing new levels of access to healthcare while maintaining the highest standard of patient safety.

Perhaps one of the most interesting recommended policies that came from the AMA’s input was that doctors must be licensed in each state by which they work with patients. Meaning that if the doctor is in Colorado but the patient is in California, the doctor would need to be licensed in California in order to provide services.

This is certain to bring up a number of concerns among technology/telemedicine lobbying groups that are seeking to expand the adoption of healthcare. With such limitations, some of the benefits of connected care may be limited as is the choices for care providers for healthcare consumers.

One thing is for sure, as telemedicine continues to grow as an accepted healthcare practice, this topic is likely to be a hot one for debate as the benefits are weighed against the pitfalls of opening up borders (within the US) for healthcare systems and private practices.

Check out this article from The Washington Post Doctors must be licensed in patient’s state to practice telemedicine for more information.

At Avidex, we develop and implement technology to coincide with the growing demand for remote patient care as well as smarter hospital environments. Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help your healthcare organization meet its business and technology challenges.

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

Telemedicine To Drive Safer Sports and Concussion Management

Ambulance on football fieldOver the past few years there has been a lot of discussion and debate relating to athletes and the management of head trauma. From Pee Wee football to the NFL, this has been a hot topic. For those of us living and playing (or with kids who play) sports in urban settings, we don’t think much of it. Access to healthcare in the event of an emergency is right around the corner. However, while many people may live in urban areas, only a small percentage of the land across the states is defined as urban. Meaning, for some, access to the required care may not be so available for some.

In a recent Daily Record article Telemedicine could help schools assess concussions the tone is set by exploring what it may be like when a high school student athlete takes a hit and is believed to be concussed. The nearest treatment facility doesn’t have the type of specialist to give the proper attention to this incident and the nearest neurological specialist is hundreds of miles away. What can be done?

Many healthcare professionals are looking at ways that telemedicine could help better handle these types of situations. In fact, the Mayo Clinic recently teamed up with the University of Arizona to explore how real time analysis could be done on the field with potentially concussed athletes. While nothing has been widely rolled out, what comes to mind is having specialists available on demand to perform on field exams using a tablet and high resolution camera. Just imagine what this could do for better treatment of athletes?

Even if on the field care is too far away, telemedicine at the local care center could be a giant step in providing more immediate care for athletes who may have head trauma. What we do know for sure is this is one very solid application for Telemedicine and Telehealth technology.

At Avidex we work with our healthcare organizations to utilize technology to meet their most important business and patient objectives. From Telepresence to Wayfinding and so much more, how can we help your organization leverage the best technology available?

Anthony Paoletti

About Anthony Paoletti

Anthony brings over 23 years of audiovisual experience and has worn nearly every "hat" in the industry; from Consultant to End User; Account Representative to Install Technician; Project Manager to Systems Engineer. Contact Anthony at apaoletti@avidexav.com

Better Care and Cost Savings by Increasing Adoption of Telehealth Services

In today’s healthcare marketplace the ability to match the needs of patients with the resources available is difficult. This rings especially true when health care organizations aren’t able to provide the most optimal level of care due to “Technical” limitations.

Today, Medicare is having this very problem with strict limits on if and how they can use technology to deliver healthcare services. Right now, the limitations are primarily bureaucratic rather than technical because Accountable Care Organizations are limiting how healthcare providers can be reimbursed for providing technology based care to patients. However, the good news is a number of leading organizations are working together to try and change the way Medicare reimbursements are handled for Telehealth and Telemedicine Services. Check out this link from EHR Intelligence “Groups urge Medicare to widen telemedicine options for ACOs.”

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and a coalition of other groups that support Telehealth services have provided a letter to the department of health and human services outlining that 80% of American’s don’t have access to the type of technology based care required for approval by Medicare and this is severely limiting the delivery of patient care and driving up costs. According to these groups it is believed that better care and cost savings could be seen with the increased adoption of Telehealth services. What do you think?

At Avidex, we believe that Telehealth and Healthcare Technology can drive better patient care and outcomes. Find out how we can help your organization utilize technology by getting in touch with our team.

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

Enter The Operating Room Of The Future

operating room of the futureJust how much will technology invade the operating room of the future? In a world where robots are performing highly complicated surgical procedures; the answer is quite a bit.

How about beyond the operating table and into the surrounding environment? How much is technology going to impact the immediate surroundings of the patient? For a long time we have seen screens and monitoring devices, but will consumerization and high tech gadgets find their way into the ER?

According to this provocative piece in Fast Company – Inside The Operating Room Of The Future, Where Doctors Use Google Glass, the future of the Operating Room is here. In an exploration of Kaiser Permanente’s Garfield Innovation Center in California, the use of Telepresence, Interactive Digital Monitors and even Google Glass is already being put into production. Well, not quite production, but darn close.

At the featured facility Doctors are operating on “Humanoids” in these high tech environments where the focus is the most advanced technology and the perfection of the medical checklist with the expectation that interactive technology can reduce human error and improve doctor performance.

At Avidex we provide leading healthcare facilities with the very best technologies including telepresence and high-tech monitors that can be utilized throughout healthcare facilities. If you want to learn more about how we can help, get in touch with one of our account representatives. We look forward to hearing from you.

Jim Colquhoun

About Jim Colquhoun

Jim Colquhoun is the Chief Technologist for Avidex. Jim brings an exceptional record of management and operational experience, as well as expertise in the design and integration of communications, AV, and broadcast systems. Jim can be reached at jcolquhoun@avidexav.com