Healthcare is on the cusp of the most transformational changes in history and disruption is the new buzzword. Post-COVID, healthcare organizations are exploring innovations, technologies, and care delivery models to thwart any possibility of reverting to the old norm. We learned that we must and can adopt new methodologies to manage staffing, engagement, and performance outcomes.
Disruption is a shift from a historical period or state to a dramatic shift in transformation to something new, which typically shakes up the industry, and that is exactly what we are seeing in healthcare. A high level of disruption demands innovative thinking, visionary leadership, and agility.
Some of the areas of greatest transformation include technology and innovation in care delivery.
Healthcare technology is moving at lightning speed, with even the industry leaders reeling to keep up. Artificial intelligence has taken center stage to revolutionize healthcare from medical record transcription running the gamut to bots that find, diagnose, and offer treatment guidelines. Organizations are adopting robust AI frameworks to augment existing processes such as clinical workflows, predictive analytics, and machine learning. Coupled with this driving change, we are seeing new roles in healthcare such as Chief Innovation Officer.
Robotics are transforming how patients ambulate and workplace safety. Lifeward is one of several companies that offer wearable robotic exoskeletons that aid in mobility, improving quality of life and health. Robotics are a game changer in the rehabilitation market for both patients and organizations. In healthcare organizations, robotics are providing workplace safety by reducing the impact load of heavy lifting, push, pulling, and repetitive motion through pneumatic assistance.
Remote Patient Monitoring:
In a value-based healthcare environment, remote patient monitoring is paving the way for high-risk patient populations to receive timely, effective, and individualized care. In-home monitoring curbs the readmission rate and improves healthcare quality outcomes. On all fronts, remote monitoring provides more affordable and effective access to care, for those who need it most. Materno is an organization that offers remote patient monitoring for high-risk OB patients. Through technology and care navigation, they reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, improve communications between OB/GYN providers and patients, and ultimately improve maternal outcomes.
This is an exciting area of innovation in healthcare which allows for improved retention, staffing effectiveness, and quality outcomes. During the pandemic organizations were at the mercy of staffing agencies; they now vow to never experience the cost, and dependency during that time. Many are venturing into virtual nursing as a means to engage nurses in an alternative care delivery model, that offers flexibility in the length of shift, remote work options, and decreased physical burden while allowing for maximum work-life integration. Some of the areas of virtualization include:
-Admission and discharge
-Oversight of complex care delivery
-Screening for social determinants of care and health indicators
-Patient advocacy and care experience
Organizations who have already dipped their toe into virtual nursing are finding increased satisfaction among nurses and patients, and an improvement in quality indicators. One large health system reported a 35% reduction in healthcare-associated falls, and an increase in care experience, specific to nurse communication by 20 points. Additional gains are seen in improved care coordination, elevation of the nursing practice, and a reduction in labor costs. Virtual nursing and other innovations are being tested in unique observation nursing units across the country.
With the adoption of new technologies in healthcare, the application of ethics, policies, and organizational objectives is key. Weighing cost, and infrastructure requires careful consideration, along with obtaining key stakeholder buy-in. Additionally, attention to privacy, patient protection, and caregiver workload is warranted. Leveraging the knowledge and insight of key stakeholders, including patients in the evaluation and adoption process will help to ensure success in existing environments. Healthcare leaders are encouraged to spend the time upfront to understand how the technology will improve the quality of life for both those receiving and providing care, efficiently and sustainably.
Dr. Elizabeth Adams
CEO Match Healthcare