COVID-19 has profoundly changed the non-acute space and the point of care ecosystem. One prime example of this is the expansion and acceptance of telehealth by patients and providers.
Healthcare organizations urgently adopted telehealth as a way to maintain the delivery of care while keeping patients and staff safe from the risk of exposure to viral contagions. The adoption of virtual visits is expected to continue to increase.
As telehealth becomes a viable and long-lasting option for physicians and clinics, it is helping fuel a race to provide greater connectivity in the healthcare environment. Patients are also demanding to be connected with their healthcare in the same way they are connected with other aspects of their lives.
Benefits of a Connected Ecosystem
Connectivity for connectivity sake is not a strategy. And just because something can be connected, doesn’t mean it should be. Identify connected technologies that make sense for your patients and care teams. Determine the best way to integrate those technologies strategically and seamlessly into your workflows. Only then can you realize tangible benefits, which can include:
• Expanding the point of care ecosystem. While clinical encounters have traditionally occurred in an exam room setting where caregivers meet with patients in person, that practice is being challenged. Greater connectivity provides the digital foundation needed to expand the point of care outside of the traditional model.
• Enabling better care experiences and outcomes. Greater connectivity in non-acute environments provides a platform for bringing together every aspect of care to eliminate barriers and inefficiencies by integrating processes, equipment and people. For instance, less manual steps for entering data can help eliminate transcription errors.
• Using data to improve outcomes. A connected point of care ecosystem helps put accurate, actionable and relevant data at the physician’s fingertips. Not only will it help improve outcomes, it also allows physicians to use their valuable time more effectively with patients at the point of care.
• Preparing the exam room for future technologies. A connected ecosystem provides a foundation from which capabilities can be expanded with new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. For instance, when disparate data sources are combined with modern smart analytics, the “data snapshot” of the patient can basically go from a blurry 2-D picture to a high-resolution 3-D image.
The Importance of Seamless Integration
While there are many benefits of a connected ecosystem, one thing that cannot be overlooked is the need for seamless integration. It can be challenging to integrate technology seamlessly to ensure the intimate and humanistic aspects involved in care delivery are maintained.
The introduction of electronic medical records (EMRs) to the point of care shows us what happens when it is not. As many of you know—and may have experienced first-hand—the EMR technology was not designed with the patient-physician relationship and interaction in mind. As a result, the introduction of the technology initially brought longer wait times, decreased patient satisfaction and caregiver burnout.
Since integrating connected technology into your facility can present many challenges, Midmark Delivery Services provides trained integration teams for systems and technology installation. These teams engage early in your project with the product knowledge and clinical expertise needed to help ensure that your connected solutions are seamless and best suited to your unique clinical workflow. Along with setup and configuration of all Midmark digital diagnostic products, they also perform a final quality audit to ensure the equipment is fully operational.
Increased connectivity at the point of care is making it easier to create seamless healthcare experiences. It helps eliminate barriers by integrating processes, equipment and healthcare providers to enhance patient and caregiver experiences and improve the quality of care delivered and outcomes realized.
To transform your point of care with greater connectivity, contact a Midmark representative.