Patient care requires fast-paced, asynchronous collaboration that ensures quick responses for life-saving decisions. By Galina Datskovsky, CEO of Vaporstream
Texting can keep patients motivated, engaged, and on the road to better health. By Christine Kern, contributing writer
“Most Wired” hospitals are partnering with other providers to share health data, study found. By Christine Kern, contributing writer
It seems every week there’s another study documenting the problems physicians have with healthcare IT. The findings invariably are consistent with what the AMA has been saying for the past several years — physicians overwhelmingly dislike EHR systems’ poor usability and interoperability, and resent the extra time they have to spend at the keyboard.
Frequent alarms from medical technology are overloading physicians and leading to situations that could put patients at risk. By Katie Wike, contributing writer
With all the talk of Big Data, there are still big questions as to how to most effectively leverage information and data to make a positive impact on healthcare delivery, cost, and outcomes. One health system leader thinks an approach developed by a Major League baseball team might be a game changer.
Health IT is in a state of constant evolution, and it often seems that, for every problem solved, another is created. That’s why it’s vital we stop to assess where the industry stands from time to time, as well as look to the future to determine the best course to take to achieve our collective goals.
As I was going through the metal detector at the airport, I tossed my pager in the bin. The security official looked at me and said, “You work in healthcare, don’t you?” I asked, “Why do you say that?” She said, “No one else uses pagers except for people in healthcare.” Her comment struck me; I thought, Wow. She is totally right.
“The number one problem with communication in healthcare is that people ask things like, ‘is there blood in your urine?’ Patients say no, because they think they’re supposed to see literal blood. Doctors need to ask this in a much simpler way, such as, ‘Is your urine any color other than clear or pale yellow?’ We don’t like to talk about gross things. That’s something that happened with my husband, Fred. They just checked the box and ruled out cancer. He had orange urine for a year. But he didn’t know that meant blood in his urine. He made the assumption that he wasn’t drinking enough water. He knew his urine could get darker if he was dehydrated or if he ate different things.”
“I’m bringing a patient up,” says Mark Frye, a nurse in the PACU. “Ted Jones, 33 years old. He came in through the ED. We believe he was in a motor vehicle collision. He has an open compound fracture of the left femur with external repair. He remains unresponsive with a head injury of unknown cause.
Beginning in the 1960s, pager-like systems were put to use and quickly became the industry standard for sending messages. Over the last few decades, the way hospitals communicate sensitive information has evolved, and their technology needs have changed to secure Protected Health Information (PHI) in accordance with HIPAA rules. In light of this, hospitals are now searching for secure communication systems that are also more robust.
Healthcare organizations strive to provide the best care for their patients. Automating the process of notifying the appropriate medical staff about a patient’s needs is key to providing appropriate and timely care.
Each year, approximately 16 percent of patients in United States hospitals are readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Readmissions and the additional treatments they entail are costly to both patients and insurers. Increasingly, they are costly to hospitals as well. A portion of readmissions are considered unavoidable, such as a planned readmission for chemotherapy, or an unexpected adverse event unrelated to the original diagnosis. However, many other readmissions are considered preventable through high quality clinical care and effective patient education and discharge procedures.
The average 500-bed hospital in the United States loses $4 million each year directly due to inefficient communication, according to a study published in the Journal of Healthcare Management. Effective and efficient communication is essential to fulfilling a healthcare organization’s mission of providing high quality care. It is also crucial to eliminating unnecessary costs and maintaining an organization’s fiscal health.
Missed appointments result in a lose-lose situation for both provider and patient. A no-show patient means more time rescheduling and longer wait times for other patients who are interested in an appointment, resulting in lower patient satisfaction. It also means higher costs of care delivery, while personnel and equipment go underutilized. Most importantly, missed appointments also negatively affect the health and treatment outcomes of the patient and increase the likelihood of complications and hospital admissions.
Many industry leaders championed a free market approach to healthcare during the 12th Annual World Health Care Congress last week. Here are a few key reasons why I don’t think this model is “the fix” our industry so desperately needs.
Vocera Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCRA), the leading provider of intelligent, real-time communication and collaboration solutions for mission-critical mobile environments, celebrates its 15-year anniversary this week.