Patient Experience is the cross section between patient satisfaction and patient safety. The role of managing the overall experience falls to everyone in the C suite and is a true result of the organizations culture. Hospitals are challenged beyond simply healing patients to creating an environment that satisfies them as well. The new ACO model coupled with other regulatory drivers such as HCAHPS and related quality oversight has changed the way that hospitals manage care of the patients. A culture that is foundationally enabled by data that is converted to knowledge and understanding in real time will transform the patient experience.
The conversion of data to knowledge and understanding creates an environment that is known as the Real Time Health System (RTHS). This concept, created by Gartner Research, is an industry vision to fundamentally change how health delivery organizations (HDO) deliver care to their patients. One of the core aspects of the RTHS is the patient generated data captured by the nurse call system and the technologies that interact with it.
Why? The data created and contained within the nurse call light system is a very clear representation of patient’s behaviors, reactions, and interactions with staff. In many hospitals it is only used as a tool to identify service levels and responsiveness with simple printable reports. The discerning CIO and CMIO have identified that it along with other technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT) provide critical insights into the patient experience beyond any other tool in the hospital. These insights can be applied into Gartner’s concept of the Real Time Health System in the following manner:
- Patient behavioral analysis when aligned with the EMR will be critical for the CMIO to manifest understating of how perceptive measures are creating patient response.
- Patient behavioral analysis will become a critical factor in the CNIOs efforts to create clinical operational models for better care design.
- Patient behavioral analysis will in the future become part of the population health analysis. The methods used to identify the pattern of need and pattern of risk will be applied to models in long term care, home care, and patient engagement.
These insights leverage on the abilities of the nurse call light system to act as a hub of communications and data aggregation of not only the patients’ needs but also the interactions of the care team. Modernization of the legacy concept of the nurse call system as a light and tone and glorified telephone to the bedside should be replaced with an understanding that the “system” is critical to enable workflow and record the patient’s behaviors. While technological advances from the standard hardware centric model are important for the advancement of the industry, the health delivery organization will not fully transcend the current state until it can be shown a greater value to change then to status quo.
If workflows that enable staff to better care for patients can be achieved using a legacy mindset that does not require transition from simple to use hardware then the hospital will not be motivated to adapt to a different model. Motivations will include simplified interaction for the patients, enhanced contextual understanding for the care team, and analytics that align with the concept of the real time health system.
The final point is critical. Hospital CIOs need to enable the leadership of their hospitals with tools that align with the Real Time Health System strategy. As hospital move into technology evaluations should consider the following concepts provided in the Gartners most recent document.
The Real Time Health System provides leadership with situational awareness.
Situational Awareness allows leadership to make more informed decisions on things that matter to patient experience such as workload or capacity management and patient behavioral analysis. It pulls information from a number of areas to paint a picture of the current state. On a micro level it provides contexts to individual patient needs, and on a macro level provides oversight to shift resources on demand.
Nurse Call light systems are most often utilized simply in a on demand basis. As patients have a need they push a button to request assistance. As hospitals adapat to the model of the RTHS they will being to identify if their current technology can be used in a more holistic capacity to provide situational awareness. Thus the data being aggregated by the nurse call light system must be structured in a way that allows for modeling.
The Real Time Health System is dependent upon solutions being mobile.
Hospitals have a pace unlike any industry and one that is traditionally inconsistent with demand at times of need. Hospital CIOS must provide not only mobility solutions that allow for on demand connection between patient and care team but one that provides analytics at the point of care. Thus allowing for the hospital to do clinical modeling in real time to realign staff needs, and be more prescriptive in care models for patients.
The HCAHPS focused hospital should desire to have multiple perspectives of the patients’ needs automated from their call light, recorded from their perceptions, and aligned with their medical record. All of which should be easily accessible in a mobile solution.
The Real Time Health System leverages off of a technologies ability to enhance collaboration.
Collaboration extends the reach of the care team to enable perspective of multiple providers to enhance the ability of an individual to deliver care. The hospital focused on patient experience should seek technologies that provide visual ability of the care team to identify pace and needs of the patient.
This thought process enables “patients and providers to share in real time” but should not be limited to the acute care visit as the modern care team will be more than those focused on the current state.
Enhanced collaboration is beyond “communication” and should be extended to location and sensing. Location provides not only context of whom and when but location as a specific aspect provides insight into “how much” and “how often”.
As the enthusiasm for this model heightens the Nurse Call Light manufactures need to identify methodologies to transition the standard thought process of communication being their greatest value to the data they manage being the greatest value. The greater their ability to align with the concept of the Real Time Health System – the greater their ability to succeed in enabling a more enhanced patient experience.
By Kourtney Govro
CEO of Sphere3
Kourtney Govro is recognized as an industry leading expert on nurse call light system application, clinical communications design models and patient generated data analytics. Her company Sphere3, a Gartner Cool Vendor and winner of the Fierce Healthcare Innovation awards for analytics in 2015, is the leading provider of patient experience management software.
 Drivers for HDO CIO/CTO decisions surrounding Call Light Systems May 1, 2015
 Industry Vision: The Real Time Health System 11 May 2015 by Barry Runyon