I was in the grocery store when I realized that something new was going on: our entrance into the era of computing that I call convergence — the convergence of man and machine – is already changing the face of collaboration.
In the recent past, collaboration did a great job of connecting people to people through video, voice and the virtual workspace, which improved productivity and the intimacy of connection. A video chat, whether for business or pleasure, communicates more than a simple phone call. Add a collective workspace and you’re off like a rocket. In this collaboration between people, the technology served as a conduit.
But now I’m sensing the beginning of something different: collaborating with the machine itself. Here’s an example: I’m pretty focused on maintaining my health and my weight so when I go to the grocery store, I have a health app that’s connected to my online health profile and running with augmented reality. When I show my phone my choice of broccoli, it votes thumbs up; when I grab my favorite cookies, it displays the calories and cholesterol they will add to my daily intake, notes that it’s contrary to medication I’m on, and advises me against it. (Of course when I get to the beer aisle, I over-ride its displeasure: this is collaborative, after all, not dictatorial!)
Where does a Healthcare organization begin when facing Mobile Health or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) challenges? The annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS 2013) conference highlighted how technology and healthcare quality have converged more than ever before. This is a new era where video, mobile and social media technologies are enabling providers to deliver enhanced patient experiences. The Cisco BYOD Strategy Planning Service for Connected Health solves Mobile Technology and BYOD challenges. Consider the following data relative to the explosion of multiple devices: Read More »
Research from IDC Health Insights (Clinical Buyer Behavior Study) shows on average clinicians typically use 6.4 different mobile devices daily for professional use. Recently, I participated in a Cisco Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) workshop discussing challenges Healthcare organizations have supporting mobile devices with reliable, high performance, in-building wireless coverage while maintaining operational efficiencies. Healthcare experts from Networking, Security and IT discussed challenges facing Healthcare and various ways BYOD is defined. A common question is how to address challenges with BYOD. What recommendations does Cisco Healthcare offer in implementing BYOD? What options are available with wireless reducing security risks? What are Cisco’s best practices with BYOD maintaining compliance with regulatory policies and accreditation requirements?
Years ago I was standing next to the Chief Trauma Surgeon (CTS) in an Emergency Department while the team worked feverishly to resuscitate an injured EMT. The EMT had been struck by a speeding car while at the scene of an accident. In one split second he went from being a first responder to being a patient. My job was to relay information to the Operating Room to make sure the Trauma Suite was prepared appropriately should this patient survive long enough to make it to surgery. The code had been going on for almost an hour and all the efforts of a dozen brilliant and highly trained professionals seemed to have no impact. In fact, things just seemed to be getting worse. Finally the resident came over and asked the CTS if we should ‘call it’. In hospital speak, that means to admit defeat and acknowledge that the patient cannot be resuscitated. It means, literally, to call the time of death. I watched while the weight of the decision spread over the face of the CTS and change his posture as if an actual physical weight had been put on his shoulders. After a few minutes, he turned without a word to walk towards the waiting room to speak to the family. He had only taken a few steps when he turned around and came back. “No, keep going.” The commitment and compassion I saw in his face that day has never left me. He was there for that EMT. The power of truly being there to make a difference hit home.
At Cisco, we are working to make it easier to “be there”. To bring knowledge and expertise right to where it is needed, no matter where you are, no matter who you are. We are using technology to connect not just machines and data bases, but people. Today, we see the powerful forces of social, mobility, the cloud and information coming together. Gartner describes this as the Nexus of Forces. This nexus is disrupting old models and creating new market transitions. Scaling these technologies is making things possible that were not possible before. And Cisco is working to be there, to help you be there.
A few years ago I surveyed around 500 hospital employees in all job categories and departments and asked what the biggest challenge to their workday was. Three of the top six responses contained “communication”. So today when I was reading an AHA report on patient flow I was not at all surprised to see communication winning the top prize as the most pervasive and the hardest problem to fix -- taking 60% of the votes. It outpaced the second runner up -- visibility to data – which came in with only 30% of the votes.
“There is strong agreement that communications is the most difficult obstacle to overcome”
-AHA Report of the 2012 Patient Flow Challenges
Dr. Daniel Z Sands
Communication concerns were seen to impact discharge, inefficient patient handoffs and insufficient post-discharge contact with patients. This is consistent with another study done by the University of Maryland on the impact of inefficient and poor communication, finding that U.S. hospitals conservatively waste over $12 billion annually as a result of communication inefficiency among care providers. Interestingly, the study linked communication issues with increases in the length of hospital stays which has a direct impact on profitability – accounting for nearly 53 percent of that $12 billion annual economic burden.
Another study by Thompson Reuters demonstrated an indirect relationship between average length of stay (ALOS) and operating income -- the shorter the ALOS, the better the operating income.