Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Healthcare

Pandemic Preparedness: Leveraging Cloud based Solutions

April 13, 2014 at 10:32 pm PST

In the last two parts of this series, we looked at

Part 1: Why we need to consider virtual care as part of our strategy for pandemic preparedness

Part 2: How virtual care can enable the process transformations to enable business continuity while mitigating the risk of exposure to staff and patients.

In this part, we ask the question: Why Cloud?

When it comes to preparing for a pandemic, there are many unknowns; however, three things are very difficult to precisely predict:

  • Timing: When will the next Pandemic happen?
  • Impact: Who will be affected and how much disruption can happen?
  • Geographical spread: Where will the outbreak happen and spread?

When the scope is unclear, it is always very difficult to plan well. When we look at the options in front of us, we have mainly two options

  1. Commit infinite resources to address the worst case
  2. Leverage a model that can scale based on the need

Obviously, the first option is not a practical business solution. With option 2 being the default approach, this is where the agility of the cloud comes handy. While cloud provides many advantages, let us look at some of the key benefits of cloud when it comes to preparing for a pandemic. They are:

The Convenience of the Cloud:

As we saw in the last part, navigating around the path of the virus can be achieved by using virtual care. Cloud based solutions provide the convenience of accessing services from anywhere, anytime, from any device without having to pre-install. Patients can leverage SaaS based Virtual care solutions to interact with the care teams without leaving their home. New work flows can be pushed out quickly to enable Self-service and dynamic process changes. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Pandemic Preparedness: Leveraging Cloud based Virtual Care to navigate around the path of the virus

March 30, 2014 at 8:37 pm PST

We continue our journey from where we left on part 1 of this series on leveraging Cloud based virtual care in our strategy for pandemic preparedness.

As the news of the pandemic outbreaks occurs, and as patients start seeing flu like symptoms, it’s natural for patients to show up in hospitals and urgent care centers. The care givers that the patients with flu interact are at higher risk of exposure. The US occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) has classified healthcare workplaces to be at very high or high exposure risk for pandemic influenza. For example, a personal that is collecting specimens from pandemic patients is at a very high risk of exposure.

pathofthevirus

Path of the Virus: Touch points where the healthcare staff is at risk of exposure in a traditional care model

According to CDC guidance, People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away through droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. So proximity and in person interactions must be managed carefully while services are provided.

If we were to track the imaginary path of the flu virus (as a person with flu travels to various places in a hospital), every interaction he has with a staff in person is a potential touch point where he can spread flu. It could be the parking lot, the lobby where he might be passing through healthy visitors, care givers or other patients, the staff at the registration/check-in desk, the nurse or the doctor in the examination room, the staff in the lab, the checkout desk, and list goes on.

Now, let’s look at how virtual care technology driven strategies can help reduce the risk of exposure and at the same time provide essential services to patients. Here are few approaches: Read More »

Tags: , , ,