Hospitals are taking big strides to stay ahead in the world of technology. With their focus on improving healthcare delivery, medical facilities are partnering with technology companies and putting their money into areas that will yield the most benefits for both patients and staff. Drew Madden, Healthcare IT Exec, discusses below:
Google’s Hospital Partnerships
Tech giant Google has partnered with three hospitals to explore the use of machine learning based on mined data. The information comes from health records obtained from the University of California in San Francisco, Stanford Medicine and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Researchers hope that the data will help improve clinical outcomes in a variety of research projects.
The Google technology is called Google Brain. Researchers who work with the program said that the technology was advanced enough to predict important medical events with great accuracy. For example, it was able to accurately predict when a person may require hospitalization. It could also accurately predict the expected length of stay, the needs of the patient and the outcome of a suggested treatment plan for that individual. If a standard treatment plan was not ideal, the machine was able to predict that as well. Researchers were pleased that the program could accurately guess common diagnoses such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, heart failure and several others. The machine also knew how to prevent infections, readmission and pharmaceutical-related mistakes.
Another goal of the program is to improve the security, clarity, accuracy and speed of data transmission. Google is taking steps to follow the FHIR Level 7 standards. By doing this, the tech company hopes to automate data exchanges between researchers and hospitals. Google is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of patients. All information is virtually scrubbed to remove sensitive details before it is transmitted. Google Cloud secures and stores it using a HIPAA-compliant method.
Hospital Healthcare IT Priorities
In a recent survey conducted among hospital employees, about 75 percent of respondents said that digital innovations were important. Nearly 75 percent of hospitals with over 400 beds were getting ready to build an innovation center or had already built one. Researchers took a closer look at how the hospitals wanted to channel their funds. One area of focus is personalized care that is based on continuous data updates. Since many people wear smart watches and fitness trackers today, hospitals want to find a way to sync, sort and analyze the data constantly to improve their personalized delivery of care. Also, such technology would improve experiences for patients.
Hospital teams hope to focus more on monitoring data as they transition to providing value-based services. They want to find ways to continually improve profitability, scheduling, patient monitoring, data utilization and demand management without sacrificing network integrity. Hospitals are interested in retaining in-network patients. To do this, they are providing tools to help patients find in-network providers within their facility. They may offer other tools to measure patient satisfaction, and there are referral systems.
With new electronic information portals, hospitals can make patient information accessible and make it possible for patients to communicate with their care team. Another innovation that hospitals place a considerable amount of importance on is telemedicine. However, only about 25 percent of hospitals currently offer this benefit along with other innovations to improve access to patient information. Researchers said that people were more likely to switch to a different health facility that had improved patient access programs if their current hospital or facility did not offer such tools. With virtual consultations and telemedicine, waiting rooms are not as congested. Also, remote consultations provide a more efficient solution for people who live in rural areas.
To help improve outcomes and control costs, hospitals are focusing more on community support programs today. Outreach is essential for helping the under-served populations. AVIA and the American Hospital Association said that there are plenty of opportunities for creating virtual networks, matching people to care services and coordinating care efforts. Although innovations are underway in several areas, there are still many obstacles to overcome. From the 317 participating hospital executives, researchers found that implementing operations, funding, agility and staffing were the most prohibitive factors keeping hospitals from achieving their innovation goals.
Fortunately, the leadership buy-in that was once a common obstacle is no longer a threat to digital changes. Researchers concluded that leaders were largely in support of innovation but lacked resources, time or funds to make the desired level of change happen. However, they are hopeful that some low-cost innovations will lead the way to bigger changes in the future that all hospitals can afford. They recommended that hospital executives experiment as much as possible rather than play it safe and suffer financially from losing more patients.
About Drew Madden
For six years, Drew Madden led Nordic Consulting Partners, Inc. As a healthcare IT entrepreneur, he has always been passionate about building strong company cultures, client relationships and top-notch teams. Madden managed relationships with clients, directed business development and was responsible for recruiting. Drew started his journey with the company in 2010. Nordic Consulting Partners is the world’s largest Epic consulting agency, and it has earned multiple awards. Its most notable achievements were two top-ranking KLAS awards for excellence in Epic consulting. They were given to the company in 2012 and in 2014.
Drew is especially interested in electronic medical records technology. He has devoted over 15 years of his life to collaborating with industry experts on troubleshooting, optimization and implementation tasks for innovative solutions. He and his team took on difficult challenges. While he was leading Nordic Consulting Partners, Drew Madden helped the company grow from only 10 employees to more than 800. He helped the company gain over 145 new client partners, and Nordic’s annual revenue went from a modest $1 million to $130 million under Drew’s leadership. Before his time at Nordic, Drew worked in business development and was an Epic consultant. Drew earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Iowa College of Engineering and began his career in healthcare IT at Cerner Corporation.
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