Author: Carrie Hallock, VP – Clinical Excellence, GetWell
On average, a million Canadians undergo surgery each year. Most of these surgeries are non-life threatening, such as Caesarian sections and hip replacements, and recovery time can vary, with most requiring 3-5 days in the hospital. There are a lot of moving pieces, people, and steps that must fall into place for physicians to feel confident in discharging their patients to continue their recovery at home.
Nurses, nursing assistants, doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, patient care technicians, and pharmacists all play key roles in patient treatment and recovery. However, the most important role is the one patients play. No recovery is routine, and the more patients are involved, the better it is for them and the hospital. Every patient is different, and if patients don’t have the ability to engage in their own care, the chance for errors and misunderstanding escalates.
The need to enhance efficiencies, especially around reducing the average length of stay for patients, escalated in 2020 and continues to be a focus for Canadian hospitals that have both COVID-19-related and other patients waiting for beds. Having the ability to quickly discharge patients who no longer require acute levels of care holds many benefits for hospitals and their patients: enabling patients to safely recover at home without having to be readmitted, making room for sicker patients waiting for beds, and increasing overall efficiency throughout the continuum of care.
Taking a Patient-Centric Approach
An aging population, the financial pressures of existing systems, advances in digital technology, and the consumerization of healthcare are moving healthcare toward greater patient engagement that delivers better patient outcomes.
Empowering patients and their caregivers to be active participants in the continuum of care—from proactively guiding them through their personalized pathways to allowing them to control their hospital environment in real time—helps them prepare for a more successful discharge, reducing the chance of readmission and enhancing their satisfaction and wellness.
The same tools used to empower patients in their care also increase operational efficiencies for the hospital staff by automating routine tasks and documentation and offloading non-clinical tasks, relieving the burdens and stresses often associated with staff burnout, especially for nurses.
However, many healthcare organizations are hindered by outdated legacy systems and policies when trying to fully maximize emerging technologies. Legacy siloed approaches can make it difficult to put information in the right hands. For example, a hospital may have trouble passing along an electronic health record to a patient’s primary care physician who is unequipped to handle and store that data. In addition, compliance issues relating to the protection of patient information can hinder attempts at sharing the data gathered by newer technology.
Many hospitals have incorporated bedside technologies, like iPads and touch screen monitors, to act as real-time information systems for communication with caregivers, patient education, entertainment, and post-discharge management. But according to IDC, these bedside technologies are no longer a viable tool for ensuring your facility is taking a truly patient-centric approach.
Digital Transformation Is the Cure: The Smart Hospital Room
The next step to ensuring patients are playing an active role in their recovery comes with digitally transforming the hospital room into a smart space. Using device-agnostic patient engagement software helps you proactively deliver the right information at the right time to patients, empowering them to self-manage and equipping staff with the insights needed to deliver excellent service and higher-quality care.
Patient-engagement software, like Get Well’s proprietary workflow engine, enables your staff to provide personalized care plans that help patients understand their condition, learn about medications, assess pain, prepare for discharge, and successfully recover at home. They also benefit your care team by triggering, automating, and standardizing clinical processes to improve workflow efficiency and drive quality, safety, and service outcomes.
Giving patients the power to engage in their care and customize their hospital experience, sparks a remarkable feedback loop of patient and caregiver collaboration that not only improves clinical results, but streamlines care provisioning. In fact, the use of Get Well’s solution has improved patient satisfaction scores by 30%, reduced complications by 54%, and reduced readmissions by 45%.
In the smart hospital room, the patient is outfitted with a wearable device that can be read by the technology in the room, providing the healthcare staff with access to the patient’s healthcare information right away. The integrative software makes it easy for the patient to communicate with their doctors, nurses, and clinicians, and learn how to proactively manage their care in preparation for recovery at home.
For the hospital staff, the smart hospital room enables them to be more efficient in their delivery of patient care by streamlining registration and intake at the start of the patient’s stay to facilitate transitions and maintain continuity of care through discharge. This refined process can alleviate staff burnout without diminishing the quality of the care they provide.
Optimizing Healthcare Management
Get Well partnered with FlexITy, an award-winning integrator of smart technology and service solutions, to develop a suite of patient-centric solutions that integrate interactive mobile applications, secure health IT and data, and healthcare management expertise—FlexHealth.
FlexHealth is the first patient engagement platform utilized in a Canadian hospital, leading the way for greater patient-centric care. This solution integrates seamlessly with existing Health Information Systems (HIS) and in-room technology, putting the power to communicate, connect, and collaborate into the hands of clinicians and the patients they care for. This innovative solution empowers scalable, personalized experiences that deliver measured outcomes, improved patient care and satisfaction, and optimizes clinical workflows.
Built on a Cisco infrastructure backbone and combining industry-leading networking and connections with leading-edge smart healthcare technology, FlexHealth is the evolution of top-of-license care.
To learn about a real-life implementation of smart rooms, check out Get Well’s on-demand webinar or read more about smart patient engagement solutions. You can also reserve your spot for a VIP tour of our Canadian hospital room to see for yourself.