A recent article that appeared in the New York Times was titled ‘When Heart Devices Fail, Who is to Blame?’. The central theme of the article focused on the struggles to establish accountability between various parties in the care delivery process when things go wrong. In this case, when faulty heart defibrillators are manufactured, distributed, and used, are medical device manufacturers or care providers at fault if patient care quality and safety is at risk.
While clearly a controversial issue, it does bring to light an important priority for care providers. Principally, the need to establish systems and processes that support care delivery, ensure optimal outcomes, and establish a foundation for promoting accountability in care delivery. The topic of accountability has been used frequently in the last year as healthcare reform has been proposed, debated, and ultimately passed. During that time the word may have taken on a negative connotation, however it shouldn’t as creating a system of accountability will lead to advances in care delivery.
For example, imagine being able to measure, analyze, and improve upon the decisions and activities that clinicians follow each day in delivering care. Not only will current performance be able to be evaluated, but also decision makers can be armed with information to identify opportunities for improvement. The first step in creating accountability is to realize there is an opportunity to improve. The second is identifying and implementing solutions that will help you measure, manage, and ultimately improve care delivery.
Identifying problems in care delivery workflows is one part of the relationship Mobile Aspects takes with our customers. Innovating to deliver easy-to-use process automation solutions that create smarter care delivery is the other part. We’ve had several customers see value in automating their processes for the receipt, storage, and utilization of implantable devices and supplies — including faulty heart defibrillators. These customers took a proactive stance in recognizing the need to improve. More importantly, they acted on their need to implement a solution that provides them with accountability in their ability to manage and track medical device inventory.