The Real Time Health System: Introducing a Vision

Rising medical devices costs, inefficient processes and decreasing  reimbursements might all be mentioned as threats to any hospitals long term sustainability.  As focus and investments are now turned toward creating a hospital environment which is both safe and efficient it is critical that healthcare organizations have a plan.  While true change will ultimately come from individual staff and departments acceptance of new processes and technology, a clear vision is essential for healthcare leaders looking to move in this direction.

The Concept: The RTHS uses up-to-date information to progressively remove delays to the management and execution of critical business processes.  The goal is to ensure that the information necessary to deliver care in a safe and timely manner is readily available at the point of care along with the information to support evidence based medicine and clinical decision support.

The Keys to Success:

Data Capture Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by care providers today is the task of capturing and linking the correct data at the point of use.  Forced to tow a fine line between devoting as much attention as possible to the patient while still completing clinical documentation , charge capture and regulatory workflows leads to the loss of over 20% of data in clinical settings.

IT and Communications Infrastructure – The RTHS is dependent on an infrastructure with the ability to be responsive, highly available and event driven.  Having the  ability to link data captured at multiple locations in the hospital and then automatically route it to the appropriate enterprise systems will deliver new efficiencies leading to higher margins and better patient outcomes.  To successfully operate in real time, Healthcare providers must expand their use of automation,  location/ condition sensing  and event driven technologies.

Creating Awareness Platforms Awarness Platforms are the building blocks of the real time health system and are created  by exchanging, aggregating, correlating and analyzing key enterprise event activity in real time, the result is a transparent look at the information necessary to dynamically modify workflows and business processes to improve efficiency, quality and regulatory compliance.  An effective awarness platform has the ability to integrate with enterprise patient scheduling, materials management, EMR and billing systems automatically pushing accurate and relevant information in the support of operational processes.

While the Real Time Hospital is still taking form, it is critical that investments of both time and money be made in which will lead to the creation of such an environment.

Start small when implementing new technology, train staff and gain acceptance, collaborate with IT to make integrations happen and most importantly realize the vast advantages to be had through accurate data.