The Hospital IQ team participated in last week’s HiMSS, the largest healthcare conference held annually in Orlando with close to 40,000 attendees. We were there to support our two key strategic partners, TeleTracking and Allscripts, on the show floor. Much of the show’s focus this year was geared toward demonstrating a practical use of technology within the healthcare system, and less about the next cool app.
Innovation occurs from within.
HiMSS’ focus on practicality underscores the need to work closely with your customers. Who better understands the intricacies of a problem than the customer dealing with it? Our customers deal with problems day in, day out, and many have found home-grown ‘work-arounds’ solutions that are quite impressive. For example, a CMIO demonstrated an ED dashboard that had been internally developed at his hospital and talked about how he frequently met with his ED team to receive feedback on how to improve it. There was an icon of a patient sleeping on the screen and he proudly said that one colleague had asked for this in order to show when a patient is anesthetized because this requires additional staff and monitoring. It reminds us that if we want to build solutions that truly benefit our customers, we need to do the same as that CMIO. Don’t build a solution around what you think the problem is. Dig into the problem, with the customer, and develop a solution that addresses the complexity of a problem, and works in a real-life setting.
Disparate points of view are just as bad as disparate systems.
Our favorite quote of the conference came from a CMO and former surgeon. He said, “There is surgeon time and then there is real time.” He was referring to the fact that many surgeons often have an inaccurate assessment of how long a surgery takes to complete. And it’s not just surgeons. There are many roles, business units, and services in the hospital, all of which create a unique, and sometimes contradictory view of the patient experience. When we think about practicality, we must remember that the people on the front lines don’t have time to analyze data to figure out what actions can or should be taken to optimize overall hospital performance. The solutions we put at their fingertips must provide clear, accurate insights as well as offer actionable recommendations that can be easily understood and implemented.
Hospitals and health systems need an operations planning and management system that creates a transparent and accessible view of the entire patient flow which can unite these differing points of view and get them focused on driving efficiency and not on defining terms.
Most hospitals and health systems believe they have unique challenges, while in reality most are striving to achieve the same outcomes:
- Better and greater patient care
- Stronger and happier staff
- Improved financial performance
Practicality at Hospital IQ always means working closely with our customers so that we not only help that particular hospital or health system, but so that we also help bring about critical change to the healthcare industry as a whole.