Dave Bennett, CEO of pCare, gives his professional insights into patient engagement systems, and how they are needed for the healthcare of the future…
In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, the once golden standard of optimising healthcare performance has shifted from the Triple Aim (enhancing the patient experience, improving population health, and lowering costs) to the Quadruple Aim, which factors in clinician wellbeing.
Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed the pandemic repeatedly demonstrate the effects of clinician burnout and how it impacts the patient experience, health outcomes, and financial costs.
As staffing shortages and burnout have only grown, addressing the clinician work life remains crucial.
I believe digital transformation holds the key to fully re-engineering healthcare processes for the better, which will benefit the patients, clinicians, and healthcare organisations overall.
Modern patient engagement platforms are comprised of a suite of applications designed to promote seamless collaboration between patients, staff, and loved ones.
Benefits of top-tier engagement systems
Seeking to provide support across the care continuum, top-tier patient engagement systems leverage scalable architecture on open APIs, which allow added functionality via electronic health records (EHR) and integrations with systems such as nurse call, environmental controls, and meal ordering to drive patient satisfaction and operational efficiency for clinicians.
The most advanced digital systems offer universal access through a host of devices and technology to further connect the entire facility. From infusion centres to emergency departments and beyond the walls of the facility, advanced technology keeps patients and providers seamlessly connected.
These platforms create the hospital of the future, where clinicians reduce involvement in non-clinical tasks and spend the bulk of their time truly focused on patient care. This is a win-win for patients, healthcare professionals, and facility administrators.
Connected & Collaborative Capabilities
Digital transformation isn’t about removing the human component but pairing technology at every step to optimise the experience for patients, providers, and loved ones. ]
I believe it’s about new ways of delivering value. Leveraging technology to streamline clinician tasks while improving care is a critical value driver of patient engagement systems.
Integrations with health IT systems encourage the patient to manage non-clinical aspects of their admission with ease.
For example, the room of the future allows the patient to change the room’s temperature, lower the lights, order a meal, and place a service request without needing face time with a nurse. It gives the patient a sense of independence and allows staff to remain focused on care.
To provide the ability to further collaborate, digital whiteboards in patient rooms and digital door signs conveniently convey critical information to staff and families, such as daily schedules, precautions, patient repositioning, and the current care team.
Automatic updates from integrated hospital systems replace manual staff entries, making the information available to all stakeholders more quickly and increasing transparency while reducing time spent performing unnecessary or repetitive tasks.
Transparency builds trust
By proactively providing this information for families, loved ones can better understand the complex medical needs of the patient. This transparency builds trust among the patient, the medical staff providing care, and the family members.
Empowered patients & providers
When done right, I truly believe digital transformation makes care delivery more accessible and understandable for all patients.
At its core, an Interactive Patient Care System leverages the television infrastructure as a communication hub for education, entertainment, and empowerment.
It takes a familiar interface – the TV remote control in the form of a health pillow speaker that is connected to the nurse call system – and empowers patients to engage in their care and collaborate with providers.
This increases operational efficiency as providers can make the most of their time and continuously practice at the top of their license.
Beyond the four walls of the hospital, cross-continuum patient engagement systems facilitate longitudinal care collaboration via the same set of open APIs and an ever-growing array of digital health technologies.
Physician-prescribed digital journeys guide patients through a specific care episode, such as elective surgery, or provide accurate and crucial details for the ongoing management of a chronic condition.
A provider dashboard that integrates with the HIT allows the care team to track patient progress throughout the journey.
Patients who are actively engaged in their own health journeys see more improvement than passive participants.
Our team aims to help clinicians boost patient engagement by leveraging the healing potential of collaboration, communication, and empowerment.
With personalised education and patient actions along with more opportunities for feedback on care needs, patients and providers work together at a higher level, as emphasised by the Quadruple Aim.
By efficiently utilising technology at every step, clinician engagement and patient satisfaction are increased.
Care will be decentralised
Digital transformation is happening at a time when the population demographics are shifting, having an ageing population served by a shrinking workforce.
Care will be decentralised, and digital health will be a necessity. It is important that we lay the groundwork now, so we can best meet the needs of both the ageing population and the shrinking provider workforce. We can lay the groundwork now though, that’s the good news.
The key is to leverage technology in a manner that will not only deliver excellent care to meet each patient’s evolving expectations (think of the demand to age in place) but also ensure the well-being of clinicians and healthcare staff are factored into the equation.
In my mind, successful patient engagement systems all come down to being people-centric. This philosophy is built on empathy, the importance of listening, and putting the other person first. That’s why we must listen to the needs of the patient, staff, and the overall industry.
The Quadruple Aim has become an even higher priority for me as we’ve progressed throughout the pandemic.
As teams and facilities are experiencing staff shortages and resource constraints, we continue to enhance our end-to-end stress-free Patient Engagement Ecosystem to further benefit the patient, staff, and facility.
Engaging with patients through interactive patient systems enhances the overall experience through smart technological designs and supports innovative and compassionate care.
This is the future of healthcare delivery.
Dave Bennett 2023