With close to 35 million non-admitted patient service events provided by Australian public Hospitals and over 10 million hospitalisations per year (Source: AIHW 2016), applying technology solutions to healthcare is essential for health providers to cope with the increasing demands.
NEXA is at the forefront of patient journey management in Australia and are thought-leaders on the technology advancements in the health sector.
This past week we have been on the road hosting our workshop series in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast*. Attendees from public and private hospitals, government health organisations, consultants, engineers, clinicians, nurses and students attended the sessions and were intrigued with the trends happening in hospitals worldwide which Lior Miller, our keynote speaker and Chief Solution Architect at our technology partner, Q-nomy, identified.
Lior delved into 9 key trends driving the health industry, starting with the importance of a truly patient centric approach which is defined as:
“Health care that establishes a partnership among practitioners, patients, and their families (when appropriate) to ensure that decisions respect patients’ wants, needs and preferences and solicit patients’ input on the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care.”
There is a trend to focus on smart hospitals instead of just the paperless journey many Hospitals are undertaking. “A smart hospital is a hospital that relies on optimised and automated processes built on an ICT environment of interconnected assets, including Internet of things (IoT) devices, to improve existing patient care procedures and introduce new capabilities”. He stressed the point that it is not just about implementing the latest technology, but truly understanding your patient and organisations needs and processes and applying and investing in the right technology to optimise and continuously improve the patient experience.
“Uber” for healthcare is another hot discussion topic as Emergency Departments continue to fail because of the ever growing need for on demand services. It is important to consider the social implications of on demand medical services.Sweden is a classic example of a new social class devide, where even in one of the most socially advanced societies, the wealthy received better care due to rapid expansion of the private sector (now close to 50% of all Healthcare services), and the poor often receive a lower standard of care due to increased demand for services with reducing resources..
Patient throughput optimization is more than just patient flow and highlights the importance of planning. Lior stated “there are many solutions for this at the moment for directing your patients in real time BUT it depends on the data going in and this is where you need to focus. You need to monitor and manage every step of the process.”
He then challenged the audience by saying that we already know 95% of the care pathways for presentations at Hospitals so why not automate what we already know? Care Path Automation is about managing work flows and not workstations and this shift in approach will help reduce operational waste.
The health care industry is decades behind other consumer-oriented businesses in using predictive analytics to anticipate future needs and costs. Effective use of analytics requires data warehouses and integration of data from all available sources.
Artificial intelligence will be another game-changer for health care providers in the coming years.
There is increasing pressure on hospitals around the world to reduce the size of their waiting rooms and generate income from patients by redirecting them to the commercial areas of Hospitals. Wearables to generate customer data are also gaining in popularity and keeping waiting patients entertained to ensure their experience in the Hospitals is positive.
Lastly, Telehealth is proving to be an area of growth and it is predicted that by 2020, 35% of GP visits will be completed remotely. In the US, virtual hospitals are already in existence with not a single patient in sight! Is this the future for healthcare in Australia?
In Sydney, Katie Bowden, Informatics and Data Manager at Prince of Wales Hospital shared the Cancer & Haematology Services patient flow management solution her team, along with NEXA, implemented in just 7 months. One of their greatest challenges was how to manage patients with multiple appointments being treated/consulted on multiple levels with different workflows and the ability to provide patients real-time feedback on delays to appointments or treatments. She passionately explained how the NEXA Healthcare Solution enabled them to effectively manage their patient flow whilst keeping the patients, clinicians and management informed in real-time.
When Bill Thompson, NEXA’s Director of Health, was standing amongst the queues in Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital waiting room a few years ago, the CEO John Stanway, said to him "there's mayhem in the waiting area, so if you can help us... here's my card, call me on Monday". Now with the NEXA solution in place there is hardly a queue with the close to 1,000 presentations at the specialist clinic every day. Sean Beattie, Clinic Co-ordinator, showed in detail how they efficiently manage the care pathway of the patients, and their families, on a daily basis with real-time communications using their mobile app. It even allows families to view their upcoming appointments, ensuring any updates are communicated with the family in advance.
The levels of engagement of the audiences clearly indicated that the topics NEXA covered are of great interest to the Australian healthcare industry. Some of the feedback we have received so far includes:
“The information provided was very helpful and the willingness of speakers to answer questions was great.”
“Knowledgeable speakers; interesting and informative.”
We would like to thank Lior Miller and the hosting Hospitals for sharing their extensive knowledge and experience and extend our thanks to all those who attended the workshops.
If you would like to know more about NEXA’s Healthcare Solution, get in touch with our local team of experts today.
*Owing to inclement weather, we have postponed our workshop at Gold Coast University Hospital which was due to take place today. We look forward to sharing our rich insights with our Queensland community next month.