Posted by: Jenny Laurello
care coordination, connectivity models, coordinated care, data interoperability, Patient data, RFID
Guest post by Stuart Long, chief marketing and sales officer, Capsule Tech, Inc.
Scan through the pages of most health care IT publications and it becomes readily clear that the spirit of innovation is vibrant. Health care is an industry driven by the need to increase efficiencies and improve care to better and more cost-effectively serve patients. Hospitals have turned their attention to implementing technologies that increasingly build on existing investments while also meeting meaningful use and other requirements in the near term, in order to better align with the ultimate vision of health care for their patients.
As part of this vision, the future state of health care would include a system that allows a patient’s data to follow the individual wherever he or she resides in the care process. It is essential for patient data to be readily available to a patient’s care team to ensure proper care coordination as they move through the continuum of care, from inpatient and outpatient facilities, long-term care, skilled nursing facilities, and ultimately to their home.
Achieving this part of the vision for the health care system will take time. One of the biggest initiatives for hospitals in 2013 will be better management of the intricacies of patient data integration – a stepping stone along the path toward establishing a standard upon which data follows each patient through the care process. Patient to device integration at the point of care will become an important objective for hospitals to meet as they build that infrastructure and lay the groundwork for achieving their vision. This can be achieved through the development of a core and unified connectivity infrastructure.
Hospitals will turn to platforms that can handle the complexity of having multiple connectivity models at points of care, in order to better manage patient data. Data quality and interoperability will be at the forefront of the connectivity infrastructure. As a result, we will see an increased focus on improving the coordination of care, patient engagement and adherence to governance of managing patient data over the continuum of care. This will require the building of infrastructures that will support this and all future deployments of point-of-care connectivity within the framework of multiple models, which include:
- Connectivity models: gateways, wireless, wired, software only or hardware-based
- Association models: barcode scan, radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology integration, manual or on screen selection
- Boundary models: inpatient, outpatient, skilled nursing facilities, long-term care or home health
Hospitals will still have different approaches based upon a minimum of the above models even in the eventual presence of connectivity standards.
This will be a year in which hospitals invest in laying the groundwork necessary to impact efficiency and patient care in a meaningful way, as technological innovation continues to transform health care. Creating a connectivity infrastructure as the foundation for delivering patient data at each point of care will bring hospitals, patients, and the entire health care system one step closer to realizing its vision for excellence.