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Real-Time Health Systems (RTHS) and Experiential Wayfinding

Posted on May 19, 2017 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Jody Shaffer from Jibestream.

You have probably heard about Real-Time Health Systems (RTHS). This is a game-changing trend among healthcare providers where the delivery of healthcare is transforming to a more aware and patient-centric system. Providers are leveraging technology to get pertinent information to decision makers as quickly as possible empowering them to make more informed decisions in real-time. Facilities that are amenable to change will remain strong in competitive markets, while those who are reluctant to adapt will fall behind.

As we entered this new era in healthcare, providers are faced with a series of challenges. Smart medical devices are transforming the healthcare dynamic as medical data and information is produced and multiplying at an exponential rate, yet it’s use has not been keeping pace. This data overload has created a significant obstacle for healthcare providers to overcome. There is also intense pressure to create a consumer and patient experience that is dynamic, accessible and engaging.

So the question is, how can healthcare providers quickly process and interpret copious amounts of data into a digestible format for immediate patient consumption while internalizing and translating the same data into operational intelligence?

The answer lies in evolving to a paradigm that is situationally aware and patient-centric in both operations and management. Not only is this pivotal in successfully achieving a RTHS, it ensures that healthcare providers connect, communicate and collaborate more effectively than they have in the past.

When looking to achieve a Real-Time Healthcare System, there are four primary phases that need to be addressed:

Phase 1 – Collecting data

Phase 2 – Processing data

Phase 3 – Translating data into intelligence

Phase 4 – Utilizing/sharing data

The final two phases are essential for healthcare providers to excel in this changing market dynamic and meet increasing patient expectations.

To yield valuable intelligence, data needs to be presented with situational context. Raw data is in itself useful for analytics, but can only be leveraged to create spatial awareness when augmented with location-based data.

Consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of real-time access to information from mobile devices and apps, and healthcare is no exception. Through a combination of location-aware technologies, hospitals can eliminate some of patient’s biggest frustrations fostering a more positive patient experience across the continuum of care.

Mobile apps, digital maps and interactive kiosks leverage connected technologies to help create a more familiar and engaging environment promoting an effortless and seamless patient experience.

Experiential wayfinding, made available through these technologies, form the foundation for enhancing patient experience, which is paramount to the success of a healthcare organization. Experiential wayfinding reduces the complexity of indoor spaces by anticipating where people are going and what they are looking for. It can be used to direct visitors to a facility and identify parking availability nearest their desired location. Once there, it can be used to guide visitors to destination(s) within a facility using turn-by turn directions making it easy and less stressful to get where they need to go.

An integrated platform can also enable proactive interactions engaging patients before, during, and after hospital visits. The use of mobile messaging to deliver contextual content based on a patient’s location and profile help create a more pleasant and efficient patient experience. Prior to a visitor’s departure to a hospital, the facility’s mobile apps can share information such as appointment delays or traffic delays to take into account on the way there. Mobile messaging also enables facilities to communicate with visitors by sending appointment reminders, context-aware messages, preparation guidelines, post-care instructions, and more. Another application of this can save patients the frustration of intolerable wait-times when a hospital is stretched beyond capacity by sending notifications to offer a change of appointment or alternate appointment location.

Location awareness and spatial context benefit both patients and healthcare providers alike. For clinicians and healthcare teams, this translates to accelerated productivity facilitated through visibility, the streamlining of processes resulting in the elimination of inefficiencies, minimizing staff interruptions, and a balance between resources and demand.

When managed properly, a RTHS enables healthcare providers to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes by leveraging the vast amount of data made available through connected computers, technologies and medical equipment across hospitals, clinics, and patient homes.

By merging the location dimension into healthcare systems, providers are able to bring order to complex data. Through geoenrichment and data visualization, providers can improve patient experiences and outcomes, uncover previously unseen data patterns, realize workflow efficiencies through connected technologies and enrich business insights leading to better more actionable decisions.

Behind the Scenes: Preparing for a RTHS Transition

  • Digitization of Space (converting CAD/DWG map files to SVG)
    Before data can be presented in the context of a map, healthcare providers need to digitize their space. This provides a scalable platform for plotting data to support multiple use cases.
  • Connect core systems and data
    Leveraging technology that offers interoperability allows for seamless integration of core systems and data
  • Connect assets and people
    Create situational awareness by connecting to assets and people
  • Connect maps to data with Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS)
    Look for a solution that offer a technology agnostic architecture to calibrate maps Indoor Positioning
  • Implementation
    Make all this available by extending solution to patient and nonpatient hospital workflows

About Jody Shaffer
Jody Shaffer is an experienced marketer with more than 13 years in the software industry. Jody currently leads the marketing department at Jibestream, an award-winning company specializing in indoor mapping and location intelligence solutions. The company’s platform provides developers with the tools to build custom map-enabled applications unlocking the full potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). Jibestream’s platform can be found implemented in hospitals and health care facilities across north America.

Leveraging Digital Signage in Hospitals

Posted on December 13, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One thing I love about living in Las Vegas is that we have every conference imaginable in our lovely town. It turns out that most people in healthcare love this as well since it means that they can make a regular trip to Las Vegas for work. My most recent conference find is the Digital Signage Expo, February 26-28 and it has a surprising number of good healthcare focused content at the event.

As I thought about it more, digital signage is popping up everywhere in hospitals. For example, these are some of the areas that digital signage is used in hospitals to engage patients:

  • Digital Signage at Hospital Bedsides
  • Digital Signage in Lobbies
  • Digital Signage in Dining Area
  • Digital Signage in ED

However, the digital signage isn’t just seen by patients, but can also be a great way for hospitals to communicate important messages to clinical staff as well. Here are a few places where digital signage can engage the hospital staff:

  • Digital Signage in Nursing Units
  • Digital Signage in Employee Break Rooms
  • Digital Signage in Physician Lounges

Think about some of the possible benefits of properly implemented digital signage in hospitals:
Reduce Hospital Readmissions – This is a big topic in healthcare right now as hospitals search to lower costs and avoid penalties. Digital Signage can be a great way to properly educate the patients from when they step into your hospital to when they leave.

Increase Patient Compliance – Many hospitals are using their digital signage to educate their patients on discharge instructions, importance of filling and taking medications, and keeping follow up appointments with their primary care doctor.

Educate Caregivers – Many patients are recovering and unable to focus on the messaging provided, but digital signage provides an easy way to educate both the patient and their caregiver at the same time with a consistent, clear message.

Better Outcomes – This can be a particularly powerful outcome when clinical staff regularly see clinical messages. A simple example is using digital messages to improve hand washing in your hospital. An image can be a powerful motivator when it comes to promoting hand washing.

Put Patient at Ease – The right content can do amazing things to put a patient at ease during what can often be a very stressful experience.

Navigate the Facility – We often take for granted how easy it is for us to navigate the hospital. The same can’t be said for patients who visit the hospital irregularly. Digital Signage can’t help to alleviate this issue.

Patient Satisfaction – I have heard people talk about how reimbursement will soon be tied to patient satisfaction. Digital Signage is one major way to change the patient experience in your hospital for good. We will see a dramatic increase in patient satisfaction once we work to make their visit an experience.

Public Safety Alerts – In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and other disasters, I think we all can see the value of having a system available to communicate important safety alerts.

All of the above could lead to the most important result of them all: saving a life.

There’s a lot for a hospital to consider in order to achieve all of the benefits listed above using digital signage. The technology has become much more advanced, the variety of displays available is much broader, and then there’s always the challenge of how to produce and distribute the right content to these displays. Of course, this list doesn’t even include advanced functionality like the convergence of mobile technology with digital signage. That’s right. If you execute your digital signage properly, patients’ mobile devices can be a real asset to your messaging.

It seems like the Digital Signage Expo Healthcare track covers a lot of these challenges and more. Not to mention, it’s always great to hear how things are done in other industries so you can consider how that same thing can be applied to healthcare. Although, probably most interesting is Mayo Clinic’s Sharon Erdman leading a discussion on Patient Experience Design at the event.

I’d love to hear stories of how you’re using digital signage in your hospital or healthcare institution. What benefits and challenges have you seen?