Unraveling Real-Time Health System to Address COVID-19 Challenges

Real-time health systems

The overarching vision of a real-time health system (RTHS) is to help healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) move past the complexities of the digital era and align their resources to deliver value to patients, reaping the benefits of a more streamlined and efficient orchestration in the process. 

While there are many tools that may fit within the realm of a real-time health system (RTHS) architecture, Gartner views solutions within Crisis/Emergency Management, Care Team Collaboration and Patient Throughput and Capacity Management as mission-critical in addressing Coronavirus (COVID-19) challenges. 

This post discusses RTHS and explains how critical alerting and notification tools must be part of the broader strategy to enhance clinical communication and care team collaboration. Critical alerting is just a precursor to addressing today’s healthcare challenges, ranging from fluctuating mortality rates to the overall patient experience. 

What Is Real-Time Healthcare Technology?

RTHS is an advanced care delivery structure that empowers HDOs with real-time information to achieve maximum patient satisfaction. It’s a culmination of IT strategies spread across healthcare departments. RTHS represents how healthcare organizations are embracing digital transformation to gain a greater degree of situational awareness and collaborate to deliver patient-centric care. It’s designed to achieve quality outcomes at reduced costs. 

How Will COVID-19 Impact the Adoption of RTHS Tools?

At OnPage, we’ve seen a surge of HDOs looking to enhance their clinical communications during these unprecedented times. Antiquated technologies, such as traditional paging systems, aren’t built to handle the communication demands of a pandemic. 

Now more than ever, HDOs are appreciating the benefits that RTHS technologies bring to the table. Facilities are willing to make investments if there’s a strategic fit within the entire RTHS ecosystem. This monumental shift gives HDOs a preview of the organizational value that an entire RTHS deployment can bring. 

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RTHS Technologies Are Required

RTHS is not a single software, but a combination of specific technologies that can shape the future of digital innovation in care delivery, acting as a bridge to the advanced era of precision medicine and digital care delivery. 

Gartner suggests that HDOs should welcome the infinite potential of RTHS technologies within the following areas:

  • Care Team Collaboration 
  • Crisis/Emergency Management
  • Patient Throughput and Capacity Management

Care Team Collaboration

As COVID-19 continues to expand its reach, with new cases being confirmed in different nations, one can’t undermine the importance of rapid dissemination of information related to patient care. 

Clinical communication platforms are robust, secure messaging solutions that integrate with existing clinical systems to enhance patient care. They incorporate secure messaging, team collaboration, alert escalation and more into one user-centric system. The solution also integrates with a facility’s electronic medical records (EMRs), allowing providers to exchange sensitive patient records in a secure, HIPAA-compliant fashion.

Crisis/Emergency Management

These platforms optimize critical event response by orchestrating task management, resources, communications, collaboration and data, all under one application. A robust platform provides a bird’s-eye view of the response plan to all stakeholders, including first responders and boardroom executives.

Patient Throughput/Capacity Management

Successful implementation solves challenges within patient demand estimation, clinical workflow compliance, workflow bottlenecks and resource allocation. It’s recommended that hospital chief information officers (CIOs) explore investments within this space to enhance operational efficiencies and patient care outcomes, during and after combating COVID-19.   

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As COVID-19 continues to spread, it’s crucial that healthcare organizations are well-prepared to tackle the global crisis. In addition to an emergency management solution, it’s imperative to invest in an advanced clinical communication system⁠—a necessity when dealing with high-risk, urgent events.

Adopting new technologies often places hospitals in defensive mode. In these situations, leaders and clinicians are the baton holders, advocating for RTHS and its benefits. Leaders, however, are far more crucial in this fight, as they’re the persons that decide to adopt and propagate RTHS solutions within their healthcare facilities.

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