Monday, December 3, 2012

Replacing Drywall with Knowledge

The latest innovation in healthcare involves the use of walls and surfaces as computing devices.  It is a natural extension to a digital signage solution and improves communication while contributing to safer patient outcomes.  Located in a number of different healthcare facilities including hospital operating rooms, education centers and research labs.
Walls of Knowledge provide Integrators excellent opportunity around the consulting, design, hardware sales and installation, software integration as well as ongoing maintenance and professional services.  These are unique and highly customized solutions that automatically gather critical information from diverse systems, synchronize it with people and processes, and present it on rich displays.

The integrated displays have a measurable impact on the work of operating room teams and medical education professionals.  Pilots are currently underway across the world with numerous case studies available from the likes of Columbia University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical Center and Saint Luke’s Healthcare in Kansas City.

A major benefit to a Wall of Knowledge is Telementoring.  Medical specialists are sharing knowledge with one another across the world through virtual tools. With advanced audio, video and IT capabilities, the operating room has become a virtual classroom.  Additionally, with permission and web access, viewers not only see and hear a surgeon at work, but also observe the operation in context.

Remote viewers see all information on the patient and procedure as it appears on a dashboard during surgery. Other information, such as PACS, pathology specimens, and lab reports, are also on display for the remote viewer.

How to sell a Wall of Knowledge

The solution drives better outcomes by integrating information from critical clinical processes in the operating room, enhancing overall workflow, while focusing on patient-centered care.  It provides the surgical team with a complete picture of what’s going on in the operating room precisely as its happening.  Among the innovations involved, it automates the “safe surgery checklists” prescribed by the World Health Organization, the Joint Commission, and other groups.

Most software solutions are structured in a dashboard format, helping to reduce surgical errors and complications by helping team members to document compliance with protocols, and confirming the correct patient, procedure and site prior to surgery.  The Wall of Knowledge will ensure pre-procedure verifications are documented and the Time Out checklist is completed.

Other benefits of this solution include improving awareness and communication in the operating room, increasing the safety of medications, and reducing the risk of infections.  By facilitating teamwork among caregivers, it ensures that information is managed in real-time, properly handed off and staff is accounted for as they enter and leave the environment.

Designing the Solution

The technology must be central to the action, accessible, but not intrusive to the high-paced environment.   The user experience must be focused on ease of use, while acknowledging that healthcare professionals using the system will range from early adopters to laggards.  The audio visual system will need to support modern healthcare facilities and be compliant for this ecosystem.  Operating rooms vary considerably from facility to facility.  An Integrator will be able to assess the environment and recommend the best solution.

Quality of the AV hardware is very important for displaying surgical and endoscopic video, pathology specimen, PACS, and other images as well as providing telecommunication links between the operating room and other areas.  The Wall of Knowledge should support one-touch control for managing monitors, lighting, cameras, temperature, and other environmental settings as well.

Increasing the efficiency of your healthcare customer will yield more profitable reimbursements and lead to higher patient and staff satisfaction. 

Walls of Knowledge are a true win-win for the Integrator and healthcare decision maker.  The complexity of the solution, combined with the level of design, consulting and integration will drive projects that are longer term, revenue intensive and highly profitable.