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Selecting the Right Healthcare Technology for Patient Safety

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Implementing healthcare technology solutions can significantly improve patient care, enhance operational efficiencies, and promote organizational growth. (1) It’s important to choose the right solution to fit your organization’s unique needs and help resolve challenges. 

Digital transformations in healthcare rely on data-driven technology to improve patient outcomes. (2)

Developing and executing a digital technology strategy to improve patient outcomes requires putting an end to outdated practices and adopting an innovative mindset. Too often, healthcare leaders are caught by the idea without thinking through to the deployment and application. 

Healthcare leaders can avoid common pitfalls and sift through all of the noise by asking key questions when exploring healthcare technology. 

5 Questions Leadership Teams Should Consider when Selecting Healthcare Technology

1. Is There a Centralized Portal for Communication?

Patient Safety technology fosters clearer and more transparent communication between leadership, care providers, and patients.

A research study by the Joint Commission found that 80 percent of serious medical errors are the result of miscommunication between caregivers during patient handovers. (3)

Having a single platform with easily accessible communication tools allows care teams to communicate effectively while staying informed and engaged. Care teams can access real-time patient information and track trends to prevent safety incidents before they occur.

2. Is the Technology Built for Healthcare?

When selecting a healthcare technology solution, it’s important to consider the details of how the platform is built. You don’t have to be an IT expert, but there are a few things you should know.

First of all, although there are many incident reporting, quality and PI solutions on the market, not all of them are built for healthcare. It’s especially important to consider whether or not the solution is HIPAA complaint to ensure that patient information is securely protected. An effective solution should go through annual audits to maintain HIPAA compliance.

For healthcare organizations in the U.S., it is also important to consider where the IT solution is being built. Ideally, your data should never leave the U.S. Make sure that potential vendors are being transparent about where your data is being stored, and whether their servers are located domestically or offshore.

3. Does the Technology Provide Easy-to-Analyze Reporting?

To achieve data-driven decision-making, healthcare leaders must carefully consider the reporting capabilities of a potential platform. For instance, can the system generate ad hoc reports (such as patient falls by department), or is the system limited to a pre-set series of basic reports? Additionally, can data be sorted and filtered within the system, or does it require an extra step of exporting?

Also, consider whether or not reports can be easily converted into multiple file formats. If you need to export a report, does the system have the capability to export data in Excel, Word, and PDF files, or will you need to use a separate software system to convert the report into various file types?

Finally, when choosing healthcare technology, leadership should consider the potential challenge of extracting data out of your existing system. If you select a vendor and then decide not to renew your contract, how difficult will it be to export your data? Although data extraction may not feel like the most pressing concern when beginning a relationship with a healthcare technology vendor, it is an important element to consider to avoid potential pitfalls down the line.

Download Our Guide to Selecting the Right Incident Reporting System

4. What Type of Training and Implementation is Provided?

Even the most user-friendly healthcare technology solutions come with a learning curve. Staff members will need guidance when adapting to new software. It is important to choose a solution that offers comprehensive training, either one-on-one or through a series of videos accessible at any time.

Regular planning meetings throughout the implementation process should provide the opportunity to review the solution at an early stage so that the software can be adapted and configured directly to the needs of your team. When choosing a solution, leadership teams should consider not only the software itself but also the process of how the software will be implemented.

5. Is the Healthcare Technology Customizable?

The “right”  healthcare technology solution looks different for every healthcare organization. That is why it is essential to choose other healthcare technologies that are customizable to the specific needs of your facility.

Healthcare Technology Advancements

Rather than changing your processes to meet the technology’s capabilities, an effective healthcare technology solution should be adaptable to the processes your team is already familiar with.

“Low Code” is a visual development approach to application development that is conducive to customization. Instead of coding new applications from scratch, users can configure an intuitive “drag-and-drop” system to build custom applications that fit their unique needs. (4)

Low code development allows organizations to respond quickly to changes and rapidly deliver technology solutions with minimal investment in creation, setup, and training. (4)

Customizable, low code technology solutions can be a good option for organizations looking to take a more modern, innovative approach toward patient safety and healthcare delivery.

Healthcare technology advancements have a substantial impact on patient safety. When selecting the right healthcare technology, it's essential that patient safety and quality always remain the primary focus. 

Healthcare Technology from Performance Health Partners 

Performance Health Partners (PHP) is a full-service software and service provider whose solutions modernize and optimize the performance, quality, patient safety, and operations processes of healthcare organizations.

PHP pairs sits customizable and SaaS solutions with comprehensive, high-touch support services to transform complexity into reliable, repeatable, and scalable processes that drive superior outcomes. 

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1. https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/healthcare-companies-must-iron-out-their-digital-strategies-ensure-future-growth

2. https://www.hipaajournal.com/effects-of-poor-communication-in-healthcare/

3. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/variation-in-healthcare-delivery-the-need-for-standardization.html

4. https://www.ipdsolution.com/ipdblog/low-code

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