Midmark is focused on developing innovative technology and new approaches that enrich experiences between caregivers and their patients at the point of care in ambulatory environments.
Jon Wells, chief commercial officer for Midmark Corp., offers some thoughts on challenges and opportunities the industry faces when it comes to integrating new technology.
- In terms of technology, what is the biggest change happening in healthcare?
When it comes to technology, one of the biggest changes is the pace of change itself. In prior years, change occurred at a pace that enabled organizations, caregivers and patients to adapt over time. Today, it has accelerated to a point where each month brings new developments. Rapid innovation is imperative for realizing a better care experience and outcomes.
At the same time, we are seeing an alignment between patients, payers and providers in terms of healthcare delivery. The importance of all stakeholders driving to improved outcomes at lower costs as a unified goal is quite new to healthcare and engenders optimism for our collective future. More so than ever, all stakeholders, no matter their role in designing care delivery, are collectively part of the solution to ‘fixing’ healthcare.
Driven by changes, healthcare is emerging as an ecosystem where greater connectivity and digitization are transforming how care is delivered and each participant is expected and encouraged to play an important role, with the patient at the center.
- What do you see as the biggest obstacle to technology adoption at the point of care?
One of the biggest obstacles is that many caregivers and physicians are hesitant to introduce new technology at the point of care. This could be attributed to the experience many had with the rollout of electronic medical records (EMR).
According to a 2018 national survey by The Doctor’s Company, 54 percent of the more than 3,400 physicians responding felt that EMRs have had a negative impact on the physician-patient relationship. Sixty-one percent also felt that EMRs have negatively impacted efficiency and workflow.
While the influx of digital record keeping was intended to improve healthcare, many view EMRs as being disruptive to the in-room experience. One of the main reasons is that the technology was not originally designed to primarily benefit the caregiver experience at the point of care.
- How do we overcome this challenge and help promote future technology integration at the point of care?
First, as an industry, it is important that we acknowledge the flawed EMR rollout and learn from that experience, where demands on the clinician were originally underestimated in time and scope.
Second, equipment and technology providers need to work closely with caregivers and healthcare organizations to see through the hype and identify which technologies make sense and offer tangible benefits for patients and care teams.
Third, healthcare organizations need to design clinical environments that support workflows that integrate technology and maintain the humanistic aspects involved in care delivery. This will help caregivers reclaim their time with patients at the point of care.
- What’s one area of the care environment that can benefit from new technology today?
There is technology available on the market today that is designed to help identify and reduce safety issues and hazards in clinical environments. Real-time locating system (RTLS) technology has been providing value in acute care for decades and more recently, helped healthcare organizations improve the experience in ambulatory care facilities.
RTLS makes capturing accurate workflow data possible, communicating in-the-moment patient and staff locations, wait times and staff interactions, as well as providing a vast amount of retrospective detail.
RTLS technology also can be used to identify who and which equipment may have been exposed to an otherwise identified contagion and for how long. It can further reduce safety issues in the clinical environment with capabilities such as nurse call automation.
- As you see it, what is the ultimate promise new technology holds for the point of care in ambulatory environments?
At Midmark, we see technology helping create a fully connected point of care ecosystem that brings together every aspect of care to eliminate barriers and inefficiencies by integrating processes, equipment and people. We see advanced technology helping ensure a more satisfying and seamless experience for patients and caregivers by providing a platform where organizations can leverage new technologies, incorporate best practices and employ greater standardization.
Ultimately, the goal is to improve the quality of care delivered and outcomes achieved.
Jon Wells is the chief commercial officer for Midmark Corp.