14. August 2012 06:00
I've been thinking a lot about the impact of mobile technology on Healthcare. For the last few months I have been working with a task group with mHIMSS that is attempting to prepare hospital IT staff for the flood of mobile connected devices heading their way and recently released the “What’s Next Work Group Report: Emerging Tech Trends 2012”. Some of the BIG trends that are moving more rapidly than we expect will change everything. In this blog I will take a crack at some of those issues.
Everything is going wireless… EVERYTHING! This is tough because hospitals are traditionally hostile environments for radio waves. They have lots of concrete and steel walls, long hallways, elevators and lots of electrical equipment that radiates interference.
It is time to get serious about your wireless infrastructure. Many hospitals have relied on 3rd party service providers to maintain their wireless networks. These networks may have been designed a decade ago with only data-quality capacity and little concern for fast roaming, packet loss, jitter and a myriad of other considerations needed for today's demands. Access points maybe hidden under ceiling tiles, have poor power settings, or have an obsolete topography and channel settings. When was the last time you had a top-to-bottom, campus wide assessment / audit of your network?
Have you been thinking much about the "Internet of Things"? Maybe you should. The amount of R&D that is pouring into development and use of wireless sensors is mind-boggling. Sensors will soon be arrayed throughout the physical space to detect a variety of adverse conditions…think smart beds, smart rooms, smart gurneys, medical devices. Sensors will be worn in clothing, stuck to the skin (smart band aids and patches), taken internally or embedded under the skin.
All of these sensors will need to be connected into a data network where they can accumulate massive amounts of information.
All of these wireless devices and sensors are producing massive amounts of data and that leads me to the topic of Big Data. We will need a way to store, access and analyze petabytes of information. That's right, petabytes… 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (plus 20 more 0's) of data… but who's counting. Hidden in this data will entirely new medical protocols, diagnosis and disease markers just waiting to be discovered. Healthcare institutions will be drowning in data if action is not taken immediately.
The future is roaring down on vendors and providers and we all need to be ready to embrace the change. So…buckle your seat belts and hang on!
17. January 2012 09:34
These days, there are few things that get me angry. Life is going well - Voalté continues to flourish, I have great family and friends, and I get to wear the coolest outfit in the industry everyday to work. Let me tell you, these pink pants are comfortable! With the exception of my Florida Gators struggling in football, life is good!
However, on January 9, 2012 Eric Wicklund published the following quote in an mHIMSS article about the SpectraLink 8452:
"Emerson says nurses are often left in the background when hospitals develop communication strategies…the 8452 is ideal for providers who have followed a "just good enough" policy for their nurses".
I don't normally call-out other vendors, but this article INFURIATED me.
"Just good enough" policy for their nurses???
I couldn't believe what I was reading.
Beyond claiming this device was "setting the bar" in any category (this phone probably has the tech spec's of a 1990's cellular phone), this company has the audacity to infer that hospitals should undertake a "just good enough" strategy for their nurses. This is contradictory to everything we stand for at Voalté and we aren't going to let this slide without calling it out.
I know if my friends or family are in the hospital, I don't want a nurse with "just good enough" technology taking care of them. I want a nurse that has the best tools and technology possible to take care of my loved ones. Our nurses have extremely demanding jobs and deserve the best - especially when the cost of the best is about the same as "just good enough".
Settling for "just good enough" isn't going to cut it anymore.
So as we kick off the New Year, I have one simple question for you and your administrative team: Is 2012 another year your hospital settles for "just good enough" or is 2012 the year your hospital steps up and makes sure caregivers have the best tools possible to do their job?
There is no time like the present to make the change… and we at Voalté are ready to help every step of the way.
Cheers to a great 2012!