Walnut Hill Medical Center in Dallas is the hospital of the future, but it’s here today. The new $100 million facility opened its doors to patients this month after ten years of planning and two years of construction.
What makes it so different from an ordinary hospital? Walk into the lobby, and you see and feel the difference immediately. The space is wide open, with natural light streaming in from floor-to-ceiling windows, and richly colored wood and earth tone furniture and decor. Hospital administrators have an outlook that’s equally appealing: They say WHMC is “guided by the philosophy of the best people using the best practices and advanced technology to provide excellent care to patients.” In fact, the hospital was built around a “patients first” philosophy which emphasizes that every patient receives personalized, compassionate care.
The hospital’s commitment to advanced technology is where Voalte comes in. Dr. Ricardo Guerra, who sits on the hospital’s Executive Board, explains: “As we designed the operations of the facility, it became clear that effective communication among not only staff, but also between staff and patients, was paramount to achieving our goal of effective patient-centered care. Voalte provided the perfect solution with their tools built on iPhones.”
Dr. Guerra and the WHMC staff recognize that our Mobile Communication Strategy is about a lot more than giving caregivers the ability to send text messages. It’s about empowering hospitals to deliver the best patient experience possible. Voalte helps our customer hospitals create a phased approach that starts with Voalte One to connect caregivers inside the hospital, expands with Voalte Me to connect physicians outside the hospital, then extends to integrations with technologies such as alarm middleware and electronic medical records.
“The Voalte system has become a core component of what we call the iHospital Initiative,” says Dr. Guerra. “We are working on tight integration through our middleware and nurse communication system such that either automatic or potentially patient-directed notifications can be registered on the phones. This will not only allow our caregivers to respond much more quickly to our patients’ needs, but also provide the means with which to engage them in the healing process.
“For example, we’re working on building connections between our patient interactivity portal, our EMR and the Voalte system. We will be engaging our patients via prescribed videos ordered on our EMR, delivered by the portal, with feedback from the patient being documented in the EMR and the appropriate caregiver or educator notified through the Voalte phones as needed. And we’ve only just scratched the surface of what might be possible with Voalte!”
It’s innovative thinking like this that prompted a Forbes contributor to call WHMC, “The hospital Steve Jobs would have built.” But you don’t have to build a sparkling new facility with every bell and whistle to benefit from the latest technology. Voalte is working with all kinds of small and large hospitals from Alaska to Miami to set them on a path toward more efficient communication, greater productivity and happier patients.
As government reimbursements become increasingly dependent upon patient satisfaction, more hospitals are seeking creative ways to empower their caregivers to better serve patients and families. Cutting-edge facilities like Walnut Hill Medical Center are leading the way, but you don’t have to be left behind. Please take a minute to post a comment below about how your hospital is working to improve patient experience.