Get Excited for MHUG 2018!

We’re a little less than a month away from our second annual Mobile Heartbeat User Group conference, and we couldn’t be more excited to see you all in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. We’re ready to get down to business—with an agenda packed full of VIP speakers and innovation sessions, you’re sure to come away with new learnings, ideas and strategies to make an impact on clinical communication and collaboration at your organization.

Our speakers this year include clinical and operational leaders from several prestigious medical centers, and have specializations in clinical team data, device management and physician engagement. These experts will be sharing accomplishments and lessons learned on topics like:

  • Developing strategies and frameworks to track the impact of the MH-CURE platform alongside other clinical and operational systems.
  • Best practices for managing large fleets of hospital-owned devices, from install to deployment to ongoing upgrades and maintenance.
  • Engaging users and encouraging adoption of CC&C across all functional roles in the healthcare enterprise.

In addition to our client presentations, attendees will enjoy breakout sessions tackling problems around clinical communication data, technical dashboard setup, end-user responsibility, alert management and more. These innovation sessions will provide customers with the tools they need to fully take advantage of all the functionality MH-CURE has to offer.

Get to know our speakers a little better before MHUG:

  • Annette Brown, Director of Clinical Informatics at Eisenhower Medical Center
  • Heather Johnson, Application Director at Hospital Corporation of America
  • Michelle Fisher, BSN, RN, RNC-OB, Clinical Informatics Specialist at Lancaster General Hospital
  • Robert Crupi, MD, Chief of Corporate Health and Wellness at New York-Presbyterian
  • Samantha Herold, Clinical Engineering Integrations and Imaging at Yale New Haven Health

From the Mobile Heartbeat team, attendees can expect to gain an exclusive look into the 2019 roadmap and the longer-term strategy of the MH-CURE Platform. You will meet:

  • Bill Nussdorfer, Head of Product
  • James Webb, VP of Professional Services
  • Mike Detjen, Chief Operating Officer
  • Ron Remy, Chief Executive Officer
  • Saji Aravind, Chief Technology Officer
  • Tyler Gayman, Product Manager

We hope you’re as excited as we are for MHUG 2018.

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Building a Mobility Team (With a Little Help From Mobile Heartbeat)

Rolling out an enterprise communication platform at your hospital can seem like a massive undertaking—with so many moving parts, where do you even begin? Mobile Heartbeat will guide you through every step of the installation process, and one of the most crucial things that we do is set you up for operational success. Our goal is to create a client team that can support you and keep your clinical workflow moving smoothly.

I’ve learned a lot during my eight years at Mobile Heartbeat—we’re installed in 120 hospitals now and our number of active users has been climbing steadily. With such a robust foundation, I’ve seen it all in terms of implementations, so I know what can go right and what can go wrong.

Every hospital is different, so knowing how to compile a mobility team that works for your specific hospital can feel like a daunting task. However, my goal is to make this process easier for you, so I’ve compiled this guide of best practices so you have an idea of where to begin.

1. Assign a Dedicated Tech-Savvy Project Manager

A considerable amount of planning and cross-functional collaboration is necessary to enable effective communication in healthcare environments. For this reason, your project manager should understand the value of implementing a clinical communication platform like MH-CURE. They should also be able to coordinate the various departments that need to be involved in making this a success.

As clinical communication spans both the technical and clinical sides of a hospital, it helps to have someone that is already familiar with both sides—this could be someone involved in rolling out EMR updates or CPOE. The most successful projects we’ve run tend to start with an infrastructure and a well-defined process for connecting to alerting systems. These systems could support standard nurse call use cases or advanced AI-based alerting use cases such as sepsis prevention. Regardless, having a process in place to integrate with an alerting system is key. Therefore, the project manager should be comfortable with technology and able to deliver against the benchmarks your clinical leadership has set.

2. Visionary Clinical Leaders Are Key

Without a comprehensive understanding of your hospital’s clinical workflows, your mobile communication solution may not be as successful as you’d like. For that reason, clinical leadership should understand the time-, cost- and life-saving measures a communication platform can offer each of the care teams.

I’ve seen multiple clients face an uphill battle when they don’t engage the clinical leadership team early enough—they aren’t able to set the policy required to build up their core network, and it can derail the whole project.Fortunately, a little preparation can help you avoid this problem. Our Clinical Implementation team will help you:

  • Set your smartphone policy.
  • Highlight clinical workflows to address.
  • Create a communication plan to educate and inform your users.
  • Provide a set of benchmarks you can measure success against.

3. Get A Product Owner Who Can Deliver

A great product owner will be the driving force for executing on and delivering the vision that clinical leadership has. This person should be able to leverage our growing platform for minimal end-user disruptions, application updates and monthly security patches.

Many hospitals have specific workflow needs when setting up their communication systems, and the product owner is responsible for communicating those needs to us during installation. We partner with all of our sites and often, the product owner’s requests help us develop communication workflows to bring users back to the bedside. For the application enhancements to be available you need a team that can manage the devices.

4. Find Your “Glass Team”

A number of organizations are developing a mobile device management (MDM) team or a “glass team” that provides support for anything with a touchscreen. These teams tend to fit very well into the established IT departments at our client hospitals.

While building a glass team might not be possible at smaller hospitals, we recommend it because MDM contributes to the mobility of clinicians. MDM is also a key component of our rollout, and we work with our clients on the front line to keep MH-CURE working for your clinical teams.

The practice of tracking and maintaining mobile devices has improved significantly over the years but is still far behind the desktop PC tools that are available. Device tracking is an ongoing process that we will help put in place to keep devices available to end users, fully charged with the applications that are needed.

5. Establish A Support Team

As with any new technology, the first point of escalation for users is contacting the support team. That’s why establishing a support team is so important when you’re rolling out a new communication platform.

We have worked with a number of different support teams and can develop a support matrix to provide a timely and efficient response to end-user issues, from device Wi-Fi problems to nurse call alert optimization. We also organize training sessions and provide materials to keep your support team up-to-date on new releases and solutions.

With your mobility team in place, you’re one step closer to implementing practices for effective communication in healthcare. Fortunately, Mobile Heartbeat can help you the rest of the way. Learn more about how we can transform the way you communicate with your clinical team.

5 Considerations when Designing Software for Clinicians

As the User Experience Lead at Mobile Heartbeat, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time learning from our clinical users around the country. I’ve had the unique opportunities to shadow ER nurses on chaotic night shifts, observe an open-heart surgery on the OR floor, and of course, conduct hundreds of user interviews. Not only has this helped me build a deep respect for our users and the critical role they play in healthcare, it has helped me build a deeper understanding of their unique goals, frustrations, and workflows. At Mobile Heartbeat, one of our chief responsibilities is to understand our users and deliver a quality product to empower them. I’d like to share some insights we’ve learned along the way and outline five key considerations we use when designing software for clinicians.

 

Clinicians are highly mobile
Clinicians in the hospital are always on the move. The average nurse walks about 5 miles per day at work – hence the comfy shoes. It is common to see one of our users speed walking down the hall, pulling a phone out of their scrubs, and shooting off a quick text to a care team member before jumping into the next patient room. Because of this, it is important that we ensure our user experience is incredibly simple and intuitive. Our UI needs to be familiar, buttons need to be properly sized (or oversized), the use of color needs to be clear and intentional, and consequential interactions need to have confirmations to prevent “fat fingering.” These are all critical details that we are mindful of as we continue to evolve our product. Although subtle nuances, all of these elements create an overall simple application that improves efficiency and patient care.

 

Clinicians are highly distracted
Picture yourself trying to send an urgent text with three patient monitoring alarms going off, a patient coding in front of you, and the rest of the care team scrambling around you. This would certainly make you forget about that button tucked away off screen, or what that beautiful, but abstract, icon means. When clinicians are interacting with software in time-dependent, life-or-death situations, it dramatically increases the cognitive load of user interactions. Therefore, in MH-CURE we avoid forcing our patients to memorize, interpret, or learn elements in the application. By making calls-to-action clear, apparent, and on-screen, it becomes easier to react effectively in times of crisis.

 

In MH-CURE, we’ve designed a persistent banner to ensure that urgent communications never go unnoticed. Additionally, we use recognizable iconography and colors to clearly identify critical elements within the app. When in a text conversation, sending an urgent text is always visible on screen and one step away.

 

Not everyone is familiar with modern technology
Hospitals are typically huge, diverse environments, and this results in a highly diverse work force. Therefore, we made sure to avoid assumptions about our users and their technical expertise, accessibility needs, and ability to successfully interact with software. While it is important to always design for users with limited comfort with technology, it is also important to enable power users and provide them the tools to optimize their workflows. We continue to work on this balance as we evolve the user experience.

 

Hospital networks can be unreliable
In a perfect world there would be no dropped calls, lost texts, or poor call quality. This isn’t the case in our daily lives, and certainly not the case in the hospital environment. No matter how advanced the infrastructure is in a hospital, you will always find an issue in the corner of that specific unit, elevator, or hallway. While we don’t have control over this as a software vendor, what we can do is design our software to respond to these events appropriately. Therefore, we always provide feedback to the user to notify them when interactions are unsuccessful, when the network is down, and when external events are preventing them from using the application effectively.

 

We’ve designed a persistent banner to clearly display during connectivity issues.  Additionally, we always provide feedback to users through alert dialogues and status changes when messages fail to deliver. 

 

Not all clinical workflows are the same
We can all assume that the typical day of a cardiothoracic surgeon is very different from an ICU nurse. However, it is also important to understand that the workflow of an ICU nurse at one hospital can be very different from one at another hospital. Through collaboration with our users and in-house clinical optimization team, we understand the unique considerations of different hospitals and solve for all users when creating our software solutions. MH-CURE supports the entire enterprise, not just a specific subgroup of users. We recently released a new user interface, which was intentionally designed to address this need for flexibility and customization in the future.

We keep all of these considerations in mind as we continue to evolve our user experience at Mobile Heartbeat. We believe that truly great products are built by investing in understanding the thousands of tiny details that make up the daily experiences of our users. Through continued collaboration with our customers, we remain dedicated to evolving the MH-CURE Platform and dramatically improving our users’ ability to communicate and collaborate faster and more effectively.

 

 

Discovering your Data with CURE Analytics

During my 9 years as an ER nurse, I learned to look at the big clinical picture; bearing in mind that the canvas was made up of many smaller brushstrokes. The canvas would be stored in the back of my mind until I had to retrieve it to solve a bigger problem, sometimes examining each brush stroke. As part of Mobile Heartbeat’s Optimization team I take this same approach to advising our customers using data analytics.

In order to help our customers first adopt and then optimize their clinical and operational workflows (the canvas), we utilize CURE Analytics to discover how each user, role, unit or department is performing. We focus on who is communicating, who they communicate with, what type of user role they have, and most importantly, how many users are part of that role. We begin to think in terms of numerators and denominators knowing that rates in addition to raw numbers will help us understand the meaning of this communication picture. Our goal is to assist our customers climb step by step up the clinical communication & collaboration Value Hierarchy. In this post, I will share three data-guided questions to consider when implementing an enterprise clinical communication and collaboration platform like MH-CURE.

 

What are the barriers to utilization?
It’s easy to look at the “good” numbers. Finding the high utilizers can help us understand what works for individuals, departments and roles. High utilizers are often quite verbal about the benefits they reap using MH-CURE. Conversely, those who are not utilizing the platform to its fullest capability are also a source of important information. Consider these people like your best friend who will actually tell you that you probably shouldn’t wear that dress without your Spanx. Drill down into their experiences to discover the source of their adoption woes. Ask the hard questions.

Utilization Analysis Tips:

  • Look for low utilizers, determine if their role should require higher utilization.
  • Speak with them and their leadership to find out why they are not communicating more frequently.
  • Do they need educational reinforcement?
  • Does their workflow require some adaptation?

In one case, we discovered low utilization of users in a role. After presenting the data to leadership, it was discovered that the end users over time lost access to devices, so they were unable to use the application. Leadership arranged for these users to get devices immediately. Within six weeks, the group had an increase of 64% texts/user from the pre-deployment phase.

 

How can we use this data to contribute to operational efficiency?
Let’s look at those brush strokes that comprise the big picture. Carefully evaluate who is texting/talking to whom. Is there anyone left out of the communication loop? Is there a silo? At one site, five users in the role “perioperative turnover assistants” (PTAs) were ranked in the top ten highest utilizers for a particular month. This was unexpected, so we delved into the communication habits of the PTAs. We learned that they were communicating almost exclusively by group text as well as communicating exclusively within their role.  Are your perioperative techs only communicating with each other? Do they require supplies from central sterile, or stretchers from transport? It can be easy for new users to fall into old communication patterns. Encourage communicating outside of their silo to promote greater adoption. Sometimes it’s not the number of communications you send or receive, but also who you involve in the communication.

In most cases, outliers are what encourage me to probe deeper into the data. In one case the outlier was the number of communications in conjunction with the user role. Who would ever imagine that Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) would be a “power group”? The evidence was clear with over 630 texts per user in the quarter. The next part of the process was to determine who the SLPs were talking to and what they were talking about. Most of their communication was with the nurses, techs, radiology and transport. What they were talking about told a story of not only great communication, but also of enhancing patient safety through communication. Analyzing the communications with our customer, we discovered most of the texts included dietary restrictions that would help to prevent a compromised patient from aspirating. Having this type of information in the palm of your hand can help prevent patient safety events that could potentially lead to patient harm.

 

How can we use this data to promote adherence to benchmarks and KPIs?
How are sites using structured data? Are there quick broadcasts that are relevant to their unit? Examine current broadcasting and text patterns for themes and repetition, consider the service line and acuity of the unit.  It may be helpful to a busy staff for a charge nurse to send out a broadcast as a reminder to change central line dressings if due. But meeting KPIs may not necessarily be a job relegated solely to the clinical staff.

When considering enterprise communication, let’s think about “supply chain” the unsung heroes of patient care. I’d like to submit, for your consideration that no KPIs could be met if we didn’t have the supplies to complete the tasks. EKGs can’t be done without electrodes. ORs cannot function without sterile trays and equipment. Environmental services can’t make “ready beds” without cleaning supplies. With this in mind, each time you think of a KPI, think of how the materials needed to complete the task in the allotted amount of time get to where they need to be. Now think about how the people in supply chain communicate with each other and with their internal customers. Through monthly reporting, we found that 5 out of 10 of the highest utilizers at one site belonged to the supply chain.

 

In conclusion, every bit of data contains some insight into the bigger picture. With CURE Analytics, you have the accessibility to examine your data, own your successes and failures, create a plan and make your path to success as you climb the CC&C Value Hierarchy. The MH Optimization Team is of course, here to help.

Introducing CURE Analytics

Throughout Mobile Heartbeat’s history we have been on the cutting edge of mobility, helping hospitals improve clinical communication and collaboration across the country. The MH-CURE platform has enabled faster communication, opened up historically strenuous lines of communication, and improved patient outcomes. In June alone, we processed over 20 million communication events.

However, for hospital leaders, something has been missing.

As the MH-CURE platform has evolved, clinical leaders have expressed the need to better understand clinical and operational communication pathways within their organizations. Today’s leaders realize that each individual unit may have unique workflows, and to improve safety, efficiency, and patient experience, they need the ability to track and measure these workflows. Quietly, Mobile Heartbeat has been listening to these needs and working to develop a solution.

Today, Mobile Heartbeat is proud to announce the launch of CURE Analytics.

CURE Analytics opens the gates to all historical data of our mobile communication platform, MH-CURE. Our new analytics tool enables hospital leaders to discover insights from a platform integrated throughout clinical and operational workflows. Analysis of this data grants leadership the opportunity to measure and continuously improve communication processes and quality within their environments.

Keeping with our passion for integrated and interoperable hospital systems, CURE Analytics is driven by a data warehouse that can be connected to a hospital’s existing business intelligence tool, such as Tableau or Crystal Reports. Additionally, with CURE Analytics, a hospital’s technical team can combine Mobile Heartbeat data with other hospital system data in an internal enterprise data warehouse. This flexibility puts the power of the hospital’s communication data back into the hospital’s hands, allowing leadership to transform data into insights and drive patient-centric initiatives.  

Turn Data into Insights with CURE Analytics:

  • Drive MH-CURE adoption and prove workflow ROI
  • Discover previously unknown communication channels and workflows
  • Monitor usage trends over time with comparative analysis
  • Measure initiative effectiveness with pre- and post-implementation analysis

Specifically, hospitals can drive MH-CURE platform adoption by monitoring user log in trends, which can be analyzed over time to look into trends by unit, role, and individual user.  A login trends report can be shared with floor leaders, empowering your clinical leaders to help drive adoption throughout a hospital, moving forward a mobile communication cultural change.

Once adoption is realized, hospital leaders can gain insight into which roles are the biggest communicators using the MH-CURE platform. Not only will CURE Analytics provide data on how many texts are being sent, but you can also better understand the context and meaning of those texts. Recently, we discovered that medical transport represented some of the highest usage numbers within a specific hospital. Working with our customer to dive deeper into this data we discovered what these users were communicating about. In analyzing this data with the communication’s context, we can identify opportunities for improved patient admittance and discharge processes. This otherwise missed opportunity will help drive an improved patient experience and reduce bed turnaround time.

The insights provided with CURE Analytics are endless. This powerful tool enables customers to access and run reports against all historical usage across the MH-CURE Platform.

In our next blog post we will provide an in-depth example of the power of this data!

Encryption Isn’t Clinical

In healthcare, we need to ensure that patient data is protected and shared securely — not only out of concern for patient privacy but to comply with HIPAA. At Mobile Heartbeat, we are beholden to using the label “HIPAA-compliant secure text messaging,” but if you go to Google and do a search on “HIPAA-compliant messaging,” you’re going to come up with over 100 vendors that provide it. Many of these offerings are generic texting apps, so there’s a need for us to distinguish our clinical communications platform, which includes HIPAA-compliant secure messaging as just one of its key features.

I refer to the providers of these generic apps as “diaper vendors” — a term I took from Jack Trout’s book, Differentiate or Die. Trout quotes an attorney who claimed that between Procter and Gamble and Kimberly Clark, there were 1,000 patents for baby diapers. This claim begs the question, “What’s in a baby diaper?” because it’s really just a piece of cloth with adhesive strips that captures human waste. How do you patent that 1,000 times? Obviously, these things are not technological advances. They’re just excuses to market. They’re like blogs, now that I think about it.

The “diaper vendors” really just do text messaging, and they’re all focused on HIPAA compliance and security. So, if you’re in that Google search, looking for HIPAA-compliant messaging, you get what you’d find with rabbits on a hormone diet. There’s just vendor after vendor after vendor that says they do HIPAA-compliant text messaging.

Now, what’s interesting is they’re all also grouped under the whole subject of encryption. For the uninitiated who don’t know what encryption is, it comes from the word “cryptography,” which is the art of concealing something by turning it into code. You may remember the San Bernardino attack when the FBI was trying to hack into that iPhone 5C and it took them months before they finally did it. By the way, Apple strengthened it after that so it wasn’t as easily hacked. That was all about encryption and privacy.

So, here we are beholden to the “HIPAA-compliant messaging” term and this industry that’s got its own security classification. Is it encrypted? Is it secure? Of course, it’s secure. That’s like a lay-up. That’s barely anything special. Almost everybody’s platform is secure just by running on an iPhone because there’s encryption inherent to the device. Then there’s networking encryption, which is like when you go to look at your bank account online and you see in your browser that the website URL starts with HTTPS. That S stands for secure. You may not know where the hard drives are that your finance data is stored on, but one thing you do know is that you’re in a secure tunnel whenever you go on the site. You’re in this tunnel of encrypted data.

I liken encryption to looking at traffic going down a highway where there’s a road on one side and a tunnel on the other. The cars that are moving on the side where there’s no tunnel are like unencrypted data traffic. You see the cars the whole time they’re traveling down the strip of road. The cars going into the tunnel become concealed, you can’t see them, which is what happens with encryption — data becomes concealed and you need to have a key in order to decrypt or unlock it and see it.

When you think about encryption, it has nothing to do with being clinical. No patient gets healthier, and there’s no efficiency created because of encryption. Encryption only addresses one thing: it addresses a legal risk, not a clinical demand. I think there’s only one person whose health improves through encryption and that’s the chief security officer. It’s possible that person is staying up at night with high blood pressure because PHI is being transmitted via unencrypted channels.

The point I’m trying to make is that all of us are talking about security and encryption like it’s a differentiator, but we’re talking about it because we have to. We all have it. In the end, it’s really a non-issue. There’s no pioneering advance.

What hospitals really need to focus on from a clinical communication and collaboration perspective is workflow, and that’s where Mobile Heartbeat comes in. We don’t obsess about encryption; we just have to talk about it because it’s required in the category. What we’re obsessed about is providing care team visibility and unified communication (text, voice, video, paging, etc.) that improves workflow.

Hospital Versus Hospitality

Often when I am demonstrating our MH-CURE product to a hospital, I’ll start by stating “Hospital, hospitality. Two buildings with rooms and beds, but what is the difference?” I say this because one of our competitors has a voice communications device that can be pinned to a lapel and was designed for use by hotels as well as hospitals. The difference between these two environments is obvious, but it really comes down to acuity — the level of alertness that is required for the person who is vulnerable and lying in the bed in a room. That acuity level can be the differentiator when your hospital is looking for a clinical communication platform versus a generic one created for multiple industry use.

In hospitality as well as other industries, the need to communicate can be described as generic. There is no “patient” data, or data with any specificity for that matter. As a result, there is no encryption problem or concern with maintaining data security. There is no assigned “care team” because, after all, a hotel room does not have a call light with a button the occupant can push and have somebody come to check the batteries on the telemetry alarm (for example).

There are products we compete with in the healthcare market that target both hospitals and hospitality, but when talking to hospitals, I differentiate us by explaining that we developed our MH-CURE platform for acuity and we don’t sell our products to hotels because they have no acuity. There is no patient, nor need that is clinical (which literally means “care at the sickbed.”) Our focus is on hospitals and providing visuals. Sure, you can use just your voice to communicate. Voice is generic and can be used anywhere. Everybody has a phone. But, it’s a different situation when you have a care team of people and they are in the process of working with a patient who is acute.

A patient requiring short-term acute care versus long-term acute care typically comes to the hospital via the emergency department and gets admitted into a bed. If they’re in a telemetry unit, they are considered acute. They need close attention — not by just one person, but by a team, a team that has other patients as well. When hospitals have a patient who needs close attention from a handful of people who are changing shifts every 12 hours, chaos can ensue. A visual is needed that our app provides, one which you don’t get through a telephone or a voice device. Using just voice is limiting when it comes to care team communication. For that reason, it’s actually used very little. Our competitor’s voice device may be able to indicate where you are based on the closest access point, but it can’t tell you who the on-call respiratory therapist is.

A patient’s care team may typically consist of a resident, an RN, a CNA or nurse assistant, and a case manager who manages the insurance and procedures, plus there may also be an MD or primary care and, for this example, a respiratory therapist. Those roles involve people whose status will change at the end of the shift. For example, Doctor Amy Clark may be the currently-assigned attending MD, but in 12 hours, Doctor Amy Clark won’t be there. The patient will still need an MD even if it’s a new MD, after all, doctors are not super-human and able to work 24/7. That means that at the end of every 12 hour shift, the hospital’s ability to track a patient’s care team could start to break without a solution allowing people to connect and communicate to whomever is in a specific role at any time.

If you only had a voice device to tap or a land line to pick up to find a respiratory therapist, it would be like moving blindfolded. Since you don’t know who’s available, the system would be hunting through a directory of respiratory therapists to find somebody who’s available. In our app, you get a visual of the care team members for each patient. You can look at each individual patient and see every care team member for that patient. You don’t just see where that care team member is and when they are available, you see their current status. If they’re green, they’re active. If they’re red, they’re busy with patients or on the phone.

Having that visual impacts a clinicians’ behavior in terms of how they’re going to reach out to one another. If I’m Dr. Amy Clark and I want to reach Dr. Laurie McCoy to talk about a patient, I can see if she is busy on the phone. Then my natural behavior would be to text because she’s already in a conversation. I could also page her. I would be able to see in the visual in our app that I have access to multiple ways of communicating — the four core modalities — which are text, talk, page and video chat. Plus, I can communicate with clinical context. If I tap to send a text message to someone on the patient care team, the message automatically inserts the name, room and bed of the patient I want to talk about.

When we look at usage — how people communicate and use our product — we’ll see (on average) 86 text messages per login versus 29 calls. There’s a substantial increase in asynchronous communication — messages being sent and read at different times. That’s the flexibility of texting, whereas phone calling is synchronous — the receiver must be available to take the call to get the message. If I’m receiving a phone call and I see it’s from an outside line, I don’t know what that call’s about and I might decline it. If I’m busy, I’m definitely declining that call. It’s a similar situation with email — you have a volume of incoming messages that you can’t control, many from unknown senders.

What’s cool about our app and the asynchronous form of communication you get with texting is that only authorized, clinical users are speaking with you. Unlike email, no one can spam you. Unlike voice, no one declines your call. Messages are straight and to the point – readily digestible nouns and verbs. Text does not replace voice. When high interaction is needed, text enables voice. “Free to chat?” “Yes, call you in 5.” Text ensures that your call will be answered.

So, you can see why any communications product that is used in a clinical environment can’t be voice-only. It can’t be generic and not enable you to locate others who are also involved in a patient’s care. It must be a communications platform that is patient-centric and designed for use by clinicians, providing visuals and access to all the core communications modalities to ensure optimal patient care.

The Torch is Passed

Over the course of the last two months, I have accepted not one but two challenges. The first was issued by Ron Remy, our CEO at Mobile Heartbeat, as he declared 2018 the Year of the Workflow. The second was from Dr. Jonathan Perlin, HCA’s Clinical Services Group President and CMO, who in the latest volume of Clinical Excellence at HCA invited us to join him in a “year of challenge and opportunity through which we change healthcare and improve human life.” Dr. Perlin reminds us that we must lead with clinical expertise, examine the findings we uncover in the course of patient care, and scrutinize, validate, and leverage the knowledge we garner to improve patient care. We are being called to change the world in 2018.

Not being one to ever say no to a challenge, and with the winter Olympics still bright in the rearview mirror, I have accepted the torch passed by both of these insightful patient advocates and have prepared myself and team for an Olympic-level effort.

While the two challenges may seem only remotely related, they are in fact categorically connected and align with the very vision of the Mobile Heartbeat clinical team. We are not satisfied with sitting back to rest on our laurels after the technical deployment and implementation of MH-CURE.  Driven by curiosity and motivated with the ongoing knowledge acquired at each implementation, we are persistently seeking to understand how care is impacted by the MH-CURE platform.

Our team’s efforts always begin with a current state evaluation. This evaluation includes a detailed analysis of current state workflows across all disciplines and departments. The resultant insight garnered from this deep dive provides us with a baseline:

  • What unique workflows and work-arounds are being utilized in today’s environment?
  • Where are the redundancies and wasted steps?
  • What partial or broken technical solutions are relied upon within the workflow?
  • What amount of time savings is estimated with the removal of repeat and inefficient work in a future state?
  • Where do we expect that integrations with Mobile Heartbeat and other systems will make the most impact?

Wherever and whenever possible, we are partnering with MH-CURE deployment sites and establishing metrics by evaluating pre-implementation measurements.  Utilizing both workflows analysis, time and motions studies, and qualitative user satisfaction surveys, we can understand the beginning state. These measurements help us to quantify and qualify how well we are meeting the objectives healthcare organization stakeholders set out to attain with the adoption of MH-CURE.

Completing the second set of measurements post-implementation delivers a quantified picture of change within the organization. In essence, we ascertain how the workflow changes have impacted the organization by improving the efficiency of operational and clinical teams.  We chart how the communication related to patient care between the interdisciplinary team and the clinician lead to improved treatment communication and the provision of life-saving information at the point of care.  It is within the absence of measurement that doubt occurs.  Without knowing what was and what now is, we cannot understand how our communication workflows have improved the previous state. Once new workflows are implemented, we re-measure, evaluate, then re-analyze workflows and strategize how to iterate within the organization to enjoy continuous improvements.

Workflow analysis is the thread that is woven throughout the fabric of communication-focused process improvement. Eliminating the one-and-done mentality is essential to ongoing relationships and the continuous improvement process is essential for significant efficiency gains. We are in it for the long haul to ensure we meet our internal goals and facilitate that same impact for our customers and our customers’ patients.  After all, our customers’ patients are also our patients.

Yes, Ron and Dr. Perlin, we are intricately involved in the workflows that impact the care we provide. We know that continuous evaluation of current state and a clear vision for future state requires constant analysis, goal-setting, iteration and measurement. This is what the clinical team lives and breathes. The quality of MH-CURE operational integration and adoption is inseparable from the quality of our continuous improvement work.  With our workflows, we believe we are changing the world in 2018, and we are determined to give you the data to prove it.

What’s Happening with Mobile Heartbeat @HIMSS18

We are getting ready to head to Las Vegas for HIMSS18!

If you’re attending HIMSS18, please stop by our booth (# 2461) for a demonstration of what’s new with MH-CURE.

As our CEO Ron Remy declared, this is the “Year of the Clinical Workflow,” where hospitals move to integrating and unifying their various communications technologies (paging, nurse call, etc.) and enabling all their clinical staff to share critical patient information with greater speed and ease. The goal is to remove unnecessary steps, lag time with sending, receiving and responding to messages, and obstructions to locating care team members — all to create more efficient workflows that lead to improved patient care.

To that point, the latest version of MH-CURE, which we’ll be showcasing in our HIMSS booth, will introduce these exciting features:

  • The CUREConnect InterApp API, providing advanced application integration configuration
  • Video Chat, the ability to initiate a video chat with another user without jumping to another application
  • Lock Screen Viewing of Notifications received via broadcasts and other systems
  • Additional features optimizing clinical workflows and benefiting the healthcare enterprise

Rosemary Ventura, chief nursing informatics officer at NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) Hospital, will be speaking at the Digital and Personal Connected Health event being held March 5th at the Wynn Las Vegas. Her session, scheduled for 10:40 a.m., is entitled “Go Mobile and Modernize Clinical Communication and Collaboration” and will present a case study on NYP’s enterprise-wide roll out of MH-CURE to 17,000 users.

HIMSS18 is taking place March 5 – 9, 2018 at the Venetian–Palazzo–Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, NV. The exhibition is March 6 – 8. If you’re attending, we hope to see there!

The CUREConnect InterApp API

Last week, Mobile Heartbeat posted an article introducing the CUREConnect APIs. Since then, we have received a number of inquiries from prospective partners and clients looking for more information on the InterApp API. This post will dive a little deeper into InterApp, explaining what it is, what it does and what Mobile Heartbeat hopes to help our customers and partners accomplish with it.

What is the InterApp API?

The InterApp API can be simply described as a method to create linkages between MH-CURE and other apps on a mobile device. It’s the equivalent of saving a bookmark to a specific sub-page you want to visit within a website. Instead of navigating to the website’s homepage and manually clicking links to get to the desired page, you link straight to it from the bookmark. Your login credentials can be included as well as other contextual information to enable automated logins and workflow-specific functions.

When this concept is applied within MH-CURE and other partner applications, it’s easy to see how much time this saves end-users. Instead of manually logging into another app and searching for the specific screens and information pertinent to their workflows, the user simply taps an app icon and they are done. The InterApp API streamlines the entire process.

What does it do?

InterApp supports both outbound launching from MH-CURE to another mobile app, as well as inbound launching from a third-party app into MH-CURE. Using trust-based authentication, the switching between apps can be streamlined for the end-user by passing the username and password to automate logging in. Additionally, information from one app can be passed to the other, like patient MRN, user or patient facility, among others.

A lesser-known but equally important feature is that InterApp enables launching into other parts of MH-CURE with a single tap. Want to put a “Send a Text to the IT Help Desk” on the initial screen? Easy. Want to add an “SOS” button to contact the Security Office? Only takes a few minutes to it add to all of your smartphones. In essence, InterApp gives you control over how your CC&C platform appears and acts for your hospital.

Example: Inbound InterApp Launch:

Mobile Heartbeat’s integration partnership with TeleTracking is a great example of an inbound launch. TeleTracking focuses on optimizing patient flow throughout the hospital, from admit to discharge. An important part of optimizing patient flow is providing the highly mobile members of the care team with the ability to communicate in real-time and take action. Via TeleTracking, a user is alerted that an action needs to be taken from their app. The InterApp integration enables them to tap a Launch Point within the TeleTracking app, switch over to MH-CURE, automatically log in and send a text message or make a call to whomever they need to take action.

Example: Outbound InterApp Launch:

Mobile Heartbeat’s integration with AirStrip is representative of what can be achieved through an outbound InterApp launch. AirStrip ONE is a mobile interoperability platform, enabling hospitals to pull together patient data from disparate systems into a single view for the care team. When a user needs to view this clinical data on-the-go, the AirStrip ONE mobile app enables them to do so. MH-CURE users who are in the middle of a text-based conversation about a patient can easily access the patient’s information within AirStrip through InterApp. MH-CURE then passes the currently- viewed patient information to AirStrip ONE allowing AirStrip to navigate directly to the live waveforms and other monitoring data of that specific patient – no lookup is required! 

What can we accomplish together?

By 2022, 98% of doctors and 97% of nurses believe that mobile devices will play a role in their daily workflows, according to a Zebra Technologies study. Today, Mobile Heartbeat’s customers have already stated they want to achieve as much as possible through their mobile devices from a workflow and communications perspective. With these objectives in mind, Mobile Heartbeat is committed to empowering our customers and partners by serving as a platform upon which these new workflows can be created. Through APIs like InterApp, we are opening up previously-restricted areas of MH-CURE to share data that enables these workflows to occur.

Please come visit us during the HIMSS18 event in Las Vegas. We are in booth #2461 and will have the InterApp capabilities on display. Our team can also help you brainstorm how you can use InterApp to revolutionize your users’ mobile experience.