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.

CUREConnect API Integration Suite – Enabling New Workflows in 2018

In 2017, Mobile Heartbeat® launched the CUREConnect™ API Integration Suite, taking another step towards our vision of enterprise interoperability through the MH-Platform. In 2018 (The Year of the Clinical Workflow), we begin to run. CUREConnect extends MH-CURE’s core communication & collaboration capabilities through integrations with third-party systems that enable us to deliver a diverse set of capabilities to our users.

We’re working towards this goal with a collection of APIs and an ecosystem of integration partners that have already begun to facilitate impactful new workflows. Four initial APIs to highlight are the Inbound Messaging API, InterApp API, Inbound Assignments API and the Care Team Query API. Together, these four APIs provide a foundation for our ecosystem partners and customers to build upon.

The Inbound Messaging API enables third-party systems to deliver alerts, alarms and notifications to MH-CURE users. This standards-based API is already in heavy use with our nurse call, patient monitoring and middleware partners, allowing them to get the right information to the right people as quickly as possible. Inbound Messaging is highly customizable, which allows our partners and customers to specify the content and actions (eg confirm or decline) of the message. This ensures that customers can implement tailored policies and processes to deliver an intuitive user experience.

The InterApp API supports providing MH-CURE users with a seamless workflow in concert with their other mobile applications. The API enables direct integrations with third-party mobile apps, allowing users to launch between apps efficiently and with context using icons called “Launch Points”. As an example, imagine a user views a patient’s details in MH-CURE and needs to view or edit data in a mobile EHR app on their device. Without InterApp, the workflow would look something like this:

  1. Tap the device’s home button
  2. Find the mobile EHR app
  3. Log into that app with Active Directory credentials
  4. Search for the patient
  5. Complete the task.

That’s a five-step, very manual process. Alternatively, with a single tap of a Launch Point in MH-CURE, the InterApp API allows the user to launch directly and securely to the location they want to go in the partner app from within MH-CURE.

The Inbound Assignments API allows one or multiple third-party systems to update the care team of a specified patient within MH-CURE. This ensures that users always have the ability to know who the real-time care team is for a patient. The Care Team Query API works in reverse, allowing third-party systems to retrieve the current care team information for a given patient.

As 2018 ramps up, we look to expand upon the CUREConnect integration ecosystem. We will strengthen our existing partnerships in patient monitoring, nurse call, clinical workflow and predictive analytics and look to build new partnerships in these and other capabilities. If you would like to explore how your hospital may benefit from implementing Mobile Heartbeat’s MH-CURE platform and the CUREConnect API Integration Suite, contact us at partners@mobileheartbeat.com. You can also download more information about the CUREConnect APIs here.

Future-Proofing Your CC&C Implementation

Putting our internal plans in place for 2018 got me thinking about what is on the minds of prospective Clinical Communication and Collaboration clients for the year ahead. So, I asked the following question on a recent prospective client visit: “Since you’re planning for a CC&C project in 2018, what’s keeping you awake at night thinking about this endeavor?” The answer I received really made me pause.

The Answer:

Without hesitation, this hospital executive replied, “This CC&C project is a big expense for us when you add in the smartphones, infrastructure improvements and software required for an enterprise deployment. How am I going to preserve this investment and insure that it isn’t a sunk cost? In other words, how am I going to future-proof this technology?”

On the flight home, I decided to develop a checklist of “Questions to Ask” to the different vendors, so that prior to spending precious capital on a CC&C project, you have done your due diligence and can make an informed decision.

Below is Ron’s Guide to “Look Before You Leap” in the CC&C market.

How successful have the vendor’s pilot projects been to date?

There are few things more disruptive than a pilot project in your facility that goes nowhere. It’s not just the dollars involved in the project, but the time taken from your people, likely your facility’s most precious resource. You don’t want to be heading down a path to a dead end, so check out how many of a vendor’s pilot projects have “died on the vine” and never moved to deployment. A high rate of stalled or cancelled projects is a red flag.

Is the architecture open? Is there a full-featured API set available?

The history of healthcare IT is closed, silo-ed systems where getting access to your own data is next to impossible. Check out the recent quote from the CEO of Fairview Health Services and what he has to say about this challenge. You will need access to the CC&C system in order to add other applications, both current and future, written by both third parties and maybe your own development team. Think about the potential applications, and their value, that you can add onto the smartphones once they are deployed throughout your enterprise. If that capability is not available in the CC&C system that you’ve selected, then you are out of luck.

Does the smartphone application “play well with others”?

Keep in mind that the enterprise usage of smartphones lags well behind consumer usage. Your clinicians are already comfortable with using multiple apps on their personal devices. They expect you to provide them with the best-in-class clinical applications for their use and they are already comfortable moving from app-to-app to get things done. Your CC&C software must have this capability to work seamlessly with other apps. Single sign-on between apps while retaining the patient context (i.e., not having to look up the patient when moving to another app) is a must-have.

Are you able to customize the CC&C software?

I recently learned that one of the vendors in the CC&C market charges up to $100,000 in “services” for any customization request. Most clients don’t factor in that level of future expense when purchasing a system and are shocked as these future bills begin to arrive whenever they need a change made. Look for a CC&C system that allows you to customize how the software looks, feels and behaves for your end-users. To be specific, look for:

  • The ability to modify the UX/UI to add and subtract functionality on a hospital and user role basis. Not every clinician needs to see every available option.
  • The ability for your staff to add in other applications and launch them from your CC&C software. Your needs are going to change over time and if your internal team can make these modifications without requiring vendor involvement, you will save a lot of future dollars.

What do the vendor’s financials looks like?

One of the knocks on the CC&C market is that many vendors have received (and burnt through) large amounts of investment in order to build their product and their company. Investors are beginning to “wise up” and are reticent to dump additional dollars to chase a return. What this means for a hospital is that you want to make sure that a vendor has the financial staying power to still be in business five years out when you still really need them. Consider the challenge you would face if suddenly your CC&C vendor was no longer viable. To protect this from happening, ask to see their financials before you purchase and make an assessment of their potential longevity.

To formalize all of the above, you can even turn these questions into a “scorecard” and grade the answers. Once you have the results, you will be much more knowledgeable about the future of your CC&C project. Give it a try and see if you can Future-Proof your investment in 2018.

What do you do with 100,000 iPhones?

On Tuesday, January 30, 2018 during the 4th Quarter Earnings call for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Milton Johnson, the corporation’s CEO, announced that HCA is buying 100,000 iPhones.

These smartphones will all be utilizing our MH-CURE software throughout the enterprise and we are proud of our role in making HCA a mobility-enabled company. We’re honored to take the lead in deploying this large-scale project, so after our glow subsided a bit, we asked the question “What do you do with 100,000 iPhones?”

The obvious initial answer is that you use them to mobilize clinicians, but what do you really DO with them?

You use them to build a clinical mobility platform

We’re proud of our MH-CURE software, but it is just the foundation for deploying an enterprise-wide mobility platform. We’re almost always the “first player into the game” to provide the initial CC&C capability. Our open architecture and APIs will enable HCA to add other world-class clinical applications onto these iPhones – both directly as other apps on the device, but also via numerous clinical systems integrated with our MH-CURE application. From AI to Predictive Analytics, these smartphones will provide breakthrough capability to the patients’ care teams. Via 100,000 iPhones, we will build out an unmatched clinical mobility platform.

You use them to measure results and improve workflows

100,000 iPhones will also create an enormous amount of operational data and we will assist HCA in organizing and analyzing this information that was unavailable until our CC&C platform was deployed.  By being able to “Manage what you can Measure,” our clinical informatics professionals will look to optimize workflows throughout the hospitals. These workflow changes will result in better, higher quality patient care at lower costs.

You use them to improve patient outcomes

With 100,000 iPhones available and improved workflows in place, clinicians will have the ability to focus on the practice of medicine via the best possible mobile tools in their hands at the point of care. The golden ring of better patient outcomes will become their highest priority and will be attainable.

So, what do you do with 100,000 iPhones? The answer: one incredible patient-focused achievement after another.

Trendspotting: CES 2018

I’d like to take an intermission from our posts on Clinical Communication & Collaboration and provide some trend-spotting on technology. I’ve been writing a technology blog separate from Mobile Heartbeat for some time ─ it’s actually a hobby of mine ─ and the inspiration for most of the articles stems from my visits to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January of each year. I just returned from my annual foray into this jungle of cutting-edge tech and thought I might share some observations. The event each year gets even larger, so I’ve really had to focus my efforts on what I find intriguing. So, in no order of importance…

Self-Driving Automobiles

To be fair, I thought that self-driving cars were more likely to be found on an episode of The Jetsons than in real life. This was my biggest “Aha” moment at CES. Not only is the technology that powers these vehicles advancing at light speed, but every technology company (really!) is rushing to get involved. Not only were all of the automobile manufacturers present with their latest self-driving offerings, but the ecosystem of supporting technology vendors (mapping, decision systems, etc.) was evident as well. If you’re a follower of the strategy guru, Michael E. Porter, you will recognize this remarkable “five forces analysis” now beginning to bear down on the automotive industry via this new technology. Namely:

  • Threat of substitute technology (rendering older vehicle technology obsolete).
  • Threat of New Entrants (as seen by the technology-driven start-ups in self-driving car technology displayed at CES).
  • Industry rivalry (this goes without saying for the automotive market).

Looking at these three forces and how they are impacting this  market means that we will see great upheaval – and big winners and losers – over the next few years.  I think that we will need a comprehensive scoreboard to keep track.

Personal Wellness

Frankly, I’ve grown bored looking at all of the “wearables” ranging from “smart clothing” to sports-specific fitness trackers. Honestly, do you really need a fitness tracker to monitor your curling performance? What did catch my eye, however, is the number of firms present at CES who were showing off new “sleep technology.” Apparently, we are a society that does not get near-enough rest, since the booths for these products were busy every day. I was skeptical but, being a technologist, I had to sign up for a trial of a few of them. I hooked up to some electrodes, put on headphones and then reclined with the pre-conceived notion that “this couldn’t really work.” The proposition was that, in 20 minutes, my mind would experience the equivalent of a two-hour nap. I’m the biggest skeptic when it comes to these types of claims and when, after twenty minutes, I emerged feeling like I do on  a Saturday watching golf on TV, I was impressed. I’m now attempting to get this vendor to send me a sample to “test.”

Televisions – Can they get any larger?

Finally, no write-up about CES would be complete without mentioning the latest and greatest in TV technology. CES is the show where every major television vendor goes over the top. Five years ago, it was all about 3-D technology. Unfortunately, the 3-D content for viewing was so scarce and poorly produced that the push for 3-D TV is now officially passé. I noticed zero vendors trumpeting their 3-D monitors. What I did observe, however, is OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology that was truly awesome. With its extremely high contrast and deep black levels, the OLED TVs were stunning. Since I watch a significant amount of televised sports (no comments, please), an 80” OLED screen for watching the Pats in the upcoming Super Bowl would look great in our family room.

I hope that you enjoyed a bit of technology trend-spotting from CES 2018. Now it’s time to get back to my day job at Mobile Heartbeat and get ready for HIMSS18, where, as a manufacturer of CC&C software, I’m on the other side of the trade show experience.