Technology can help keep care team members from burning out, but it has to be interoperable, says the company’s CEO.

Vocera to focus on clinician well-being and IT interoperability at HIMSS19

By Bill Siwicki
02:47 PM
Vocera to focus on clinician well-being and IT interoperability at HIMSS19

Clinical communications vendor Vocera will be focusing on a variety of trends at HIMSS19. Two big ones for the developer of voice technology will be elevating the well-being of care teams and patients, and promoting interoperability.

When it comes to the first goal, Vocera says it supports the so-called Quadruple Aim of healthcare: improving quality of care, increasing operational efficiencies, elevating patient experience, and supporting care team resilience.

Changing the conversation

“Hospitals are complex environments, and managing human conditions can be unpredictable and fatiguing at times,” explained Brent D. Lang, president and CEO of Vocera Communications.

“We want to change the conversation around clinician burnout to one that focuses on care team well-being by providing solutions that simplify clinical workflows, mitigate cognitive overload and help restore people back to purpose,” he said.

Most people who entered the healthcare field did so to help others; but over the years, hospital environments have become increasingly complex with disparate systems and processes that take clinicians and their focus away from patient care, Lang added.

Healthcare organizations can reduce interruption fatigue, frustration and friction with technology that breaks down silos and integrates people, systems and clinical workflows, he said.

"We want to change the conversation around clinician burnout to one that focuses on care team well-being by providing solutions that simplify clinical workflows, mitigate cognitive overload and help restore people back to purpose."

Brent D. Lang, Vocera Communications

“Creating a seamless healthcare experience and improving patient care start with empowering care teams to easily communicate and collaborate, while reducing unnecessary stress and cognitive load,” he contended. “In time-sensitive situations, doctors and nurses cannot afford to worry about what communication device they will use. They simply need a reliable and secure device for the task at hand.”

An on the interoperability front, the vendor said it and other vendors and healthcare organizations must support a “real-time health system.”

Breaking down silos

“Smart hospitals or real-time health systems need to be integrated ecosystems,” Lang said. “There needs to be a move away from deploying disparate systems in which a texting application is acquired from one vendor, an alarm management solution from another, and so on.

“For CIOs striving to turn their hospitals into smart hospitals or build real-time health systems, it will be critical to break down silos and integrate clinical and operational systems using a single communication platform that is device agnostic and enables real-time situational awareness about patients and care teams,” he added.

A patient’s healthcare journey often is filled with delays and friction points that often are caused by gaps in processes and care team communication, said Lang.

“Clinicians must be able to access critical information quickly and connect easily with each other to confer about patient conditions or events, and deliver effective patient care,” he explained.

Vocera recently announced integrations with Qventus, an AI-based healthcare software company, and QGenda, an enterprise cloud-based physician scheduling technology.

Impactful decisions from the CIO

Lang has some advice he will be sharing with HIMSS19 attendees: “Decisions that healthcare CIOs make impact the daily lives of nurses, doctors and other care team members; and, in turn, patient care, safety and experience,” he said.

“New technology being considered should make clinicians’ jobs easier, not add to their already full plates,” he added. “If a health IT solution doesn’t fit with clinical workflows, it can become a burden and fatigue, and frustrate care teams.”

Even if clinicians perceive a technology could be useful, they won’t adopt it if it creates barriers to information, colleagues or patients, or is a hassle to use, he added.

“Before selecting or implementing new technology, it is important to engage clinicians early in the evaluation and decision-making process to get their feedback and buy-in,” he advised. “Using their real-world experiences, clinicians can provide meaningful insight into technology discussions that can lead to successful deployments and adoption.”

And when considering a new technology, healthcare leaders need to evaluate its interoperability capabilities and make sure it solves more than one problem rather than creating additional problems, he said.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com

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