Smart Hospitals Require Smart Investments in Smart Tech
David Graham, chief medical information officer at LifeBridge Health, says investment in smart hospital tech means that health IT leaders must think differently about budgets to allow expanded use of these tools.
“IoT has really blossomed to give us the opportunity to get more data on our patients, which we can then analyze using AI and machine learning tools,” he says.
He believes that technology such as 5G, IoT and AI will continue to improve patient care, and also will improve outcomes for providers, lowering burnout rates and making care delivery more effective.
“Many of the uses that we have been looking forward to for decades are here and are in our hands,” Graham says. “But you must be intentional about where you’re making your investments.”
From his perspective, health systems should take a more collaborative approach and share best practices to help other organizations make smart choices.
“More partnerships and a more collaborative approach will help those systems that are not quite as far along at this point,” he says.
DISCOVER: Learn why healthcare organizations must take command of their data.
The Importance of Interoperability in Smart Hospitals
Interoperability among health IT systems is vital to the smooth functioning of a smart hospital.
“The amalgamation of various systems and devices often leads to a complex network of technologies,” Castro explains. “Without interoperability, data collected from different systems could remain isolated or siloed, leading to inefficiencies and obstructing coordinated care.”
Recognizing this, healthcare industries worldwide are making strides toward adopting standards that enhance interoperability, including Health Level Seven International, a set of standards, formats and definitions for exchanging and developing electronic health records.
The emergence of the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard also has been revolutionary. FHIR defines how healthcare information can be grouped and categorized, making it easier to share, integrate, retrieve and manage data across different systems.
“A seamless data and communication exchange between different healthcare systems and devices is critical for patient safety and clinical care,” Myers says. “You must have that integration between platforms internally within an organization, because it also enables a better patient experience.”