Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. What was the experience like? Was it a non-stop and positive experience? Or did it seem old and cumbersome?

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of working with a large U.S. healthcare system to restructure and transform the experience of patients and physicians. While focusing on how innovative technology can shape the future of care, we envisioned a “future clinic” where a patient could:

  • Schedule an appointment and submit a pre-screening form via their smartphone
  • Send active updates to the clinic using location context when factors such as traffic congestion affect arrival times
  • Easily locate the clinic with wifinding and navigation from the patient’s home to the provider’s parking lot and test room
  • Practically check in with a receptionist, make a video telehealth visit or consult a virtual expert
  • Find peer support groups, pre-treatment education, digital medicine reminders and auto-prescription refills through their preferred communication channels

It was eye-catching! And the best part is that with the ecosystem of Cisco and our partners, many of these experiences, capabilities and results can be delivered today.

That’s right! Necessarily the mother of innovation.

Fast forward to March 2020 and global epidemics. Almost overnight, healthcare providers and physicians move toward the virtual care and automation of schedules and adoption through their digital front door.

We’ve seen the expansion of virtual care to include telehealth visits, virtual patient visits, and increased acceptance of remote clinical observations. Connecting bedside medical devices to enable virtual ICUs and reducing the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) has become a necessity.

This hybrid work ability enables clinical staff and other healthcare workers to work from home while maintaining access to care.

Before the epidemic, renovating healthcare facilities and hospital rooms was costly; It was almost impossible to reform into an epidemic with advanced infection control protocols. Requirements have driven health providers to provide these solutions with existing physical infrastructure and minimal disruption.

As we look to the future, healthcare providers plan to continue providing patients, physicians and staff with the experience they need now. The importance of business resilience and operational efficiency during an epidemic has helped prepare suppliers for future emergencies.

Healthcare providers understand that flexible building, reconstructive space, and resilience created by resilient infrastructure will enable them to adapt to new solutions and respond to changing situations in the future.

Healthcare and “Fourth Utility”

Emerging trends in smart hospitals include the need for agility and programmability. This has been achieved by purposefully designing “technology as the fourth utility” in the hospital infrastructure as well as water, gas and electricity.

In a smart hospital, the fourth utility can securely integrate clinical, operational and business systems, applications, users and data to enable a more automated, adaptable, programmable and sustainable experience.

This integration of clinical (“CE”) and administrative information technology (“IT”) systems, as well as convenience and operation technology (“OT”) networks, is so important for the secure, reliable distribution of healthcare capabilities that the HIMSS Analytics infrastructure adoption model (“INFRAM”) It is required for stage 6 and stage 7 validity

Once connected, these pre-sealed systems can be programmed to work together to provide improved workflow and experience for patients, physicians, administrators and guests. For example: Patients and guests can be guided with directions and navigation; Clinical staff may use real-time location services to track and locate equipment such as wheelchairs, infusion pumps and ventilators; Clinical staff can add new ICU bed capabilities and automatically connect medical devices; And administrators can manage waiting room times, occupancy limits and room reservations to ensure optimal space usage. All of these capabilities enable common network, wireless, data center, security, and collaboration technology.

Physician and patient experience is enhanced in a smart hospital with more autonomy for patients. Patients can manage light, window shades and temperature from the comfort of their bed. As a direct result, nurse call events for these issues are reduced, which helps reduce the stress, burnout, and turnover of clinical staff. Clinical outcomes can be improved with the right smart LED lighting solution by enabling soft, indirect, and circadian rhythm lighting in patient rooms and nurses’ stations, reports Architect Magazine. These LED lights, motorized sheds, HVACs, and other systems mentioned above can be connected, programmed, operated, and secured with the fourth utility.

Safety and privacy are included by design in a smart hospital

Cyber ​​security and data privacy are more important than ever before in healthcare – and cyber-attacks and costs are rising. The ability of a healthcare organization to connect and secure previously sealed systems, devices and data is essential. Despite the risks and incidence of cyber attacks, healthcare systems have traditionally invested less in cyber security, and security and policy controls may be applied inconsistently across different systems.

A smart hospital running on a fourth utility can provide end-to-end security, policy, identity and access controls to block threats, capture intruders and improve visibility across medical and IoT devices, infrastructure endpoints, building systems and other IT. And that is the system. This holistic approach to security helps increase compliance, reduce risk and improve stakeholder confidence.

Smart Hospital is the clinic of the future

Cisco is working with a growing ecosystem of healthcare customers and partners to assist in the design and construction of smart hospitals. As a result, healthcare clients are realizing the possibility of delivering multiple organizational goals: business resilience, improved physician, patient and guest experience, operational efficiency and safety. The result will be a more sustainable, safer and faster hospital.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog where we will discuss how smart hospitals can meet an organization’s sustainability and carbon reduction goals.

Interested in learning more about Cisco’s solutions for smart hospitals? See stories from KNU Hospital and Groves Memorial Hospital and take a virtual tour of the future office.

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