Driving innovation in healthcare can be challenging and is often driven by legal or regulatory reform. So, when a breakthrough in technology happens, healthcare is rarely the first to adopt that new technology. When designing technology tools for healthcare professionals and organizations, we keep this in mind and often look to other industries and the impact that the technological breakthrough had in that industry.
Recently Deloitte published an insightful article about the application of cognitive computing to redesign workflows. While the article wasn’t specific to healthcare, Deloitte explored various applications of cognitive computing that can be especially relevant to clinical workflows like patient rounding. Most of the organizations that we talk to have a paper rounding solution. While rounding is listed as an organizational priority, the process can be inconsistent or unreliable yielding a less than desirable outcome. Cognitive computing allows an organization the chance to reboot and automate process redesigned around the current capabilities.
So, what is cognitive computing exactly? Cognitive computing is the simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model and involves self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works. The goal of cognitive computing is to create automated IT systems that can solve problems without requiring human assistance. In the case of patient rounding, cognitive computing can form predictive and directional analytics based solely on the voice-of-the-patient.
If you are looking to get consistency in your rounding and to reboot your paper process, then a modular rounding system that can automate the rounding process and using cognitive computing can help you achieve your desired results. However, before you engage in automating a process, you have to understand the impact to the workflow. Adding new technology can help automate and improve efficiencies, but must be able to complement existing workflows.
When considering deploying a digital rounding initiative, here are some design elements to consider:
- Understand the needs of the patient. Patients want to provide feedback about their experience, especially if they feel that feedback will improve care for themselves and others. So before deploying a digital rounding platform, it is critical to understand key elements that are truly important to the patient that your organization has the ability to affect.
- Work collaboratively with the staff. Everyone involved in patient care is busy. When incorporating something new into an existing workflow, staff buy-in is essential to be successful. It is critical to get staff feedback about the current process and understand the implications that automating the process will have.
- Take an iterative approach to implementing change. Refining the process along the way is always recommended to ensure a smooth transition and accomplishing the desired outcomes.
- Leverage expertise. You and your team are experts in healthcare. Deploying lead measure technology like digital rounding is only successful when both the technology and psychology aspects are addressed and optimized.