A recent white paper publication of the Joint Commission, "Healthcare at the Crossroads: Guiding Principles for the Development of the Hospital of the Future" suggests that hospitals must respond in new ways to meet increasing complexity of patient care and to address rising health care costs.
The report recommends action in five areas:
- Economic Viability
- Technology Adoption
- Patient-Centered Care
- Hospital Design
It is no surprise that Patient-Centered care is at the core as "a partnership" between a patient and his/her providers.
The Joint Commission suggests that technology adoption can play a major role in improving patient care, safety and quality. The transformation from paper to electronic records, according to the report, will involve:
- Making the business case (ROI) and acquiring funding
- Redesign of Business processes concurrent with technology implementation (a blast from my past)
- Extending the digital footprint beyond the hospital to the "Medical Home"
- Engage technology leaders for guidance (Maybe even those from other industries? Perhaps learning from the mistakes of others? Yes!)
- Improve workflow and minimize labor intensive activities (Double Yes!)
It is refreshing to see an approach to healthcare technology implementation that seems to leverage the experience and knowledge of other industries. The road to the Hospital of the Future will be bumpy, but the benefits will be great once we arrive!
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