Michael Ricci, CIO, The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
The current evolution in the workflow landscape has been all about quenching the need to increase efficiency. The technological trends have ensured that the available information has not only been able to provide additional workflow opportunities but also track the current processes. The landscape has been inclining toward data analytics and its applications which have made a huge impact as to how organizations are able to define better and more streamlined workflows. The last couple of years have witnessed an exponential rate of technology proliferation when it comes to the healthcare workflows. Systems in the healthcare industry have adopted new EMR systems which have completely changed as to how we carry out different processes. As new upgrades are applied—quarterly and semi-annually—new functionalities become available and the healthcare industry is constantly looking at how their workflow can be adjusted accordingly to accommodate these new functionalities in their systems.
Healthcare organizations today, are running AI on each and every ongoing workflow analysis to increase efficiency and keep up with the evolving system functionalities
Setting the Patient Expectations
Healthcare organizations today need to do more with less and provide a patient experience that makes them stay and come back. In healthcare, it’s all about the customer and being able to provide them with a happy experience when they are within the facilities or being helped remotely. There is a need to make sure that communication is in the forefront of what the healthcare providers are doing. For example, waiting for appointments in healthcare is a big concern and thus, there is a need to move patients through the systems quickly without a lot of delays. There always will be bottlenecks in the system that have to be dealt with through cleaner workflows.
Big data is already a standard feature of daily life for consumers outside of the clinic. Consumers have developed expectations on interactions with service providers being tailored to their individual needs and desires, and have become largely comfortable with the idea that their past actions can be used to predict their future wants. Healthcare has lagged behind somewhat in its ability to create a responsible, predictive patient experience, but the industry is quickly catching up to its peers in other sectors as the financial incentive for delivering preventive, proactive care increase. The healthcare facilities are leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze and understand what’s happening in their workflow. This has become an integrated solution to the systems. In fact, healthcare organizations today, are running AI on each and every ongoing workflow analysis to increase efficiency and keep up with the evolving system functionalities. This is really what’s critical to be successful nowadays for any healthcare facility whether it is a large or small organization.
Designing an Accommodating workflow
What needs to be done is combining of couple of approaches. Our mission is to make patients healthy and happy. So, we look at it from different levels: the system and the people. We monitor the patient experience with the combination of physically watching the workflows, analyzing the data, and then using visual analytics tools to visualize the data to identify the bottlenecks. The change in the workflow can thus be determined to better the system. Also, if we come across the area to be addressed, we ensure that it is communicated to the concerned department.
Integrating with Employee Workflow
Technology plays a vital role in making it easy for the employees to access the data that they need to do their job. In older systems, the issue was to provide the right person with the right data at the right time. The industry has gone completely paperless at this point that allows the system in getting access to the area of the information that they need to. Also, keeping people trained and up to date on what is available to them becomes a hurdle. So, it is essential that the employees are refreshed on the technologies and functionaries that exist currently in the system.
Implementing a Comprehensive Piece of Workflow
• It is imperative to invest in a superlative business analytics and intelligence tool, which will allow organizations to analyze the data and acquire detailed data to analyze what’s really happening in their workflow.
• Organizations also need to have the support of their leadership team to implement changes in the workflow. If senior leadership doesn’t have the mindset to increase efficiency, it should be prioritized by the management.
• Change should be presented as an opportunity to the leadership team such that they understand that to go the extra mile, something different must be done.
• In healthcare, it’s all about the patient and thus the workflow should be changed to make them happy and healthy.