Hospitals, anywhere in the world, are under tremendous pressure to provide the best service as a healthcare provider. Not only the crucial services, hospitals face many other challenges like providing cost effective treatments, reimbursements etc. to achieve ‘optimal customer satisfaction’. Healthcare servers constantly need to push-up their service scale and listen to the needs and requirements of their patients who are customers now. The customer-seller relationship is a concept hitherto alien to the medicine industry.
Many hospitals believe digital technology will become a cantered solution to be included in the list of smart hospitals, but the fact is, only digital implementations will not serve the purpose. No denying the fact that digitization does have a huge impact on the hospital services. However, by 2020, we are expected to welcome the concept of “smart hospitals”, as the adoption of new technology is adopted at a supersonic pace.
With above statements, the question arises; what exactly smart hospitals are?
A hospital that redesigns, optimizes, builds new clinical processes, infrastructure and also management systems can be termed as a smart hospital. An underlying digital networking infrastructure is also essential. A smart hospital provides quality treatment which was not really available a few years back but with the advancement in medical field; better patient care, operational efficiency and getting experienced doctors is now possible.
There are three layers that are vital in the framework of a smart hospital. These three essential layers are:
- Access, and
Every hospital is compelled to collect patient-data on a day-to-day basis. However, this data is just used for trivial follow-ups and healthcare updates. Methodically, this data can be integrated to drive a smart insight and deliver better care with a better infrastructure of a smart hospital. All the data and the insight can be accessible to an individual, the nurse and the doctor through a desktop or a Smartphone. This empowers the people accessing the information to make decisions much faster, which in-turn increases their efficiency. In future, technological tools such artificial intelligence and cloud computing will augment patient care, increasing outcomes at each touch point.
For a hospital to be called smart, it needs to address these three areas.
- Patient centricity
- Operations, and
- Clinical tasks
Patient’s proper treatment, comfort and satisfaction should be the hospital’s utmost responsibility/aim. A smart patient room if considered should have devices that are based on voice interactions, for example ‘Alexa’, which allows a patient to call nurses or dim the lights in the room. The ambience of the hospital should be friendlier for the patients so as to get rid of their fear of hospitals, aids in the healing procedure and makes sure the recovery is fast. Also, the revolutionary technology, bio-telemetry, could be used to give an individual the insight into their own behavior, well-being and physiology. Bio-Telemetry uses sensors to collect meaningful data and performs analytics while monitoring the heart-rate and other essential elementary signs from the body through the day. It could be a wearable device in the form of watches, bands or even clothes.
The operational efficiency can be achieved with best of the management solutions, smart asset maintenance and automation systems. Control over the inventory and also the crowd in the hospital can reduce the operational cost of a hospital.
Clinical excellence means solutions that involve the work efficiency of the nurses or the doctors. Monitoring tools and engagement with patients helps hospitals achieve their goal of becoming smart hospitals, maximizing the levels of performance and health outcomes.
There is absolutely no fuss over the fact that smart hospitals are and will have a major impact on the global healthcare system. Smart hospitals ensure enhanced quality of care with personalized approaches and no medical errors to a large extent so as to achieve superior patient outcomes. Smart hospitals make use of a patient-centric approach to cater to the trend of consumerization in the medical field. This ensures that a patient experiences an excellent treatment which allows better revenue generation.