Implementing The Functionality Of A Large Silverlight Application In New Technology – Part 1 – Technology Choices

The challenge

Optimium Health delivers and supports a workflow guidance tool. The tool is composed of multiple servers performing such functions as document production, eFax generation, eMail generation, and on-demand report support. An additional component is the user interface which is used both by end users and system administrators. The user interface and the product is referred to as Optimi$er.2012.

The environment of the server is Microsoft Windows Server and the user interface is a Microsoft Silverlight application hosted in Internet Information Services (IIS) and deployed in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Silverlight enjoyed great popularity particularly for video streaming (2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, 2008 political conventions, Amazon Video & Netflix [Source: Wikipedia]).

The Adobe Flash plugin dominated and was subject to many security breaches. This was the genesis of a movement away from browser plugins. Microsoft announced in July 2015 that Silverlight End Of Life (EOL) would be October 12, 2021.

Replacing a large application with an extensive user interface with backing logic became a strategic concern but not one that overrode the necessity of enhancing and extending the Silverlight client.

Initial technology candidates

An initial survey of browser client technologies performed in 2018 resulted in a dismal set of options.

AngularJS was a client library written in JavaScript that was initially developed in 2009; Although still supported, it was superseded by Angular. AngularJS and JavaScript were deemed too low level with primitive tooling, a type unsafe environment, and lowering popularity due to the release of Angular.

Angular V4 was the latest in a TypeScript rewrite of AngularJS. Tooling was still relatively primitive but at least the language was type-safe.

Aurelia was a new Typescript library favoring convention over configuration. It had no track record as a useful library in actual use however, the creators had a successful previous library (Durandal) and were bent on radically improving the implementation.

Uno platform was released in early 2018. It was a multiplatform tool supporting Windows desktop, Android, iOS, and web browsers. Developed as an internal tool at nVentive, it was later open-sourced.

A choice is made

A decision was made in early 2018 to prototype a client replacement with Angular V5. Basic functionality was created. Data support was a large ‘sticking’ point with the conversion from the C# types supported by the server and the JavaScript types.

There was enough “friction” between the language types to make the examination of other frameworks continue. The plan at this time was to build a minimally viable client during 2019 that addressed one of the four major areas of functionality.

A dark horse appears at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018

A series of blog posts on the Microsoft Developer site appeared at the end of 2017 and into 2018. These posts detailed an experimental technology (called Blazor) which would bring the .Net environment to the server. This was pretty exciting in that it would remove the ‘friction’ between client and server in much the same way as Silverlight did more than a decade earlier. The major difference was that no plugin was required and the execution could be upon and modern browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge).

A prototype client was developed and followed the pre-release cadence of the experimental Blazor implementation. The prototype quickly surpassed the Angular prototype in functionality and reliability.

Microsoft emphasized the experimental nature of Blazor throughout 2018 and it wasn’t until October that a full commitment to Blazor was announced. The commitment was to ship the server hosted model of Blazor by the end of 2019 as of October 2019. Blazor became an official part of .Net 3.0 preview 4 in April of 2019.

Switching horses midstream and initial implementation

After the commitment by Microsoft the decision was clear that a Blazor client was to be the preferred technology. The initial implementation would be of the OR Tracking application (a new facet of Optimi$er). The intent was to improve communication and safety of the intra-operative processes.

Optimium Health and a large hospital group partner iteratively developed the tracking application through most of 2019 with a goal of live implementation in Q1 2020. The development process was smooth and we were ready to perform the initial implementation in March of 2020, calling the product Optimi$er.2020;

COVID-19

An odd thing happened while getting ready to implement, that being a global pandemic of a seriously deadly virus with the moniker of COVID-19. All plans for implementation of the OR Tracking application got put on hold while everyone tried to ascertain how to live safely in this new environment.

Finalization of the replacement application

After several months of being stopped in the implementation of the OR Tracking application, the remainder of 2020 and first half of 2021 was devoted to transitioning the Pre-Anesthesia and Surgical Office portions of Optimi$er.2021 (renamed from Optimi$er.2020 because we wanted nothing to do with 2020). The first preview release of Optimi$er.2021 occurred in July. A full transition in two of three departments occurred in October with the third department expecting to finaliz

Top 10 Technology Solution: OPTIMIUM Health

Healthcare Technology Outlook recently selected OPTIMIUM Health, and specifically its feature product OPTIMI$ER, as one of the 2019 Top 10 technology solution providers for operating room management. Selection criteria included demonstrable patient outcome and staff satisfaction improvement as well as increased day-to-day operational efficiency and financial performance. OPTIMI$ER has a strong track record for delivering on each of these measures.

“Optimizing Workflows for Improved Medical Outcomes” – Healthcare Tech Outlook: A typical, moderately accommodated hospital in the US undertakes approximately 100 to 150 operations on a daily basis. Care providers start preparing patients for surgery at least 10 days prior to the day of the operation and continue post-surgical follow-up up to two weeks after the procedure is completed. Caregivers schedule surgeries considering the medical status of the patient and the anesthesia to be administered at the time of the operation. Besides assuring that patients have all appropriate tests and procedures, preparing equipment for surgeries and obtaining the necessary medical and financial clearances, caregivers focus on educating the patient about the nature of the operation and how to adapt to their health conditions after the procedure.

However, if a patient’s health deteriorates or one of the above mentioned procedures, tests or clearances are missed on or before the day of surgery, the entire schedule is upset, giving way to a huge financial loss for the hospital. Aiming to eliminate missed steps, lack of transparency and inefficiencies that cause case cancellations, delays and loss of revenue, Optimium Health was formed. Led by Vicki G. Harrison, and Mark Stega, M.D., the company improves interoperability, operational efficiency, and improved communication among staff at caregiver organizations via its perioperative workflow management software, OPTIMI$ER™.

To read the full Healthcare Tech Outlook article and and learn more about Optimium Health, a top 10 technology solution provider please follow the link: https://operating-room-management.healthcaretechoutlook.com/vendor/optimium-health-optimizing-workflows-for-improved-medical-outcomes-cid-1048-mid-91.html

Improved OR Scheduling and Turnover

Healthcare Purchasing News recently interviewed OPTIMIUM Health (OHI) founders Vicki Harrison and Mark Stega, MD to discuss the innovative way in which their company has brought workflow technology into the surgical setting. Specifically, the publication’s article focuses on improved OR scheduling and turnover while highlighting the benefits OPTIMI$ER Perioperative modules for pre-anesthesia testing, day of surgery pre-op, operating room management, and surgical office integration have brought to staff productivity, patient outcomes, and overall financial performance.

Ready, Set, Go – Staying on Track with OR Scheduling” – Turnover The operating room (OR) is like a living center. It runs around the clock with several moving parts and people. Every detail matters at every point of service – from pre-operative procedures, surgery scheduling and supply planning to room set-up, equipment cleaning and patient discharges.

Despite its revolving activity and potential for errors, the OR is expected to perform and transition smoothly and expediently, in order to best meet the needs of patient care and hospital budgets.

“Studies show astronomical OR costs per minute. Any time you can shorten the turnover time turns that non-revenue generating time into revenue generating time; that adds value for everybody. Any product or service that supports the efficiency of the OR to meet the demand of scheduled starts has value directly to the bottom line of a hospital,” explains Suzanne Champion RN, BSN, MBA, CNOR, Director Clinical Operations, U.S. Acute Sales, Cardinal Health.

To read the entire article and to learn more about improved OR scheduling and turnover, please follow: https://www.hpnonline.com/surgical-critical-care/article/21121277/ready-set-go

Blazor: Easily switch between client side and server side execution

Blazor as part of ASP.Net Core 3.0 will be shipping in approximately a month. As a generally available release Blazor is supported with server side execution. Even though client side execution is possible, it will remain in a preview state for at least the remainder of the year. Even if the intent for your project is to target server side there are some useful aspects to host your project in wasm on the client. Notably, the ability to use the browser development tools to understand just what your carefully crafted css is actually doing is priceless. If you are going to target the wasm deployment of your project it is still useful to change to server side for debugging at this point in time.

The source code for this project is available on BitBucket at https://bitbucket.org/MarkStegaOHI/blazor-cse-sse/src/master/. This post will just highlight the key aspects of making the switch easy. It is probably best to clone the repository and follow along using Visual Studio 2019 16.3.0 Preview 3.0 and ASP.Net Core 3.0 Preview 9. The project will be updated to ASP.Net Core 3.0 when it is released.

Solution configurations

There are four configurations in the solution. Using the Visual Studio configuration manager you can choose between debug and release and also between client side & server side execution. The key differences in each configuration is the definition of either ClientSideExecution or ServerSideExecution and DEBUG or RELEASE defined constants. So making the switch is as simple as choosing the desired project configuration.

Solution projects

The names of the projects may seem a bit odd; Just understand that this project was pared down from a very large project ‘in progress’ and in the large project the names make sense. The solution is architected in an MVVM style. Most of what appears in the demo project is simply the collection of view components in their simplest form.

GeneralComponents

This project is a Net Standard 2.0 Razor Class Library and implements the UI and backing logic. OptimiserComponents contains the usual Blazor suspects of MainLayout.razor, NavMenu.razor, and the _Imports.razor files as well as other useful components. These projects do not change with the server or client side execution.

Optimiser.Blazor

This project is the Blazor stub defined by program.cs & startup.cs with the packages of “Microsoft.AspNetCore.Blazor” and “Microsoft.AspNetCore.Blazor.Build”. It is only invoked for a client side execution, it is totally ignored for server side execution.

Optimiser.Web

This project is an ASP.Net Core 3.0 server. It uses the defined constants to determine if it is going to host the Blazor project on the server or to simply act as a launch pad for the client side assets. In real life the server presents a REST api for use by the client in either mode. The key to the switch is in startup.cs where the methods Startup and Configure are customized via the defined constants. This project is always the startup project in VS.

Further enhancements

It would be easy to add the development web server and a copy of the wwwroot folder from the Optimiser.Web project to the Optimiser.Blazor project. This would allow a third ‘mode’ of execution which would be to select the Optimiser.Blazor project as startup. But since that is just another client side execution scenario it is only mentioned here as a possibility.

Blazor: Two way data binding workaround with date input

Blazor is an experimental framework that implements many essential elements of a C#/HTML/CSS framework. See https://blazor.net/index.html for details.

Two way data binding is available for many elements but two notable missing elements are the input elements radio buttons and  dates as of Blazor 0.5.1. The radio button issue has a clean workaround by jsakamoto in https://dev.to/j_sakamoto/workaround-how-to-two-way-data-binding-of-radio-button-input-with-blazor-spa-v050-31fd. This post offers a workaround for dates.

Start with a definition of the date field in your cshtml file like:

<input type="date" onchange="@SelectedDateChanged" id="scheduleDate"/>

In the code-behind file define SelectedDateChanged and OnAfterRenderAsync as

        protected DateTime pSelectedDate { get; set; }
        protected async void SelectedDateChanged()
        {
            string selectedDateAsString = await JSRuntime.Current.InvokeAsync("customizationJsFunctions.getSelectedDate");
            try
            {
                pSelectedDate = Convert.ToDateTime(selectedDateAsString);
            }
            catch
            {
                pSelectedDate = DateTime.Now;
            }
            StateHasChanged();
        }


        protected override async Task OnAfterRenderAsync()
        { 
            if (pSelectedDate != DateTime.MinValue)
            {
                string selectedDateAsString = pSelectedDate.ToString("yyyy-MM-dd");

                await JSRuntime.Current.InvokeAsync("customizationJsFunctions.setSelectedDate", selectedDateAsString);
            }
        }

As you can see there are two calls to JSInterop. Define the following script:

    <script>
        window.customizationJsFunctions = {
            getSelectedDate: function () {
                return document.getElementById("scheduleDate").value;
            },
            setSelectedDate: function (selectedDate) {
                document.getElementById("scheduleDate").value = selectedDate;
                return "OK";
            }
        };
    </script>

And with this you have the equivalent functionality of data binding with the input date element.

“Life Beyond EHRs” – Roundtable Discussion Summary

On the afternoon of June 13th, a panel of healthcare professionals from Lifebridge Health, Anne Arundel Medical Center, and MedStar gathered at Turf Valley Conference Center to discuss “Life Beyond the EHR” and how emerging technologies can fill the gaps EHRs leave behind. Each panelist is on the front line of delivering the Triple Aim of lowering costs, delivering better care, and improving the patient experience. Below is a brief summary of their observations and suggestions to others in the provider health community. A two hour video of the discussion is available on request.

EHRs/EMRs ARE NOT THE HOLY GRAIL:
“The EHR we have (Cerner) did not support the clinical processes we have in surgical services. For example, data did not transfer electronically from the EHR to the forms we use in pre-anesthesia testing. This meant we needed to re-enter or cut and paste information which slowed everything down and compromised accuracy. And there are no dashboards or checklists to help keep track of where a patient is in the clearance process. We were wasting valuable clinical resources doing clerical tasks.”
Jerry Henderson – VP Perioperative Services, Sinai Hospital (Baltimore, MD)

“Our EMR (Epic) is a great repository for information but as an end-user it is not easy to input information. And it does not push or allow you to search for information in a meaningful way. Plus, reducing paperwork, rework, and error rates is something that EMRs don’t really address”
Brian Baker, MD – LEAN Process Lead, Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis, MD)

PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY MOST HOSPITALS & PHYSICIAN OFFICES:
“Before we implemented OPTIMI$ERTM there was a lot of frustration and finger pointing between surgical services at the hospital and the surgical offices. Requests for patient information would be sent multiple times, not at all, or the wrong information would be sent. So much RN time was being wasted chasing information that should have been easy to get.”
Sakinah Abdullah, Manager Patient Care Services, Sinai Hospital (Baltimore, MD)

“We have OR’s in the main building, an ASC across the street and surgical offices all over the county. Before OPTIMI$ER, there was no way for everyone to see the clearance status of patients in real time. This really hurt our delay and cancellation rates because we couldn’t act proactively to resolve issues before the day of surgery.”
Monique Holzer, AVP Surgical Services, Northwest Hospital (Baltimore, MD)

“We are always looking for ways to optimize patient throughput. I remember J.W.Marriott, Jr saying “a hotel room that is empty tonight is revenue lost forever”. I feel the same way about an empty slot on a doctor’s or nurse’s schedule or in the OR – you can never reclaim it.”
Pete Celano, Director MedStar Innovation Center, MedStar Health (DC Metro Area)

“A cancelled case still requires clearance rework even if it comes back on the schedule a few days, weeks or a month later – this wastes staff time. And our patients aren’t happy either if the cancellation is due to something we didn’t do ahead of time.”
Jerry Henderson – VP Perioperative Services, Sinai Hospital (Baltimore, MD)

“Cancellations and add-ons at 24 hours before the day of surgery were running nearly 20% – keeping track of what to work on to was chaotic. Schedule changes in Surginet were not communicated in real-time in a meaningful way to the clearance RN’s so they would be working to clear cancelled cases and not working on the add-ons.”
Sakinah Abdullah, Manager Patient Care Services, Sinai Hospital (Baltimore, MD)

“Sometimes you need to blow up the old process and look at things through fresh eyes – small change won’t necessarily make the big, positive impacts you need.”
Brian Baker, MD – LEAN Process Lead, Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis, MD)

DEALING WITH RESISTENCE TO CHANGE:
“There was a general belief that our EHR (Cerner) did everything. So after months of roadblocks, our IT department set up a meeting with Cerner in Kansas City and was told face to face that Cerner’s EHR did not do what OPTIMI$ERTM does, nor did Cerner intend to do it in the future. That finally took down the barriers and we implemented within 6 months.”
Jerry Henderson – VP Perioperative Services, Sinai Hospital (Baltimore, MD)

“What we liked was people at Optimium Health came to observe our workflow, suggested “best practice”, listened to our concerns and then adapted OPTIMI$ER to meet our needs – it went a long way in making my nurses feel ownership. They moaned a little when we brought OPTIMI$ER on, now they would scream if we took it away.”
Sakinah Abdullah, Manager Patient Care Services, Sinai Hospital (Baltimore, MD)

“OPTIMI$ER, while based on “best practice”, is customizable, not off the shelf. It helps people embrace a new technology and new way of doing things when their ideas are listened to and put into action.”
Lori Vento, Clinical Manager, Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics, LifeBridge Health (Baltimore, MD)

BENEFITS OF WORKFLOW OPTIMIZATION SOFTWARE:
“Simply said, OPTIMI$ER helped my surgical services department lower case cancellations from 9% to 6% and allowed us to open a new book pre-anesthesia services with the same level of staff. This resulted in over $2M of revenue we otherwise would have lost.”
Jerry Henderson – VP Perioperative Services, Sinai Hospital (Baltimore, MD)

“With OPTMI$ER’s checklist, task alert, and audit trail features, we can better manage the insurance pre-authorization process and reduce denials. We also cannot request a posting without a preauthorization, we can only request a “hold. This helps reduce same day cancellations that occur because there is no pre-authorization.”
Lori Vento, Clinical Manager, Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics, LifeBridge Health (Baltimore, MD)

“OPTIMI$ER allows us to monitor staff productivity, to be transparent so everyone knows where we are in the game, and to improve patient satisfaction. For example, when a patient calls multiple times before a surgery and speaks with multiple people at the hospital or the surgical office, it’s nice when staff can pull up the workflow record and see who said what to the patient and when.”
Monique Holzer, AVP Surgical Services, Northwest Hospital (Baltimore, MD)

“In EMRs, discrete data points are not easy to pull out or identify as missing. From what I’ve seen with the OPTIMI$ER surgical services application, critical data is accessible and missing data is easily identified. This is what clinical staff needs – technology to get information to decision makers quicker, more accurately so wait times are reduced.
Brian Baker, MD, Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis, MD)

WHAT LIES AHEAD:
“You cannot un-ring the bell on low consumer satisfaction – we have to delight the patients. We have to create mechanisms that are far more convenient. I think virtual visits are among the very top priorities health systems should be working on.”
Pete Celano, Director MedStar Innovation Center, MedStar Health (DC Metro Area)

“Technologies that we can put in place to pull information or bypass the impediments EHRs create – the ones that get in the way of efficiency – will be very helpful.”
Jerry Henderson – VP Perioperative Services, Sinai Hospital (Baltimore, MD)

“The key is getting standardized workflows. Create the standard work, create the process, and identify the process champion and core team so people in the organization own it. The technology needs to be aligned with that.”
Brian Baker, MD – LEAN Process Lead, Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis, MD)

*** For a video download, please contact: heather@optimiumhealth.com ***

Connected Health – A Great Idea Searching for Reality

Two of the frequently heard buzz words in health care are “Connected Health”. Defined as the use of technology to facilitate the efficient and effective collection, flow and use of health information, the scope of “connected health” can cut across providers, payers, patients, and family and friend caregivers. A noble goal that can have significant impact on the quality and cost of care delivery. Especially if implemented in a purposeful and strategic manner.

No doubt about it, health care communication is complex. Multiple people, locations, and tasks are involved for each service provided, whether scheduling an annual check-up or a major surgery. This is where “connected health” can make a huge difference by eliminating communication and care coordination failures that cause delays, cancellations and, at worst, mistakes that put patients at risk.

What The Industry Experts Are Saying
A recent article published in Health Data Management and written by Greg Slabodkin, “Interoperable IT Critical to Improving Cancer Outcomes”, highlights many of the issues preventing a “connected health” environment. He focuses on the oncology setting, including chemotherapy and radiation treatments. But the same interoperability issues are found across the care spectrum of services.

“If the United States is going to improve cancer-related outcomes, it must overcome serious policy and technical barriers preventing the country from achieving a nationwide, interoperable health IT system. That’s among the findings of the President’s Cancer Panel, which issued its latest report to the Obama White House on Tuesday.
Although technologies have been widely adopted in healthcare settings as well as among the general population, health information often remains trapped in silos, according to the President’s Cancer Panel. Patients, caregivers, care teams, researchers and health agencies often lack the tools they need to access and optimally use these data.”

For the entire article click this link: https://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/interoperable-health-it-critical-to-improving-cancer-outcomes

How We Can Help
Optimium Health applauds the findings of the President’s Cancer Panel. In fact, we are doing our part to make a difference to cancer patients and care teams early next year. We are developing an oncology workflow software with a prominent cancer center in Baltimore, MD. The newest addition to the OPTIMI$ER family of clinical workflow tools will address several of the issues Mr. Slabodkin cites in his article.

The oncology overlay will interface with existing systems like EHRs and scheduling to eliminate duplicate data entry and, importantly, add protocol checklists, task reminders, issue alerts, and real-time patient status dashboards to facilitate care coordination. The goal is two-fold: first, to enhance the patient experience by minimizing treatment delays and cancellations and second, to reduce the cost of care by improving productivity and eliminating “waste” in the system.

If you have an questions about the OPTIMI$ER Oncology or Perioperative Workflow technologies, please contact heather@optimiumhealth.com

LEAN Healthcare: Adapt Business Technology to Health Care

Sometimes it’s easy to drink your own Kool-Aid®. In the case of Optimium Health, we believe problems with healthcare coordination inside hospitals are so bad that the pathway to corrective action and proven technology solutions must obvious to everyone. While many health systems recognize the problems they choose to believe EHR’s are the Holy Grail. EHR’s can solve everything that ails their organizations. After all, for northwards of $10 million dollars these EHR’s should fix the problems.

So when I read Closing the Technology Gaps Between the Clinical & Business Sides of Healthcare, by Tom Furr (Health Data Management, January 2016), I realized I was not drinking Kool-Aid®. There are others who believe what we believe.

In the article, Mr. Furr cites that a lot of what healthcare needs to do to bring its “business side” into the 21st century was developed by other industries and is available today. Industries like banking, travel, and manufacturing. However, up to now, the focus of technology advancements in healthcare are on the clinical side on the front lines of face-to-face patient care. They are not the business of back room where care-coordination lives.

Mr. Furr summarizes this belief in the following excerpt:

“Massive development activities and hefty investments in technology that advance the clinical side alone will not bring healthcare systems into the future. It may well further enhance the ability to diagnose, treat and prevent any number of medical maladies. But the industry will not move into the future if the other side of the healthcare house still operates with technology developed in the 1980s. The back office of healthcare, which the patient used to never see when insurance paid most, if not all of the bill, is becoming as important and prominent as the clinical side, and is just as important in the patient engagement equation.”

Follow this link for the entire article: https://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/closing-technology-gaps-between-the-clinical-and-business-sides-of-healthcare

If you would like information on how Optimium Health can help your health organization make meaningful advancements in care coordination through proven and affordable technology solutions, please contact Heather Guild at heather@optimiumhealth.com

LEAN Healthcare: Clinicians Agree, EHR’s Should Incorporate Workflow Checklists

Boston Physician Atul Gawande wrote The Checklist Manifesto in 2009 stressing that medicine should adopt “pilot’s checklists” to ensure that operating room teams are “ready for takeoff” before a scalpel is ever opened. in other words, incorporate workflow into IT software. The manifesto was written just before the electronic health record (EHR) mandate came into being as a result of the Accountable Care Act passage in 2010. If Dr. Gawande had known about the EHR mandate, he might have suggested that EHR’s include checklists for key clinical areas to improve communication and reduce oversight and error.

In his blog, Life as a CIO, John D. Halamka MD and Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), recently demonstrated how BIDMC implemented The Checklist Manifesto ideas in software to complement its EHR. Dr. Halamka is also Chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN), Co-Chair of the Health Information Technology (HIT) Standards Committee, a full Professor at Harvard Medical School, and a practicing Emergency Physician.

Dr. Halamka observes that to this day many clinicians complain that EHR’s create burden without significant benefit. He goes on to state that incorporating workflow and checklist tools into EHRs, especially in the operating room, offers high value. It ensures good team communication, while also reducing errors. According to Halamka, it’s “a win/win for everyone!” For entire blog on this subject as well as others, please click the link:
https://geekdoctor.blogspot.com/2016/06/an-ehr-implementation-of-checklist.html

Optimium Health has long been a supporter of Dr. Gawande’s ideas and more recently, those of Dr. Halamka. The EHR is a powerful system, but without electronic workflow assistance and key process checklist features, the EHR’s potential is not fully realized as a way to improve productivity and deliver better patient care.

If you would like more information on how Optimium Health can help your organization improve IT integrated views for better communication across care teams, lower operational costs, and enhancing care delivery, please contact: heather@optimiumhealth.com

Hospital Wait Time Woes & Air Traffic Control

Unfortunately, hospital wait time woes are a common source of frustration for patients and their families. A recent article in Forbes Magazine by Sanjeev Agrawal, a health services specialist, draws an insightful comparison between healthcare in 2016 and air traffic control in the 1980’s.

The article’s premise is that while the service area (hospitals, airports & air space) is fixed without an expansion of infrastructure, the demand for services is increasing concurrently with pressure for lower costs. A conundrum ultimately resolved in the case of airports & air space with technology solutions that optimize the flow of air traffic to allow for an increased flow of passengers at lower costs. Mr. Agrawal argues the same transformation can, and should, take place in healthcare to reduce patient wait time.

Below is an excerpt from the article:
“The challenge healthcare providers face: increasing patient access while lowering costs and increasing quality of care has a direct parallel – airports like JFK have had had the same challenge in the last 30 years when the volume of aircraft, traffic and flights has increased 10 times while using the same air space, number of runways and gates. Process transformation through advanced data analytics delivered using scalable technology platforms has been the key.”

For the entire article, please click on the link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sanjeevagrawal/2016/04/02/the-future-of-hospital-operations-resembles-air-traffic-control/#55b67d7788e6

Optimium Health could not agree more with the Forbes article’s assessment of the need for action to solve wait time and efficiency issues in healthcare. The analogy to advances in air traffic control is a reasonable one from which lessons can be learned. Everyday more hospitals are realizing that EHR implementations are not the Holy Grail to fix systemic clinical workflow inefficiencies that costs time and money and put patient safety and satisfaction at risk with long delays and preventable oversights.

If you would like more information on how Optimium Health can help your organization improve IT interoperability while lowering operational costs and enhancing care delivery, please contact:
heather@optimiumhealth.com