Patient engagement is a very hot topic in healthcare these days. Put simply, it’s finding ways and means to encourage patients to take more ownership of their health. A better informed patient is a patient that is more likely to comply with their treatment plans and is more likely to have a positive outcome.
I always thought that patient engagement didn’t really have a lot to do with the stuff I care about: communications solutions. Turns out I was wrong about that.
A recent webinar with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (an Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise customer, if you didn’t know that),Harun Rashid (their CIO) and Dr. Steven Docimo (their CMO) helped me understand the connection between a unified access network and patient engagement. Here are three attributes of Children’s network that are contributing to improved patient engagement:
1. Pervasive wireless coverage means more patient face-time
Children’s hospital has wireless coverage – everywhere. This means you don’t see nurses at nurses’ stations because they are not tethered to devices there. They can perform all their duties with mobile devices. It creates a lot more face-time with patients.
2. Guest Internet access creates informed patients
Children’s has guest Internet access which means the patients can immediately go online to look up their conditions and double check clinical decisions. These patient portals keep doctors on their toes and makes the patient a partner in their own care, which ultimately leads to better outcomes.
3. High capacity network scales to serve populations instead of patients
Children’s network has tremendous capacity. That’s good, because as Children’s moves from critical care to population management, they’re going to need to provide education and take surveys of the communities they serve. By using these portals, the hospital is able to share information with their patients helping them to make healthy decisions and keeping them out of the hospital.
Of course, the webinar didn’t exclusively focus on patient engagement; it was a great conversation on technology in healthcare. You can watch the recording at: http://enterprise.alcatel-lucent.com/?content=EnterpriseVideos&page=video&id=22980 to gain an appreciation for the impact that Children’s unified access network has on their patients, their providers and their visitors. It is 45 minutes well spent.