Wireless Technology Implementation In Hospitals
Written by Emily Couch
A recent buzz among leaders in the healthcare industry is the rapid pace of the implementation of wireless technology in hospitals. If you research your options you will find a bevy of articles that explain how wireless technology is good, bad, or the same as current technology. Will new technology aid in a solution regarding the loss of time, money and resources?
Patient safety, time management, accuracy of patient information and billing are said to be the top areas of contention between doctors, nurses, patients, and administrative staff. Wireless technology can improve the way patient information is stored, shared, and accessed saving time and money while increasing communication efficiency. There is constant need for improvement in the healthcare industry and the implementation of wireless technology is an apparent step toward the future of healthcare.
Why Wireless Technology Works
Wireless technology has its more obvious benefits. Many hospitals still rely on paper charts. By implementing wireless technology doctors and nurses no longer have to track down a patient’s chart that may be sitting at the nurses’ station. Granting instant access to patient information instead of relying on manual charts not only saves time but can also result in saving a life. The use of Personal Data Assistants (PDA ‘s) allow doctors and nurses to update patient information automatically so that anyone tracking the progress of a patient will have up-to-date access to vital information. Additionally, when a doctor enters a procedure or plan on a patient’s chart, the billing system will update with the correct records aiding to more precise care and allowing for less billing errors. Changing the way patient information is stored, shared, and accessed grants a quicker response time for faster treatment so that staff can service more patients in a given time period.
The less obvious benefits of wireless technology implementation help to provide a solution for lost time, money and resources. Using location based services on vital hospital equipment that tends to get lost easily such as wheelchairs and surgical equipment, allows for the efficient use of assets. This not only saves the time of staff that are sent to look for the missing item but also saves money when the equipment is accurately located.
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Wireless technology does not come without its challenges. Planning errors seem to be at the forefront of the dilemma hospitals can find themselves in after the implementation of wireless technology. Healthcare providers can practice poor judgment during the planning stages of wireless technology implementation in their facilities, like not giving full consideration on whether a particular wireless device is the best for their situation or not taking the time to test the equipment. Without a full understanding of budget expenditures and the functionality and limitations of new resources, healthcare providers could unnecessarily hinder progress in their facility and put their patients in danger. The eagerness of new technology is a common feeling amongst healthcare providers, but patient safety should come first. Improperly trained staff could make obvious errors or bypass the use of the equipment all together because they are simply not comfortable using it.
Technology is not foolproof. Even with proper staff training in place, systems can crash and something as basic as malfunctioning of equipment could possibly lead to a loss of life. Not to mention the fact that equipment can break leaving doctors and nurses without access to patient information. If a PDA is lost or stolen, patient information could be illegally accessed.
It’s important for healthcare providers to remember that many wireless systems are not necessarily designed with the patients’ safety in mind. A risk assessment can prevent some of the aforementioned challenges. The key point to remember is that healthcare providers need to take their time when researching and implementing wireless technology in their facilities. Assessing the needs of their facility and its limitations including any structural issues that may prevent the wireless technology from working, is vital. Routine equipment testing and staff training can help to prevent any equipment malfunction or staff entry errors.
The benefits of wireless technology can outweigh the risks involved. If the proper steps are taken to ensure that the right equipment and training are in place, the benefits could be substantial. Mobile technology combines the advantages of paper charts and desktop computers in their portabilityand support for information access anywhere, anytime. The result is the level of patient care is increased and the hospital saves time, money, and resources.
OMNI: First-ever platform to launch citizen RPA developers
Robotic process automation (RPA) is the fastest growing segment of the enterprise software market due to its many benefits - from reducing manual errors to processing tasks faster. For businesses to truly benefit from this technology, RPA needs democratisation, and this is where citizen RPA development comes in.
Gartner describes a citizen RPA developer as "a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” This could be anyone using IT tools and technology, not limited to IT specialists.
The work citizen RPA developers do spans from identifying automation opportunities to developing RPA architecture and solution proposals, focusing on scalability and extensibility. By deploying citizen RPA developers, organisations can enable enterprise automation and digital transformation on a much larger scale.
This is particularly beneficial for businesses struggling to undertake digital transformation, as a citizen RPA development programme can help drive adoption of automation as a strategic growth driver at multiple levels. With increased adoption, the cost of digital transformation becomes lower, increasing RoI.
Technology needs to be democratised – right from low-code and no-code platforms, business process modelling and identifying automation opportunities to decision-makers at all levels, creating a pool of early adopters. This group could comprise people across different functions, especially those who are aware of customer preferences, industry trends and end user experience.
But how can organisations harness the power of citizen RPA development? Step forward AiRo Digital Labs, a Chicago-headquartered global tech company.
AiRo provides innovative digital and automation solutions for the healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. In 2021 they launched OMNI, a subscription-based, SaaS platform to help clients accelerate their citizen RPA developer program and build digital centres of excellence (COE) within their organisation.
OMNI provides a personal RPA coach and virtual digital playground that helps enterprises rapidly build and scale automation, removing the risk of failure or talent gaps. The latter is key as research has shown that digitalisation is far more successful when championed by internal employees.
This has the added bonus of empowering employees - who will self-learn technologies including robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, and natural language processing (NLP), reducing the lead time for new applications and technology, as well as reducing technical gaps, making up for skills shortages and enabling their business to respond faster to critical market challenges. The virtual sandbox within OMNI gives access to all the major intelligent automation platforms where citizen RPA developers can build DIY digital prototypes. Additionally, they can access more than 150 digital assets within OMNI marketplace.
The platinum helpdesk of OMNI acts as your personal coach and is available 24 x 7 to address issues during the digital learning, prototype building, and digital governance journey.
Another key benefit is that it enables digitalisation to be bespoke to each organisation, compared to off-the-shelves initiatives plugged into the enterprise. Individual organisation's objectives decide the scope and size of the process.
As Gartner state, in today’s world of SaaS, cloud, low-code and “no-code” tools, everyone can be a developer.