Often the blame for technological disruptions goes to a lack of interoperability—the ability of information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and put this exchanged information to use. Ideally, data exchange standards would allow data to be shared across clinicians, labs, and facilities, regardless of the application or software vendor.
Out of necessity, the medical community has made do with remote learning during COVID-19, whether that’s through Zoom®, Webex®, or other online platforms.
While Hospital at Home may sound like a direct reaction to the pandemic, the concept was originally developed in the mid-1990s by Dr. John Burton of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Dr. Donna Regenstreif of the John A. Hartford Foundation. Their goal, which was established roughly a decade before the introduction of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim, was to safely bring down the cost of acute care while improving outcomes and increasing patient satisfaction.
From a medical point of view, there are five primary variables that will affect long-term demand for COVID-19 rapid antigen testing: pace of vaccination (U.S. and global); reaching a 70%–80% vaccinated population nationwide; reported case rate (U.S. and global); duration of the vaccine’s effectiveness in an individual (currently unknown); and the mutation rate of COVID-19 variants.
While funding is no doubt a critical part of the solution, fragmented care remains a major stumbling block when connecting people with behavioral health services. Through her organization, Dr. Nishi Rawat is seeking to create greater transparency between behavioral health and medical care providers to address the fragmentation in data and care.
The toolkit offers a core elements checklist for assessing policies and procedures, treatment recommendations in primary care taken from the CDC, and a flow chart that maps out considerations for surgical procedures. It also provides recent information on potential threats to antimicrobial stewardship due to COVID-19.
A year living through a pandemic has made this issue even more abundant—older patients, and those with chronic conditions, have been among those most at risk for severe, life-threatening conditions, including those attached to COVID-19. And what happens when one of these patients is placed on a ventilator, unable to voice their wants in terms of treatment? To avoid these scenarios, the industry needs to ensure providers, caregivers, patients, and families are engaged in advance care planning discussions.
With the death toll from COVID-19 reaching staggering numbers, vaccines still in limited supply, and a focus on vaccine distribution across the globe, healthcare systems and others involved in administering vaccines are doing everything they can to protect their quotas, both to support the health of their communities and to avoid the negative publicity of an unnecessary loss. All of these factors point to the importance of effective, efficient temperature monitoring—so it is no wonder the CDC requires every vaccine storage unit to be equipped with a temperature monitoring device.
Data exists that can help patients achieve better healthcare, but the industry itself must ensure that this data is available, accessible, and understood. Organizations and providers often have access to some of the data in question; the key, though, is connecting healthcare stakeholders and patients to complete information that enables informed decisions, which the industry has not yet perfected.
Technologies such as VR open innovative paths to improve the well-being of patients, as well as help health professionals who need to quickly expand their knowledge to work in the various fields of health. Pain control and knowledge are key ingredients of this technological open door that is increasingly occupying more territory in hospital organizations.