The Importance of Data in the Care Setting

Back in 2016, my father underwent brain surgery which was scheduled to take around 5 hours.  Due to the complexity of his case, it ended up taking 11 hours. The day was long and stressful for my entire family, with the saving grace being a display (TV monitor) in the waiting lounge which continuously updated us on the process of my father’s surgery and provided us insight into each delay.  This continuous flow of information gave us peace of mind, kept us calm, and created a fantastic patient experience.  That day could have been much more difficult without the availability of data that was shared with us on a continuous basis. My father’s surgery was successful, and we walked away content on a day that could’ve otherwise been filled with immense fear and frustration.

That moment in my life reiterated the importance of real-time data and the continuous flow of information. The United States has been shifting to a model of Value Based Medicine (VBM) – where payers pay physicians and hospitals based on the outcome and quality of patient care.  This drives the demand for data-based evidence that patients were admitted into a care setting of low risk and walked out with a higher level of well-being. Provider cost is then compared with the outcome of patient care.  The shift to VBM has resulted in a need for quality reporting. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has initiated penalty programs that include reduction in reimbursements and eliminating patient pools, which incentivizes physicians to comply with the highest standards of care and adhere to performance improvement programs.  This is great on the patient perspective, but physicians get bogged down with documentation and reports in their already busy schedules. 

Technological advances in the past decade have created a patient-centered system and allows care providers to have access to accurate data to analyze population health. In addition, capturing data has become more manageable and accurate with wearable technology, such as electrocardiograms or Fitbit health trackers. These advances help engage patients and their families throughout their own care process, while physicians utilize data collection to define best practices for better health.  Overall, this has driven the adoption and acceptance of technology in healthcare.

Some of the things I’m most excited about at Tagnos is the capability of our platform to deliver live data and predictive analyses to clinicians and administrative leaders.  This gives them a reliable tool to make accurate decisions about their daily operations.  The objective is to reduce the time spent by nurses and physicians drilling through hidden layers of Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems or having to depend on unreliable and inaccurate data. 

What’s most important is a hands-free, automated environment where healthcare providers spend less time digging through data and making assumptions, and more time at patient’s bedside.  Clean data is compiled in an easy-to-access platform with balanced graphics, charts, and plots.  Sophisticated yet user-friendly platforms are key, so healthcare executive administration, clinicians, and staff can make informed decisions, mitigate risks, and improve their operational and clinical efficiency.  These items offset the risks associated with payment arrangements and satisfaction scores providers now have to accommodate.  

Live data is collected through tagging patients and assets in clinical settings such as the Emergency Department (ED) and Operating Room (OR). Tagnos helps hospital executives with consistent meaningful use of well-defined quality measures.  As an example, SEPSIS is a growing concern in the hospital setting, with one patient contracting the infection every 20 seconds in America (reference https://www.sepsis.org).  Our platform captures related key performance indicators and creates specific dashboards to identify patterns and illustrate root causes. This allows providers to focus on the patient and provide necessary care before adverse events like SEPSIS can occur. A significant part of patient experience, like the one I had with my father, is family communication.  Tagnos’ Real-time Location System (RTLS) technology is also a communication platform centered on delivering information to patients and their families.  This sets the tone for a stress-free environment for everyone involved in the care process, whether it’s a high-risk surgery or a late-night visit to the emergency room.

We want to bring new light to healthcare costs and the overall financing of hospital organizations for better resource allocation and experience.  Although healthcare is a multifaceted and complex industry, we believe “Better Care at Lower Cost” is achievable.  RTLS technology helps overcome some of the major challenges commonly found in a care setting, including: quality metrics measurement, cost-benefit analysis, and patient satisfaction.  We should strive to embed a culture of continuous improvement into our healthcare system by providing accessible, live, and reliable data to everyone that touches the care setting. I’m personally excited to be involved in a time where there is a push to change our culture to a system in which ALL stakeholders are a part of the care process.  Patients, staff, and hospital administration are a tightly-connected system and capturing real-time information to make accurate and informed decisions is how our system should be run.

About the Author:  Sanaz Massoumi is Tagnos’ data Queen, providing customers with insight into creative ways to improve operational processes.  When she’s not busy slaying facts, you’ll find her at Zumba or yoga, on her way to living her best life.

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