By Emily Sopensky
Recently, a day-long symposium, “Join the Evolution to the Revolution – Transforming and Innovating Healthcare Through New Technologies”, co-produced by the Intelligent Health Association and IEEE, was held just prior to the annual Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference and exhibit Read about the highlights and takeaways in this review of the Symposium.
Themed “Transforming and Innovating Health Through the Adoption of New Technologies”, the symposium featured physicians and academics whose interests and disciplines include working with and introducing new technologies in their organization or healthcare facility.
Held in the Orlando Hilton, across the catwalk from the massive Orange Coast Convention Center, the meeting featured some of brightest and engaging accelerators of wireless technology in healthcare facilities, especially hospitals. This is the fourth year for the symposium, which is scheduled one day prior to the commencement of HIMSS14, of the Health Information Management Systems Society. Roughly 40,000 attend this annual conference and exhibit.
The symposium was a compilation of lessons learned, case studies and first-hand experiences in implementing new technologies, including Auto-ID, Biometrics, BLE, M2M, NFC, RFID, RTLS, Sensors, and Wireless Solutions.
The takeaways were:
- Standards. There was substantial interest in standards development. One question raised was, “Are there forums, etc., for addressing and developing standards?” Bill Ash and Kathryn Bennett, IEEE Standards Association, met at break with some of those interested in learning and doing more.
- Analytics/informatics. When speaking of analytics, the consensus was that now that we have the data, we are starting to analyze. But what are the metrics?
- Team of teams. Debbie Elgot of HP speaking about HP’s engagement with the US Veterans Affairs, hit the nail on the head when she said we need a “team of teams” to accomplish technology solutions implementation. How to meld the various cultures and overcome the siloed professions within the facility environment?
Additionally, Dr. Neil Halpern and others repeatedly pointed to the Intelligent Health Pavilion at the HIMSS exhibit Hall as the tool that helps turn decision-makers in institutional facilities. In the pavilion, the integration of tools and devices used in hospital suites, such as in the ICU, ED, stepdown, pharmacy, and so on, is demonstrated. Seeing the solutions in action helps the hospital executives understand and learn how the technology solutions can apply to their facility.
The symposium was anchored by three keynotes:
- Morning keynote: Chris Jerry founder and Chair, Emily Jerry Foundation, explained how the foundation is working to eliminate medical errors and advocate patient care and safety through the adoption of technology. He related the heartbreaking story of why he established the foundation: the death of his 2-year-old daughter from a medical error.
- Lunch keynote: Imperial College professor Guang-Zhong Yang, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer and Editor-in-Chief of theIEEE Journal on Biomedical & Health Informatics spoke on “Body Sensor Networks â€“ Reshaping the Future of Pervasive Healthcare.” Dr. Yang’s work on robotics in the surgical suites was spellbinding and augmented with video taken inside the body. He addressed the increasingly important role of wearable or implanted wireless devices, along with the key technical challenges, latest developments, and practical examples on how best to implement these technologies. Professor Guang-Zhong Yang is Director and co-founder of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery; and deputy chair of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London, UK.
- Afternoon keynote: Dr. Neil A. Halpern’s presented “Advanced Informatics in the Intensive Care Unit”. Halpern is an avowed geek who relishes technology in his ICU suites at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (NY), where he heads Critical Care Medicine Service in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care. He is also Professor of Medicine in Clinical Anesthesiology and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He summed up the dilemma that so many healthcare institutions face: lots of cool new technologies available, but the challenge is to integrate minimally tested technologies manufactured by a variety of vendors who often compete with one another while the facility is live 24 hours a day with a goal of transforming reams of data to meaningful and actionable information.
Some of the other speakers and their topics
- Scott Phillips, Kaiser Permanente’s RFID Portfolio Manager, spoke about the future of indoor location technologies in healthcare. He suggested that vendors embed RTLS for standards to emerge more quickly and for RTLS to blend with passive tagging and mobile devices.
- Chris Gutmann, director of clinical engineering of Yale-New Haven Health on business Intelligence to improve asset management
- Margaret K. Dittloff, Product Manager, CBORD on mobile meal ordering as a strategic differentiator.
- Troy Reiff RN, Executive Director, Operations, St. Vincent Seton Specialty Hospital on supply chain data analytics.
- Kimberly Brayley, Director, RTLS Project, Veterans Health Administration, “VA RTLS: A Learning Journey”
- Debbie Elgot, HP, enterprise-wide implementation of pilots–some lessons learned. Implementing a technology solution across the vast US Veterans Affairs with multiple sites requires strong steering committees and site champions. Much of the education of these stakeholders includes demystifying technology. Nailing down the process specifics, such as an accurate inventory, is crucial to wide acceptance of a technology solution.
- Kelley Reece, Asst. Pharmacy Manager, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Implementing Technology to Improve Safety and Efficiency in the Pharmacy Clean Room
- Andrew Malcolmson, Covidien, Continuous Remote Patient Monitoring
- Karie Ryan, Chief Clinical Informatics Officer; Health First, Innovation in Physician Communication
- Carola Endicott, VP Operations & Services, Cardinal Health, Beyond RFID: One Size Does Not Fit All: Integrated Inventory Management Solutions for Hospital and Network-Wide Visibility
- Howard Landa, CMIO, Alameda County Medical Center, Business Process and Data Analytics: The Peanut Butter Cup of Healthcare Information Technology
Dr. Halpern led a very insightful panel discussion about the technology and today’s healthcare continuum. Based on their experience and expertise, Dr. Howard Landa, Scott Philips, Kimberly Brayley and Guang-Zhong Yang responded to questions from the attendees.
“By sharing their first-hand experiences on how these new technologies have been successfully implemented in their own care centers, we all stand to reap tremendous benefits from their lessons learned,” said EMBS President, Bruce Wheeler.
The final question posed at the end of the Symposium was: Are you ready for this revolution?
Emily Sopensky co-founded the RFID in Healthcare Consortium in 2008 as an educational not-for-profit addressing technology primarily in healthcare facilities. Initially created 5 years ago by the RHCC, 2014 is the first year the Symposium has substantial IEEE involvement (Life Sciences and Engineering Medicine and Biology Society). As an active IEEE volunteer and Chair-Elect, IEEE Technical Committee on RFID (CRFID), she anticipates next year’s symposium will similarly have active IEEE participation. Read more