Trying to fit in an appointment with the doctor, visiting the clinic, scheduling a 5-minute test while waiting in line for hours—these aspects, while still necessary in many cases, are slowly becoming practices of the past through the benefits brought about by frontier technologies. For these technologies to bring about their full spectrum of benefits, they need to be backed by industry best practices. The following best practices are responsible for bringing about a rise in value-based healthcare solutions and systems.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
(HIPAA) is an American regulatory law enacted to protect aspects like Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII). HIPAA was signed into law on August 21, 1996. This is a very important part of the healthcare domain where a patient’s data cannot be accessed by someone who is not in the medical profession and even the medical team that is not assigned to the patient. The violation of HIPAA law can result in civil and criminal penalties. The following parameters are a must to adhere to the compliances stated under this act.
All these above parameters are closely linked to the five main rules of HIPAA. These five rules play a crucial role in achieving HIPAA’s goal of guaranteeing the safety of PHI and ePHI.
Security and Compliance
Protecting a healthcare solution is based on certain fundamental safeguards as follows:
The above image is a pictographic recap of the various safeguards.
Technologies like Predictive Analytics help to track healthcare dynamics at all levels right from an individual patient to a whole system thereby reducing human error. Predictive Analytics helps not only to pinpoint patterns like identifying high-risk patients, managing optimal staffing and resource allocation, anticipating equipment failures, and so on, but also reduces healthcare waste right from pathological waste to pharmaceutical waste and from cytotoxic waste to non-hazard waste.
According to Statista (an online platform specialized in market and consumer data) findings for the year 2022, 92 percent of surveyed healthcare executives in Singapore reported that they have implemented or are currently implementing predictive analytics in their healthcare organizations, the highest adoption rate of any county survey. China was second on the list, with an acceptance rate of 79 percent, followed by Brazil and the US with 66 percent. Providing quick high-quality, data-driven evidence-based healthcare is all about establishing patient trust and Predictive Analytics is one of main ways of achieving this aspect. As they say: “Better data leads to better care.”
For example, when reading a patient’s BP data, a physician may need significant time to analyse that same data gathered over months or years. Scalable models can read through that data, analyse it, and produce actions to be taken by the patient’s care team much more quickly.
This image represents the use of models to produce an expected user action—‘Reduce TW & Increase UF Time’, this action is determined based on weight and BP data fed to the model.
This will save the physician the time they would have otherwise spent studying the patient’s history, it also reduces potential human errors using established and tested algorithms to arrive at an effective conclusion.
Measuring healthcare quality is of utmost importance. Metrics in the healthcare domain help to optimize and transform healthcare processes and outcome variables. Metrics provide better budget management, optimized healthcare standards, improved treatment plans, enhanced accountability, improved protection of sensitive data and so on.
A quality dashboard that shows and tracks metrics like satisfaction scores, adverse conditions and events, patient complaints and so on helps to identify areas for quality improvement.
Here we see the visualization of AM/PM BP data over a time period—providing easy reading/study of the same for healthcare providers and patients alike.
A physician can use this to quickly and easily read through the patient’s BP history, expediting their response to a patient’s needs. Additionally, it reduces the need for paperwork that can otherwise be misplaced and/or lead to the unwanted exposure of sensitive data.
With an estimated 80 percent of medical errors resulting from miscommunication among healthcare teams, organizations can significantly improve outcomes with better communication.
Timely communication is vital to the healthcare industry—whether it is a patient trying to reach their doctor or a doctor waiting to be notified of a patient’s new symptoms. Sharing this type of information with all relevant parties will maximize the healthcare outcomes an institution can deliver to their patients. This can be achieved via in-app messages, phone/video calling, SMS notifications, etc.
Herewe see Grace Carter reaching out to her fellow physician to ensure the patient, Alexia, is attended to based on newly reported symptoms.
By leveraging the services provided by Amazon Chime, we can provide real-time communication between healthcare providers and patients—In-App and PSTN calls can be made easily via this solution. In-app messaging is also enabled through the same communications service to allow convenient and logged conversations between all parties concerned.
Both the patients and their healthcare provider/s could be away from their systems or have no internet access when a critical notification/alert comes their way. To close this gap, we must ensure that these users have access to both SMS as well as In-App notifications to enable rapid response to updates that need immediate action.
All the above best practices bring about a plethora of benefits, including the following:
Researchers estimate that in one year, $25 to $45 billion is spent on unnecessary hospital readmissions and avoidable complications. Missed appointments cost the US healthcare system more than $150 billion a year. By implementing a whole gamut of healthcare best practices, all these (negative) statistics can be minimized to a great extent.
“Best Practices” is the best medicine—the superlative adjective ‘best’ reflects the essence of the word ‘quality’—quality patient care, quality clinical data, quality patient outcomes, and so on.