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The future of patient care spaces is bright with potential technology solutions to improve patient care—from life-saving treatment based on predictive analytics to patient distraction devices. When the pandemic hit, rapid adoption of tools and technologies became necessary to continue treating patients and to survive. What is Patient Room ‘Next’ and how is it evolving the space in which patients receive care now and into the future? Fred Holston, Director of Healthcare at Sirius Healthcare (A CDW company) joins Bill Russell to discuss the core technologies and capabilities that make up PRN.

This is episode 1 of 5 in our series Patient Room ‘Next’. Other guests include Stephanie Lahr, CIO of Monument Health and Billy Prows, VP at Intermountain. Stay tuned for more. 

Sign up for our webinar: Patient Room 'Next': Improving Care Efficiency - Thursday September 29, 2022: 1pm ET / 10am PT


This transcription is provided by artificial intelligence. We believe in technology but understand that even the smartest robots can sometimes get speech recognition wrong.

Thanks for joining us. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital. And creator of this week health, a channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. Welcome to our serious healthcare patient room. Next briefing campaign. I'm excited to get our topic going today and look inside the next iteration of healthcare technologies. We're joined by Fred Holston director of healthcare at Sirius healthcare or CDW company. This podcast series is going to culminate with an excellent webinar panel discussion. We're going to have experts talking about patient room next and how it improves care efficiency. Check out the description in our box below, and you can register there as well to learn more about the upcoming webinar. We wanna thank our sponsors, sir, healthcare CD CDW company, and HPE for giving us some time with Fred today and making this content possible now onto 📍 the show.

All right. Today we're joined by Fred Holston director of healthcare for Sirius healthcare CDW company. Before joining Sirius, Fred was the CTO for Intermountain healthcare. Fred, welcome to the show.

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

I'm looking forward to this conversation on patient room next. There are so many challenges facing healthcare today. I don't think any are more acute than this whole idea of clinical effectiveness. And in this series, we're going to explore the technologies being applied in the clinical setting to this challenge. And it really falls under this category of patient room next. what is patient room next?

So first, let me say patient room and kind of redefine that term. Historically. We've always thought of patient room as a very traditional patient room. In our view of it, patient room for us is wherever the patient's being treated. In fact very well could be in a traditional patient room or traditional patient setting. It could be the parking lot. The clinic could be at home. So when we talk about patient room, we're really talking about a very broad location. For patients. And when we talk about next, we're really talking about, I don't know what the future is.

I'm not sure anybody really can see the future, but there's always this next, some 12, 18, 24 months, 36 months, maybe even a few other years out. And then there'll be another one of those. And we wanna look at 'em in those continually evolving sets. Next. So patient room next is really a strategy for us.

There's no solution that you can go buy a unicorn that will solve the problems that we're talking about in healthcare, especially where technology can help. So patient room next is a strategy for us that lets us talk about this broad kind of continuum of care. And within that, we start talking about.

How technology can come to nursing efficiency and physician efficiency and patient satisfaction and improve patient care and how that can move across the continuum of care, whether you're in the traditional hospital or whether you're moving home or wherever it happens, happens to be. And then we look at that in categories of, well, how can AI help?

How can so machine vision, or how can machine Audio help. Where does sensors fit into that? How do we deal with content moving back and forth between all of these groups, physicians, and nurses and other caregivers, as well as patients and families.

All right. Well, you started to touch on some of 'em. What are some of the elements? What are some of the technologies and pieces that come together that you're looking at in your in your lab, if you will, right now that you're showing to clients.

Yeah. So there's several goals of patient room next and one of those is being touchless. And so when we start looking. Kind of areas. We're starting to look at areas and say, where can we be touchless? In all of this, we don't want more stuff in the rooms. We, don't more stuff that's sitting out. If you go home and too much stuff, they have to take home, all of this. So we're trying to figure out how to be touchless.

We're trying to figure out to be more easy. We're trying to figure out to bring data. So when you start looking at that, we start looking at things like machine vision, how can cameras and vision oriented things driven by AI. In a touchless world help with that. And so that clearly is one of those that we think is a coming on strong.

The technology is finally here. You find solutions around that that are gonna make a difference. The audio side that is when you start looking at touchless. And when we talk about audio, we kind of talk about it in three buckets. One is command and control, right? The Alexa idea for healthcare, right?

Everybody's. Toying with that. That's certainly something people looking at in traditional patient rooms. So we see that as important. The second thing that we see in that machine audio space is this idea of kind of ambient listening. And, and it's not for recording purposes. We're not trying to really listen to conversations.

We could care less, but what we're listening for are things that are medically important is the patient having some kind of trouble that they're not hitting a button or something. Some other sensor is. not Seeing the stress or they're asking for help, or is there a safety issue going on the room potentially between a fam between family members that we we can pick up on or if a clinician comes into the room can we the start listening to the medical side of that and start doing documentation in a more automated documentation form.

And the third thing around the audio piece is really this idea of a care companion. This idea that you build a relationship With an AI care companion that listens to you, lets you talks to you that interacts with you in a way that makes you feel like somebody's listening, we're listening for those things that we need to pick up and move to a caregiver and say and alert them that something's going on.

But it really is building this relationship when you're not with a, a human. Caregiver in some way and then sensors. And when we start talking about touchless, we really are looking at how can we collect vitals without ever touching the patient and not with bandaid or other things.

Right. I mean, those are important and interesting, but there have to be change there is an expense ongoing expense to those kinds of things. They certainly have other issues. So how can we just make the room or the area or the favorite chair that you sit in to watch televis? Since what we need to sense record that and send the most appropriate information back where it needs to be.

And then kind of lastly is this idea of being able to deliver content back and forth. If everything's touchless and kind of hiding in the walls or behind, behind things, then how do you interact with people? And but that's for entertainment purposes. So mental health and keeping them distracted as well as family members who wanna know what's going on.

To Tella when somebody wants to do a televi or a specialty or do rounding by tele, how, how do we make that interaction, make it a smooth experience and not have a whole lot of button pushing or have caregivers have to come in the room and do funky things to make it work. It just happens. Those are kind of key elements around this idea.

So in terms of. The drivers here, we have a clinician shortage. we have burnout as an issue here as well. We always have a desire for higher levels of clinical effectiveness. How do you see some of these things coming together to deliver on the, promise of addressing some of those challenge?

Yeah. So let's just talk about the fairly traditional patient room. And most of our customers are still kind of looking at that patient room. They're still building new facilities. They're still renovating. They're still trying to fix fairly traditional healthcare issues. So one problem is nursing.

Nurses even before all of this nursing shortage were way too busy and they weren't spending as much quality time with patients as we would like. So one of the areas patient room next is targeting, is let's do automated documentation. And what does that mean? Well, everything from let's collect vitals in an automated fashion, so they don't have to round and continually take vitals.

And once they finish, I have to go back and start that process. Let's do things like watching for fall so that people aren't having. To sit and watch those kinds of things. Let's do things like documenting bed turn. So you don't have to go to the room and do a bed turn. Let's do things like virtual nursing, where a nurse can say, instead of me pecking around all the time, I can go in and do something and I can have a virtual nurse help me out in there.

And by the way, when you start talking about nursing shortages, a lot of nurses might be willing to come back if they weren't walking the floor. And so you now have a new. Opportunity for set of nurses who might come back and work if they were in a more virtual setting, if they could be home in their bunny slippers, or if they could be in a a different area where they could be helping a lot of nurses do some of those kind of routine tasks that have to get done, but you know, more maybe computer related or information related.

Or I need this or that, that they can order summons, whatever that happens to be and let the nurses that are on the floor, who are, who are moving from place to place and hands need to be doing things and bringing things back and forth to the room, make them as efficient as possible in that process.

Same for physicians. Can we automate the documentation process? Cut down their time as they, they round and give them more information that they need when they need it. And frankly raise a satisfaction of those groups of people that also by the way, will generally raise a satisfaction in my estimation of patients.

If they see nurses more, if the nurses are more attentive when they're in there unless playing, not playing, but doing what they have to do with technology then. They'll feel more attentive. Family will feel better taken care of. And what you hope is that most nurses which have the ability to see that something's going on, even before I think even a lot of the censoring will tell you that something's going on, they'll actually notice what's happening with the patients.

Hey, you've changed or this looks different or you're looking different. You're acting different, whatever that happens to be that they'll they'll. Truly be able to do what I think they like to do, which is to be nurses and not scribes and other things.

What's interesting just the moniker of patient room next sort of conjures up this, it won't be in a hospital building on a campus potentially next next it could be.

Some of these technologies you're talking about really could enable. A bedroom or whatever, in, in our communities, we could monitor a lot more patients in a lot more different areas. Is that one of the things that you're talking to health systems about?

Well, absolutely is, and I would say a significant number health systems are quite ready to do that. I mean, they do kind of remote monitoring and the traditional kinda home care mentality, but this idea of really what you're talking about, which is kinda enabling the bedroom or the home to be. Hospital and understanding what's going on so that you can get a patient back into more intensive care.

I don't necessarily mean in ICU, but more dedicated care if they need it, make sure that they're doing well. Those kinds of things, it's clearly where I think healthcare needs to go. And that's what patient room next is trying. look at. Are all the technologies ready to go there today?

No. Have we figured out exactly who goes into the home? How do you put those in AI today? Needs a little bit of training for the location, especially a vision. It needs to understand its surrounding a little bit. Is AI quite ready for, Hey, I can go into any place at any time and I'm automatically ready to be a hundred percent accurate.

Not quite, but that's where we're working towards and that's where. Our strategy of patient room next is, is working. And we're working with partners and working in our labs to try to figure out how do we do that? And we look for health systems that want to kind of push that edge and figure out what does need to go into the homes.

For example, for some, it may be this care companion who kind of interacts with you. Doesn't need you to go to an iPad every day and do all this fancy stuff and put on cuffs and oxygen monitors and do all these strange things. Sit in your favorite chair, we'll collect the basic information. Talk with this care companion who kind of builds this relationship with you.

And from there, we kind of know what we need to know from a day to day basis. And then from. We can decide, do we need to go visit you? Do we need a health and wellness call? Do we need those kinds of things? And that's really where we're trying to look towards.

Yeah, that's fantastic. we're gonna come back so we have a couple episodes where we're gonna be talking to some of those clients That are pushing the envelope and looking at what's next for the patient room. And so we're gonna do that over the next couple episodes. I'm gonna come back and talk to you at the end of this series.

And we're gonna talk about specific technologies I want us to sort of give a virtual tour of what people would see in the serious CDW lab for patient room next. And so we're gonna come back. In a couple episodes to talk to you about that, Fred, thank you very much for your time.

Great to talk 📍 to you.

What a great discussion. I want to thank our sponsors for today's series, healthcare, CDW company, and HPE for investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Don't forget that this whole series ends with a great webinar. We have four magnificent. Healthcare leaders, Anna Baker, Garber, former C for HCA healthcare, Dr. Stephanie LAR CIO CMIO for monument health, Billy pros emerging technologies and innovation strategists at Intermountain. And of course, Fred Holston. Director of healthcare at Sirius healthcare CDW company. And we are going to hear about the tools that are being explored and the really cool things they're doing.

I've talked to each of these people over the last couple of weeks and the things they're doing at Intermountain and monument and just around the country are really exciting. And so that's gonna be the topic for the convers. Check out the registration link in the information below you can also go to our website this week. and click on the webinars top right hand corner. Love to have you 📍 join us on September 29th at one o'clock Eastern time. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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