Using Technology to Transform Healthcare

By: Aster Angagaw
Aug 8, 2016 1:15 PM ET
Aster Angagaw CEO, Specialty & Canada Healthcare, Sodexo North America

Using Technology to Transform Healthcare

This is the fourth in a continuing blog series based on the findings from the Sodexo 2016 Healthcare Compendium, a compilation of research that examines the increasing trend toward a focus on value in the healthcare sector. Read the full article: Trends in Healthcare Technology

Most major communities have one or more main hospitals, each surrounded by aligned patient-centered medical homes, specialty clinics, outpatient doctors’ offices, ambulatory clinics, urgent care centers and often, smaller, outlying hospitals. The individual entities within each network need to work in concert with each other, but it can be challenging to communicate efficiently so that patient information is secure, consistent and compliant.

Digital and mobile applications improve the patient experience
Technology is improving the patient experience, providing more comprehensive, customized and coordinated healthcare. Non-invasive devices worn by patients collect and send their health information directly to their provider, often reducing the number of doctor visits required.

Other digital and mobile applications allow for remote health monitoring via computers or mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. For example, patients can scan medication barcodes using a cell phone camera and receive personalized medication instructions to aid in the management of acute and chronic conditions. In addition, some wearable devices include biosensors that monitor physiological activity, much like an electrocardiogram would.

Other features of digital and mobile devices include the ability to send text alerts to patients about appointments, managing behavior, post-hospitalization instructions and alarms when patients are outside of their normal parameters. Providers can be alerted when patients are being seen in other facilities within the network.

These devices increase communication, enhance tracking capabilities and foster more informed decision-making. Patients are apt to feel more connected to their healthcare provider when their condition is being monitored in between doctor visits.

Sodexo’s Solutions Complement Medical Networks

Sodexo has several innovative tools and platforms to bridge technology gaps in medical networks, primarily in hospitals and senior living communities:

  • Health monitoring tools such as Healthsense remotely gather and assess vital signs of senior living residents. The outcome is better awareness of their needs, potential issues and improved quality of life
  • The Patient Interactive Services/Patient Interactive System technology solution allows hospital patients to interact via the television in their rooms to provide feedback about their hospital stay, gain access to educational materials and request services. Operational dashboards and platforms, such as the Ambassador/Patient Satisfaction Program surveys, immediately responds, analyzes and predicts the needs of hospitalized patients in order to provide more personalized care
  • The Service Response Center serves as an interactive support hub for service requests. Having one central point of contact guarantees consistent, timely responses and more efficient patient care
  • Strengthening of a network’s leadership and management framework can be coordinated through the Asset Management Program. This initiative offers strategic and coordinated management advice in addition to evaluation of facility expenses, resources and overall performance
  • Sodexo’s MinuteMan tool tracks the status of a hospital’s clinical equipment and the Clinical Management Technologymaintenance program guarantees peak equipment efficiency. The advantages are decreased maintenance and operational costs, quicker response times, greater uptime for all clinical equipment, and increased staff and patient satisfaction
  • The Maximo tool is the product of the Computerized Maintenance Management System, which uses data analytics to improve organizational processes

The ultimate goal is to improve the community’s health. Technology creates the pathways that facilitate real-time communication and collect information that can be used to benefit the lives of the residents and the efficiency of the healthcare system.

Aster Angagaw is CEO of Specialty & Canada Healthcare for Sodexo North America, responsible for both operations and business development. Ms. Angagaw leads her team in the development and delivery of comprehensive Quality of Life solutions that address complex issues facing healthcare systems.