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May 28th, 2020

Improving the Patient, Family and Provider Experience with Inpatient Video Capability Innovation

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As our institution has worked to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, it became clear that the use of video in the inpatient setting would be crucial to many aspects of care. We needed to address the needs of patients, their families, and our providers with video capabilities that met our requirements all deployed quickly enough to achieve our goals.

For us, Covid-19 did not require so much as a rapid pivot to video but rather a scaling up of video services that were already part of the pre-existing technology and operational foundation of the institution. Because of the infrastructure and workflows already in place, we were able to deploy inpatient video capabilities quickly, shaping the technology to meet the needs as they developed. This is a story of readiness for us; by establishing an enterprise platform for video capabilities, outfitting our facilities with the right equipment and training our staff to use the technology, both the physical capabilities and awareness of these services existed in advance of the pandemic. While not easy, we did not have to reinvent the wheel, we just needed to scale up.

Our providers needed to be able to communicate with or evaluate their patients without entering the patient’s room, all in order to reduce consumption of PPE, speed up their viewing of a patient, and minimize their risk of exposure to Covid-19 while also minimizing their patient’s exposure to other pathogens. In order to facilitate this, we leveraged our enterprise telehealth platform with some adjustments. Clinicians needed to be able to easily identify the correct device to reach the intended patient, we needed to ensure that the call could be auto-accepted so that no assistance was required for the patient to pick up the call, and we needed this solution to require one-time setup and no maintenance once it had been deployed to the room. With the creative deployment of hardware and software, we were able to create a consistent experience that met the needs of our clinicians while maintaining quality of care. Coupling Cisco Jabber with a host of devices we had available to meet the needs of particular facilities, we have been able to deliver these capabilities to our providers.

We also wanted to use our inpatient video capabilities to connect patients with their families. Given the need to social distance, many of patients are admitted without their loved ones and are unable to have visitors. We wanted to offer families a reliable way to connect with each other by facilitating those interactions with on-demand video chat. We also wanted to help our social workers and care teams conduct goals of care and end of life conversations with the patient and their families in as close to an in person discussion as possible. By equipping our patients, our facilities and our team members with the correct devices, configured properly, with the right communications technologies, we were able to bring the personal, human interaction back into the care setting in support of families.

Through our inpatient video capabilities program, with support of partners like Apple, Oneview and Cisco, we have deployed over 1,000 devices across our campus to improve the patient, family, and provider experience. Without our enterprise virtual health platform and the capacity to scale up quickly, this effort would’ve been significantly more challenging, time consuming, and disjointed.

– Michael Mainiero, Senior Director, Digital Strategy and Innovation — connect with me on LinkedIn here

– Ruchi Patel, Product Manager, Inpatient Digital Experience — connect with me on LinkedIn here

– Paul Testa, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine — connect with me on LinkedIn here

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