Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CyLab MRC Mobile Health Workshop: SAP's Belala asks, "Can wireless patient flow monitoring to provide true patient-centric care?"

[SAP Research Canada Presentation, 2-11-09]

CyLab MRC Mobile Health Workshop: SAP's Belala asks, "Can wireless patient flow monitoring to provide true patient-centric care?"

Yacine Belala, Senior Research Scientist for SAP Research Canada, spoke on "Optimizing Patient Care In Clinical Units Using Wireless Patient Identification and Tracking."

In his presentation, Belala raised some provocative issues for discussion:

Is it possible to use wireless patient flow monitoring to provide ‘’true’’ patient-centric care ? (Not simply automate paper flow)

What current barriers/challenges could be removed/addressed?

What key process steps, cycle times, backlogs, rework errors could be improved using wireless technologies ?

What measures of quality, productivity, patient satisfaction… need to be accounted for?

What would be key to get medical practitioners and institutional buy-in?

To view, Belala's presentation, click here.

Q&A on Mobile Health Workshop Themes

What is your vision of how mobile health will improve outcomes, reduce costs and/or improve patient (and provider) experiences?

Yacine Belala, SAP Research Canada: Current hospital information systems are not well suited for highly mobile personnel and patients. One significant challenge is the ability to track patient flows in a clinical environment and maintain a link with the healthcare records (EHR) at all times. Wireless technologies would enable, for instance, the creation of a temporary ‘’file’’ when the patient enters the facility and be updated at each step during his/her visit. If the patient is equipped with a wireless device that properly identifies him or her, medical data obtained could be automatically added to the EHR at the end of each step in the care process. Physicians and nurses would also be able to access the patient data from various locations, and hence make more informed decisions. Such an approach would reduce the number of operational inefficiencies such as, for example, the prescription of redundant tests or the need to reconcile medications.
What are the most pressing business, process, and organization, cultural and technical issues in mobile health?

Belala: One of the most significant challenges is to find simple, practical ways to gain acceptance from end users i.e. healthcare professionals and patients. The latter are mostly concerned about security and privacy issues while the former are equally interested in reducing inefficiencies so they can dedicate more time to actual patient care. The identification of patient flow management processes could help solve some of these issues.
What are the best opportunities for collaborative university research?

Belala: As mentioned earlier, we would like to find areas of collaboration that involve healthcare providers and university researchers in order to model clinical patient flows adequately

What is the role of university research in this area?

Belala: We see the university researchers taking a prominent role in patient flow process modeling. This could be achieved by means of case studies and simulations in collaboration with SAP and healthcare providers. We also anticipate that a proof of concept could be developed as part of the research.