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  • Now, a strategy for a cost-effective, patient-friendly healthcare facility

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An intelligent technology infrastructure builds efficiency across an organization.

The United Nations predicts that the number of people who are 60 or older today – 841,000,000 – will increase to 2 billion by 2050. The sheer number of patients needing care will place an additional burden on healthcare organizations, which are already struggling due to tightened budgets and a lack of resources.

To add to the challenge faced by healthcare organizations, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates up to 40% of resources spent on healthcare are wasted, in part due to antiquated processes and systems. An array of advanced technology solutions is available to improve patient care and keep operational costs in line – but the healthcare industry lags behind in implementing some of those solutions.

Intelligent technology infrastructure: a foundation for efficiency
Based on information communication technology, as well as wireless and mobile communication protocols, an intelligent technology infrastructure builds efficiency across an organization. Acting as the central nervous system of a hospital, the infrastructure integrates and enables communication between disparate systems, such as power, building management, security and IT. When a hospital’s systems can “talk” with each other, the infrastructure as a whole is stronger and makes effective use of all resources.

8 Benefits of an Intelligent Healthcare Infrastructure
In many countries, patients can choose their treatment centres, which means hospitals must compete. A patient’s overall experience depends upon diverse factors, such as medical staff attention, catering, housekeeping and the facility itself. Through wireless communication, an intelligent technology infrastructure enhances overall patient experience and hospital efficiency by:

  1. 1. Allowing medical staff to access patient files from anywhere to make informed care decisions
  2. 2. Empowering nursing staff to react quickly to a patient’s needs
  3. 3. Ensuring patient comfort through personal control of room lighting, temperature, window blinds and more
  4. 4. Satisfying a patient’s desire to communicate with family and friends via email or other web services
  5. 5. Increasing staff productivity by decreasing time needed to manage systems and locate equipment
  1. 6. Promoting energy efficiency by controlling and monitoring energy sources
  2. 7. Saving capital expenses on devices, cabling, and commissioning for new construction or upgrades
  3. 8. Reducing operational expenses through reliable network availability, scalability, and rapid system diagnosis and repair

Streamlining systems
To develop an effective, low-cost platform for an intelligent technology infrastructure, hospitals are leveraging both existing and emerging technologies. In addition, many healthcare organizations employ a concept known as “lean thinking” to improve efficiency. Developed by Toyota, “lean” translates to getting the right things to the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities, while minimizing waste and being flexible and open to change. For example, combining the lean approach with building information modelling for a new construction project can reduce costs, shorten schedules and enhance quality.

Investment strategies
An intelligent technology infrastructure will improve patient care and the bottom line, but when investigating such a solution, healthcare organizations often face barriers:

  • A lack of funding or difficulty raising capital raises questions about who will pay for improvements. For small-scale investments, it’s best to document the financial ROI before approaching the CFO or CEO. For large-scale efficiency projects, an energy savings performance contract provides a means to an end when no upfront capital is available. Using third-party financing, a portion of the energy savings pays for the project.
  • A lack of knowledge or expertise within the healthcare organization may require enlisting an outside expert to research, acquire, and support understanding of new technologies. This expertise is vital to successful design, implementation, staff training and ongoing assessment.

With the right design and plan in place, an intelligent technology infrastructure delivers value to hospitals through improved patient care and reduced operational costs.

Learn how to improve the patient journey and hospital financial health: Download “Effect of Intelligent Technology Infrastructure on Hospital Operating Costs and Patient Care.”
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