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How virtual nurses are elevating patient care

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What Happens When Automation Becomes A Care Concept? Automated Patient Engagement Tools Are A Highly Cost-Effective And Efficient Solution To Help Reduce Nurse Workload

According to a study published in British Medical Journal, when nurses’ workload exceed “optimal” levels, the chances of a patient safety incident increased by up to roughly 30 percent and the chances of patient mortality spiked by around 40 percent. Add that to the human tendency to shirk responsibilities at work when overburdened and the high rate of burnout and that leaves patients in a dangerous circumstance.

Automating repetitive tasks that haunt nursing and caregiver support staff helps nurses focus on more urgent and skill-based tasks at hand. Here’s a look at businesses offering automation for nursing roles and how they do it;

AiCure

The challenge that clinical trials face stems when patients don’t take the study drug. Therefore, it is critical to understand how much medication patients are taking and when, since the quality of these data directly impact the efficacy and safety results of the trial. Many trials underestimate the study drug’s efficacy while overestimating its safety. Inaccurate medication adherence data also contribute to increasing trial costs, duration and risk of failure.

Until now, sponsors have relied on blister packs, which are routinely returned empty, or expensive blood and urine tests, which are performed intermittently and provide a snapshot of adherence. Other types of monitoring include patient self-reports, smart packaging and digital caps. To know what patients are doing once they step out the clinic door, you must confirm actual ingestion. You need to verify a patient’s identity to make sure the registered study participant is the one taking the medication. And last, you need to be able to intervene with the patient in case of poor-quality data or dropout risk.

When determining adherence solutions, some practical operational issues also must be considered, including whether the medication manufacturing process needs to be changed, cost of the approach and speed of deployment. AiCure’s artificial intelligence visually confirms medication ingestion on any smartphone. The clinically-validated platform enables continuous monitoring and intervention for greater statistical power and sample size reductions in clinical trials and improved health outcomes in population health. AiCure has developed an extensive intellectual property portfolio and been funded by the National Institutes of Health and leading institutional investors.

Ocuvera

ocuveraOcuvera is designed for use in hospital settings for the benefit of patients and staff alike. Older adults, particularly those aged 65 and over, are at a higher risk of suffering injurious falls. Their project seeks to reduce this risk through the implementation of an Automated Video Monitoring system, which can automatically predict unassisted bed exits before they occur and alert nursing staff that a patient might need assistance.


At Ocuvera, they use computer vision to help caregivers and lower hospital operational costs, starting with reducing inpatient fall risk with our patented predictive technology. Their technology doesn’t just see movement: it sees the human, identifies each body part, and analyzes how each part moves in relation to others. This allows the system to focus on the areas we want, providing extremely specialized analysis and reporting.

Spok, Inc

spokAs the heart of a major medical system, Banner Health’s centralized contact center is a busy place. It currently handles 4.2 million calls a year. It also manages emergency notifications 24 hours a day, including code blue, code pink, and code triage. In 2014, staff members began looking for ways to improve communication efficiency. Across various areas of the hospitals there were inconsistent procedures, rising costs, and a cumbersome code alert process—all of which affected patient care. The Banner Health team searched for clinical alerting options to enhance communications among staff, particularly in time-sensitive situations. A long-time Spok customer for contact center solutions, the organization already relied on various elements of the Spok Care Connect® suite in its consolidated contact center. They decided to take a look at Spok’s critical alerting solution. When the initial rollout was a success, Banner expanded the solution to the NICU to manage alerts from baby monitoring systems. As soon as the system detects changes in vital signs, it automatically sends an alert message to the assigned nurse’s voice badge. If the nurse cannot respond immediately, Spok handles the escalation by alerting the next-available nurse. “We no longer need to physically monitor changes in vitals,” said Jennifer Fil, RN manager in the NICU. “The messaging is all automated.”

And calls from parents can be routed directly to a nurse’s voice badge, allowing family members to get up-to-the-minute progress reports on the tiny patients. “Spok has helped us improve patient care by allowing us to communicate easily with families,” said Fil. “The infant monitor is attached to our voice badge, so even if we are out of the room we are always in communication with the babies. And if a nurse is feeding a baby, a call can be connected directly to that person’s voice badge, and they are able to talk to the parent and let them know what is going on.”

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Sense.ly

senselySense.ly has raised $8 million in a Series B round of venture funding to bring its virtual nurse technology to clinics and patients of every kind. The company’s app helps physicians stay in touch with patients, and prevent readmission to the hospital. Chief Executive Officer and founder of Sense.ly, Adam Odessky describes the platform as “A cross between Whatsapp and Siri that captures all the important signals about a person’s health.”

Powered by industry-leading clinical content algorithms, members can interact with a virtual health assistant. Navigation to self-care or in-network services is then completed.Using the search tool, health plan members can easily find in-network treatment options, increasing satisfaction and reducing leakage. Improved access to health information and wellness resources allows your members get the care and advice that is most appropriate for the unique situation they are experiencing.

Beyond episodic care, Sensely also offers complete remote monitoring, with support for the most common and highest cost conditions:

  • Managing a CHF population is enhanced by monitoring weight and blood pressure. Bluetooth device connectivity allows for easy check-ins, leading to increased compliance and decreased costs.
  • Monitor member COPD population by tracking key indicators, allowing for timely and efficient intervention from your in-member provider networks.

HealthLoop

healthloopHealthLoop enables care teams to engage all patients before and after admission through automated, daily check-ins. By sending the right information at the right time, HealthLoop identifies those patients that need help in real-time, allowing care teams to proactively intervene before costs and complications escalate.

In a case study they write – when patients in Chicago seek healthcare, they have many outstanding options. Administrators at Northwestern Medicine understood this market dynamic and wanted to differentiate themselves from the competition when it came to patient experience.

Northwestern wanted patients to feel supported by their care teams when outside the hospital’s walls with regular check-ins and ongoing follow-up care. They hoped that this personalized, high-touch solution would keep patients engaged throughout their care, and increase their “likelihood to recommend” their physicians to others.

At the same time, as a research institution, physicians needed a better way to gather patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs). They sought a data collection tool that was both painless for patients to complete and uncomplicated for clinical staff to administer.

By partnering with HealthLoop, Northwestern set out to elevate the patient experience and improve PROM collection rates. Powered by industry-leading clinical content algorithms, members can interact with a virtual health assistant. Navigation to self-care or in-network services is then completed.

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