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Lessons learned from COVID-19: Three priorities for where we go next in healthcare

May 14, 2021
Business Affairs Risk Management

In a crisis event like COVID-19, many hospitals have used portable tools like a tablet to allow them to quickly and safely scale up when they were seeing higher than normal patient volumes. To address overcrowding and other challenges, many created temporary care settings for patients outside of the hospital or in isolation wards to allow for separation. In these instances, the availability of portable, remote and easily transferable tools is essential in delivering consistent and quality care. Tools like these can allow clinicians to remotely monitor multiple patients to reduce contact as well as lessen bedside monitoring disturbances and interruptions. They are also beneficial for the future as well, as care continues to move outside the walls of the hospital.

A larger and more holistic approach to scaling up or down would be considering “as-a-service” models, which can help enterprises with necessary organizational agility and visibility by keeping systems up to date on technology. For example, while patient monitors have always been a key investment priority for hospitals, COVID-19 has made them even more critical due to drastic shifts in patient demand. It’s become apparent that this expandable or retractable “monitoring as-a-service” model is key to meeting these fluctuations in demands. When selecting solutions like patient monitors both now and in the future, organizations must make sure they aren’t just selecting devices, but also trusted patient management partners they can rely on across the care continuum. By leveraging connected devices, software, services, and collaborative cross business solutions, health systems can provide the most clinically valuable insights to all points of care, supporting shared decision-making and empowering care teams to continuously modify therapy for optimal outcomes. For example, in an acute care setting, comprehensive patient management solutions can detect clinical instability early so clinicians can intervene, which is vital in avoiding ICU readmission and acute clinical conditions, such as cardiac arrest, sepsis, or hemodynamic shock.

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Building on this Momentum
COVID-19 forced the healthcare industry to innovate like never before. Many of the learnings can be taken forward and applied to the healthcare industry beyond the pandemic. As we look ahead to the future, we need to make sure these solutions are ones that will last. The past year has taught us there is a real need to build a foundation for health systems that is more nimble and agile, allowing providers to move quickly and adjust to things like patient influxes. By building on and maintaining this momentum, and in collaboration with health systems and medtech vendors, the healthcare industry will be better prepared for whatever comes our way.

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