The Importance of Connectivity in Healthcare
One of the great things about my job is that I have the opportunity to meet and trade ideas with many different people, with different jobs from all kinds of organizations both within and outside the technology industry. One of the consistent themes over the past year has been the increasing focus on healthcare.
A Growing Market
It seems that almost every organization that sells, installs, manufactures or supports IT and AV systems has, or is planning, some kind of healthcare initiative. With good reason.
*According to a study by Gartner “spending by global healthcare providers for IT services will grow by 4.33% to reach $31.96 billion in 2014”
*And according to latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “Occupations and industries related to healthcare are projected to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022… Total employment is projected to increase 10.8 percent, or 15.6 million, during the decade.”
Beyond the dramatic market growth, there are a number of other important factors that are driving healthcare organizations to increase their technology spend, such as: the move to electronic health records, industry consolidation, patient satisfaction, competition, increasing use of and comfort with technology by physicians and staff, as well as the seldom talked about Affordable Care Act,
Where Does Connectivity Fit?
Fast growing market, increased spending, lots of problems to be solved. Sounds like an ideal opportunity. So where does connectivity fit? My answer to this commonly asked question is: almost everywhere. Hospitals, Physician Offices, Surgical Centers, Urgent Care Center; however, in this post, I will focus on two applications where the use of connectivity technology is not only a great opportunity but results in better medical care.
Happy Patients = Better Care
There is a growing body of research that links patient happiness and decreased stress levels to improved healing. While this makes sense, a hospital room isn’t typically the first place that comes to mind. That is changing. The prospect of better care, increased patient satisfaction, and increasing competition between hospitals and physicians for patients, is leading to the incorporation of entertainment into hospital rooms, waiting areas and even treatment centers where patients can access content or connect to their own content from their mobile device. Real world examples: two articles about health care facilities that have incorporated entertainment into the patient experience. Hospitals turn to design to promote healing. San Diego Union Tribune and Integrated Patient Entertainment: Positive Reaction to Positive Distraction, Medical Construction and Design.
Tracking boards allow medical staff to display information such as room occupancy, patient location, status, staff assigned to that patient and their progress. This results in more time with patients and less time looking for information. Tracking boards can also be effective in sharing information with waiting family and loved ones so that they are informed and don’t need to chase down a busy staff member to find information.
Both applications are ideal for our new RapidRun Optical product. This all-fiber modular cabling solution is immune to EMI caused by medical equipment, provides UltraHD resolutions up to distances of 1,000 feet, has an extremely small form factor allowing displays to be installed close to the wall and does not require ac power making it perfect for healthcare applications.
Contributed by Garry Dukes