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● Think Tank

is extending well beyond the four walls of a hospital. Issues such as reducing readmissions, coordinating care, expanding preventative care and improving population health will greatly impact how care is delivered, which in turn will aff ect the supply and demand of all caregivers, including primary-care doctors, registered nurses and nurse practitioners. Integrated and centralized staffi ng across the entire continuum of care will be critical, from wellness initiatives to the delivery of critical care.Because healthcare services – from wellness initiatives to critical care delivery – will happen across the entire continuum of care, integrated and centralized staffi ng across the entire continuum of care will be critical as well. Today, more than half of the hospitals in the U.S. use manual

staffi ng methods, causing a plethora of ineffi ciencies and fi nancial challenges. By 2020, hospitals and health systems can expect the demands on their workforce to increase exponentially, eff ectively rendering manual processes obsolete and potentially dangerous to patient safety. Over the next seven years, as more patients enter the system, healthcare organizations need fl exible workforce man- agement solutions to help caregivers across the entire continuum manage the dynamic needs and demands of their patients. Instead of focusing only on staffi ng an acute care facility, health systems will need to make smart staffi ng decisions that enable them to manage the health of diverse patient populations. Data-driven staffi ng strategies are essential for providing eff ec-

tive care as the healthcare delivery model shifts. With a complete and real-time picture of patient acuity, unit needs and available resources, healthcare leaders can make informed staffi ng decisions to meet patient care needs – both within the hospital walls and across the entire continuum of care. Within seconds, nurse lead- ers can receive detailed information about excessive overtime, low productivity, poor patient matching and new nurse performance. By automating scheduling needs and using data analytics, hospitals and health systems can identify and address the staffi ng gaps across entire organizations. 2. Mobile workforce solutions for clinicians. T e average care-

giver of today is not necessarily confi ned to the four walls of a single facility, and the need for staffi ng fl exibility will continue to grow. As more organizations look for creative solutions to create long-term viability, we will begin to see more consolidations and the creation of complete health systems that span the entire continuum of care. As these newly formed and complete organizations look to maximize their workforce and control labor costs, mobile workforce options will increase in relevancy. As care teams become mobile and work in multiple facilities, they will need access to important real-time staffi ng and scheduling information regarding their unit, facility and, in fact, the entire organization while on the go. Mobile cloud-based solutions are the answer to keeping mobile employees engaged and empowered, as any employee or manager can review the staffi ng mix at any given time for any shift or unit.

Lenny Reznik, Director of Marketing, Agfa

HealthCare Corp. T e biggest change we will see in 2020 is that pa- tient data will no longer be locked into silos. Whether data is generated at home, in an ambulatory setting, in a community hospital, in a large academic hospital or


essentially anywhere, the data will be readily available to the cli- nicians who need it on any device in seconds. Data aggregation and data access will be key fundamental technology changes that will be required to improve patient outcomes while streamlining productivity and reducing costs. We are on the cusp of these changes today, and it is not only

the United States where delivering better patient care at the lowest possible cost with the best outcomes is required. As important as the EMRs that are being installed today is the enhancement of those systems with all clinical data, textual and images, to provide a comprehensive value chain throughout the patient’s multiple care episodes.

12 January 2014 Most of the EMRs available today do not complement textual

data with relevant clinical images in context. What is required is a comprehensive enterprise-class data system, helping organiza- tions free all documents, clinical images, diagnostic images and information from silos, enabling meaningful capture, storage, exchange and access to these data directly through the EMR. In response to the diverse textual and imaging information challenges experienced by healthcare organizations worldwide, Agfa Health- Care designed ICIS, our Imaging Clinical Information System, which is a solution that delivers a comprehensive, longitudinal, multimedia patient imaging record to the clinician in a single interface at the point of care. As our industry continues to evolve and grow in complexity, single application systems or the best-of-breed approach (which tend to create islands on their own) will slowly be replaced with enterprise-class systems capable of handling many diff erent ap- plications. Agfa HealthCare is focused on delivering a complete centralized and accessible picture of the patient’s full health record, delivering broad imaging and clinical information systems that expand beyond radiology and typical imaging roles, all while in- creasing departmental and imaging capabilities to facilitate reduced patient healthcare costs through better use of IT infrastructure and less administrative overhead. Just as the EMRs of today have upwards of 70 applications in a single platform, imaging, in its most broad meaning of the term, will evolve into an enterprise- wide solution.

Stuart Long, Chief Marketing and Sales Offi cer,

Capsule Tech Inc. T e fi rst technology we believe will drive the fu-

ture of healthcare is in the area of machine learning algorithms, also known as artifi cial intelligence, neural networks or massively trained artifi cial neural networks. Given the immensity of information being collected from


patients in every care setting from hospital to home in both illness and wellness markets, surveillance, intelligent decision support and computer-aided diagnosis that incorporates big data and complex patterns will ensure early detection and keep the healthy population well. T ese tools will become paramount as the need to understand the enormity of data across such broad environments will exceed the capacity of a single human or care team. T is will be an evolution of existing analytics solutions, and our expectation is that machine learning technologies will become required to ensure the creation of a data-overload safety net. With this information, we expect the plethora of medical de- vices to become intelligent in their own design and utilize a level of awareness to the big data analytics to understand, recommend and adjust based upon a patient’s real-time medical condition. We fully expect the wireless body area network (WBAN) to become a standard, such as a Wi-Fi network in a consumer’s home. T is will be an enhancement to today’s early stage medical devices that are becoming adaptable in today’s environment.

Michael Dahlweid, M.D., Ph.D., General Manager,

Product Management, GE Healthcare IT T e two most signifi cant technological developments impact the quality of diagnosis. T e fi rst development, which is breakthrough by na-

ture, is that tomorrow’s software will be capable of analyzing and selecting a patient’s genetic, epigenetic and proteomic data.


Not only that, but it will take that data and put it in context with any other digital data that is relevant to the doctor and his or her patient – the data they need, when they need it at the point of care, to make diagnoses and treatment decisions. T e second technology evolution will happen in terms of real population health data management. T is will give healthcare or- ganizations the ability to pool treatment data by patient and illness cohorts.



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