At HIMSS 2019 I spoke with two very interesting people from Philips Healthcare, Niki Buchanan and Brian Ross.
Niki Buchanan is General Manager, Population Health Management, Philips Healthcare @NikiOzBuchanan @PhilipsHealth. We discussed helping health care providers meet their patients where they are by implementing a digital health strategy. A tailored change management strategy is needed before technology can be introduced.
Niki describes Philips Healthcare’s population health management mission as being focused on extending care out of the facility and into the home – through population management and telehealth tools that balance the value of being at home, in the community, with the protections necessary to ensure security of communications including sensitive health data. If those communications indicate that values are out of bounds for a patient post-discharge, a phone call or even a home visit can be used to provide at-home care as needed.
If you think about people who are sick, who are missing work: The last thing they want to do after they’ve gotten better is actually take off work again and go back in to meet their PCP. So why not have an opportunity to connect with them in a different way? A digital way. We live in a generation of FaceTime users, Skype users. They want to have that interaction [and] even if it’s just two minutes you can cover a lot of ground by doing these types of remote patient monitoring visits.
I characterized that as the 21st century version of Doc Williams making a house call with his black bag.
Niki emphasized that these tools are not being applied just in the classic cases such as post-discharge COPD management, but also in short-term conditions such as hypertension in pregnancy, and also in emergency department visit admission avoidance strategies involving on-call specialists. New York Presbyterian, for example, has been using telemedicine in the emergency department to connect patients with specialists who can recommend on-emergent care for many patients – reducing wait times, reducing admissions, and reducing the need for on-site facilities for specialists in the ED.
Brian Ross, Business & Scientific Leader, Genomics for Infectious Disease, Philips Healthcare @PhilipsHealth. We spoke about Philips’ new epidemiology tool designed to help manage infection control … it’s the digital pump handle.
Brian explained how Philips is using clinical informatics interfaces, plus its bioinformatics stack – which can fingerprint superbugs with pathogen genomics – to identify the correlates of healthcare-acquired infections. For example: What are the points of intersection across all infections with a certain bug? Is it a single staff member? A different common data point? Using the new module, institutions can track not only each individual patient but also the pathways of care and the caregivers and the points of contact between caregivers and patients, wherever they may be within the institution.
Genotyping pathogens is much easier (and quicker, and cheaper) than genotyping humans — pathogen genomes are much smaller. Applying these tools in this realm can help improve health in a cost-effective manner.
HAIs lead to 100,000 deaths per year in the US. These illnesses add $35 billion to the US healthcare bill. And the costs associated with broad-brush efforts to limit their spread is also high. Precision analysis can pinpoint interventions: isolating one patient vs. shutting down and disinfecting every nook and cranny in a NICU.
If you had 500 infections in a hospital, the number of connections you need to investigate is over one hundred twenty five thousand to determine what’s going on with those with those particular infections. And that’s just such a big data problem. We provide the opportunity to take it off of the clinical cognitive load and put it into advanced analytics where it belongs.
Bonus: Video postcards from HIMSS19
I spoke with Niki and Brian as part of my ongoing series of fireside chats with healthcare innovation leaders – Harlow on Healthcare, on HealthcareNOW Radio. Listen to our radio station online, or ask your smart speaker (Amazon Echo or Google Home): “Find Tune In station HealthcareNOW Radio.” You can catch me live weekdays at 8:30 am, 4:30 pm and 12:30 am ET. As each new show goes live, the last one joins the archive, available via SoundCloud or your favorite podcast app (iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio). Your comments are welcome here. Join the conversation on Twitter at #HarlowOnHC.