It’s About People.
As a society, we are obsessed with things. In fact, we have so many things, we’ve created the Internet of Things (IoT) to help us manage and learn from our things.
What is the IoT?
In simplest of terms, the IoT is the networking of physical objects that are embedded with technology and internet connectivity, allowing them to collect, exchange and analyze data. Conceptually, if a business knows everything about its “things,” it can drastically reduce waste and improve asset performance, increasing its bottom line.
There are several examples of the IoT and many, many more concepts for its use in the future:
Businesses who harness the data collected, exchanged and analyzed by the IoT will survive and thrive in the future. Healthcare is among many industries starting to leverage the IoT to help manage their valuable physical resources to reduce costs, achieve business objectives, gain competitive advantages, and secure a tangible return on investment.
Yes, all those reasons are compelling, but …
Sometimes we get so focused on our THINGS, we forget our most valuable resource: our PEOPLE.
Is it possible to apply IoT principles to our human resources?
It sounds a bit Orwellian to “embed” people with technology and network connectivity. And yet, I bet you have a smartphone within reach as you read this. Can it be used to connect workers and help create the Internet of Lifesaving People?
Many industries are studying the benefits of connected workers, and are showing an increase in output of 8-9%, a reduction in costs of 7-8%, and as much as a 3% boost to the bottom line by giving employees the right information and the right tools.
In healthcare, time-sensitive emergencies (STEMI, Stroke, Sepsis, Trauma, Cardiac Arrest, Pulmonary Embolism, etc.) pose a unique challenge when “time is tissue” and lifesaving care teams are scattered across the region. To add to the complexity, those working as a “team” do not necessarily work for the same hospital or EMS entity, and often use different communication and documentation technologies.
How, then, is a team expected to perform optimally? How are team members in regional systems of care united? How do they communicate data in real time?
Currently, we equip EMS with modems, pagers, and handheld radios and provide hospitals with fax machines, email, pagers, phones and answering services to coordinate. We of course give everyone computers … all running different applications.
Unfortunately, these are exactly the wrong, archaic technologies needed to build a team across regions, deliver the right information, and unite them so they can operate at peak efficiency. Requiring our teams to use all of these non-integrated technologies means they are forced to work in communication silos.
We spend hundreds of billions of dollars every year managing time sensitive emergencies and the consequences of that care. How we manage these critical cases during the hyperacute phase has a lifelong impact on every patient AND on society financially.
Our patients and the lifesaving people who serve them deserve better. A single hospital or a single EMS entity in a region cannot solve this problem alone. We must work together.
The Internet of Lifesaving People: It’s About People. It’s About Time.