While technology is constantly evolving, most laboratories continue to use outdated equipment and manual processes for routine tasks. If you are using obsolete equipment, it may result in problems with precision, accuracy, and output, which can ultimately prove to be costly. If your lab equipment has become obsolete, here are five benefits of upgrading them.
1. It enables you to automate some processes
Your lab processes require a high degree of accuracy and precision, and you may not achieve this with manual processes. Upgrade of lab equipment allows you to enjoy technological advantages by automating routine processes and delivering at more efficient rates than employees would. Automated lab equipment allows for the fast delivery of results through electronic means where one can access them remotely.
The fact that modern lab equipment is equipped with the latest technology makes it more expensive than older versions, and arranging for initial acquisition costs during the upgrading process can be strenuous for an organization. However, you may decide on the leasing option if financing for lab equipment becomes a challenge.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already part of our everyday lives. According to research by PwC, 86% of businesses are already reaping the benefits of better customer experience through AI. Further, 25% of companies harnessing AI expect to see the tech pay out in increased revenue during 2021. It’s clear that AI and machine learning (ML) have grown firm roots in the digital landscape.
AI use cases are beginning to filter into healthcare, too, including the optimization of hospital staffing, patient monitoring, screening scans for abnormalities, and supporting clinician decision-making.
Given the huge supply-demand gap in mental healthcare, there is real potential for AI to play a role. However, it is important that it is deployed in the right way.
Customizable technology for a personal approach
There is no-one-size-fits-all in mental health. Every individual has distinctly different needs and goals, and as such, the mental health tools must reflect this. Good clinicians do this instinctively, channelling their training and years of experience. However, there are simply not enough clinicians to meet mental health demand. It’s estimated that more than 26 million individuals experiencing a mental illness are not receiving treatment in the US alone.
Technology can help address this yawning gap in supply, but this won’t help if the solutions provided aren’t tailored to the unique needs of the individual. This is where AI can play a role. Smartphones, and increasingly wearables, are able to capture data from which algorithms can generate insights that can be used to personalize care, leading to better mental health. We’ve invested in technology (protected by more than a dozen patents) and powerful algorithms that can track symptoms, emotions and activities to power a recommender system that gets the right tool to the right person at the right time.
If you or a family member needs oxygen therapy in your daily life, there’s no doubt you’re at least somewhat familiar with the annual favorite, the oxygen concentrator. These devices are designed to collect oxygen and nitrogen in the air and give it to a patient so they can breathe easier.
How exactly do oxygen concentrators work? Ambient air is drawn through a compressor first. Next, nitrogen and oxygen are removed from the atmosphere through various filters. Then oxygen is delivered to the patient via a mask or nose tube after running through a pressure regulator.
Oxygen concentrators have many features and benefits that make them famous. It may seem like a challenge to find the right product to meet your needs. Here is some basic information and help you choose which oxygen concentrator is the best fit for you by telling some of the essential features.
How to Choose
Oxygen concentrators have several different features and benefits which can make them more or less ideal for certain patients. With this in mind, we’ve outlined some of the essential variables to consider; therefore, you can easily choose the best concentrator for your needs.
We, as people, have become more and more aware of the importance of taking care of our own health and wellbeing. This means that we all are looking for the best ways to monitor our health, track our food intake and work out how often we are working out.
Whilst there are old-fashioned ways to do this, digital health apps have become the fundamental way to ensure that you take good care of yourself.
The rise of the digital health app
Apps have definitely become part and parcel of our everyday lives, and it seems that we now have an app available to us for most things that we need to do. Shopping, banking, social media, and so much more, there are apps for everything that you may want to do in your life.
If you work in healthcare, you need to read this book. It is well worth your time and shows quite effectively how one person can create and cause change that can ripple through an industry. All it takes is someone with a passion to serve, and to listen while doing so.
One reason I found this story so compelling is that I’ve spoken with the subject, Sister Anne Brooks of the Tutwiler Clinic, several times. She was a force while there — powerful, sincere and so engaging. What a blessing to the people she served!
The following information on the University Press of Mississippi website is taken from the description of “The Power of One: Sister Anne Brooks and the Tutwiler Clinic,” a book written about the longtime Delta physician.
For 34 years Sister Anne Brooks, a Catholic nun and doctor of osteopathy, served one of the nation’s most impoverished towns and regions, Tutwiler, in Tallahatchie County in the Mississippi Delta.
In 1983, she reopened the Tutwiler Clinic, which had remained closed for five years, as no other physician was willing to serve in Tallahatchie County.
Starting with only two other nuns and regularly working 12-hour days, Brooks’s patient load — in a region where seven out of 10 patients that walked in her door had no way to pay for care — grew from 30 to 40 individuals per month her first year to more than 8,500 annually.
Sally Palmer Thomason tells the powerful story of Sister Anne Brooks, beginning with her tumultuous childhood, the contracting and overcoming of crippling arthritis in early adulthood, and her near-unprecedented decision to attend medical school at the age of 40.
The healthcare system simply wasn’t ready for COVID-19, and the pandemic has exposed the system’s weak links. The situation has become exacerbated by an ongoing workforce shortage. Not only are a growing number of clinicians nearing retirement, but also burnout — already a problem prior to the pandemic — has become what many are calling a parallel pandemic.
And this isn’t surprising. Nurses have been working overtime week after week, seeing tremendous loss of life firsthand, and now are being asked to support the vaccine rollout – to the tune of 11 million doses per week.
The most pressing question for healthcare tech right now is how can we curb nursing burnout in 2021?
This is a question we’ve been asking since the early days of Health IT, but new responsibilities over the last few months and growing rates of nurses leaving the profession have raised the alarm for technology companies to do more.
Healthcare leaders, clinicians, and educators have responded by developing innovative workforce solutions and education strategies to keep pace with changing care-delivery models. Specifically, around the vaccine rollout, we can ensure nurses have access to rapid, virtual education around administration best practices and patient education.
We also need to streamline the alerts going to these providers so they only receive the most actionable and important information at the point of care. These providers do not have the time to review every new study that comes out around COVID treatment options. Instead, we can leverage digital tools to provide evidence-based information that is actionable and available at the point of care.
This helps eliminate confusion around what action should be taken, and ensures all members of the care team feel empowered to care for their patients. For on-the-job training, as artificial intelligence becomes more refined and its use expands, algorithms could surface insights much earlier that generate mini-lessons, clinical updates, remediation, and reminders within existing workflows.
DocSpace, a digital health commerce platform that helps clinicians start, manage, and grow tech-enabled private practices, announced $1.2 million in seed funding led by Slauson & Co. The round includes other notable investors Precursor Ventures, Acrew Capital’s Scout Fund, SputnikATX Ventures, and Angel investors Nathan and Sonia Baschez, Nikhil Krishnan, and Eliana Murillo. The seed funding will support the build out of DocSpace Pay, an integrated one-click checkout healthcare payments experience for patients and clinicians.
DocSpace offers a turn-key solution to help more than 4.5 million therapists, dentists, physicians, and optometrists automate their entire private practice formation process from end-to-end. DocSpace’s HIPAA-compliant infrastructure provides everything a clinician needs to form a new business, from digital health storefronts with custom themes to back office management tools like scheduling, video conferencing, banking, payroll, and bookkeeping.
DocSpace was co-founded by CEO Dr. Mario Amaro, a physician and U.S. Navy Veteran who served in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and CPO Miles Montes, a seasoned operator and expert in platform product management, previously at ADP and ShopLatinx. Since launching in March 2020, DocSpace has helped hundreds of clinicians build and launch their practices from the ground up.
“Existing practice management software requires clinicians to manually self-navigate the expensive and complicated business formation process before they’re able to utilize any of their product services,” said Dr. Mario Amaro. “When you require clinicians to do all the hard work of starting a new business then force them to purchase expensive software, it’s no surprise that fewer clinicians have the opportunity to build new businesses in their communities.”
Dr. Amaro continued, “This is why we were inspired by Shopify’s business model and the infrastructure they created to empower retail merchants to be small business owners. We are building the first clinical practice operating system that provides clinician entrepreneurs the opportunity to seek practice independence, helping them get to market faster, while leveling the playing field so they can compete against large hospital systems and other VC-backed healthcare startups.”
“Making it easier for clinicians to start new businesses is critical to decreasing clinician burnout, giving more choices to patients, and reducing the amount of administrative and overhead bloat in delivering health services. We should treat clinicians like entrepreneurs and reduce the barriers to them striking out on their own,” said Nikhil Krishnan, the founder of Out-Of-Pocket and advisor/investor to DocSpace.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the true costs, human and otherwise, of health disparities, as low income and minority populations suffered disproportionately from the virus. Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics were 2% to 3.3% more likely to be hospitalized or die from the virus compared to non-Hispanic Whites, primarily because of a higher prevalence of underlying disease states (hypertension, obesity and Type II diabetes) caused by relative lack of access to the so-called social determinants of health: good paying jobs, healthy food, safe housing, and transportation, among others.
As with so many aspects of the pandemic, supply chain is front and center in the fight, which is playing out on their home turf, literally. Once again, supply chain is also getting noticed in the executive suite, as the boards of trustees for America’s hospitals prioritize health equity in preparation for taking on more risk for the populations they serve under value-based reimbursement programs. Here are few ways they are making a difference.
1. Bringing Diversity Home
Supply chain professionals have long sought to increase their spend with diverse suppliers, defined primarily as those that are women, minority, veteran, or LBGTQ-owned. That data is tracked and often used to support grant applications. More recently, transparency around that spend is being mandated. In California, for example, Assembly Bill 962 (AB 962) requires all hospitals meeting a certain threshold to report how much they spend with diverse suppliers each year.
But for many health systems, diversity is not enough. They want to make sure they are using their purchasing power to support the health and well-being of local communities where the patients they serve live. Spending in local communities has a multiplier effect. For example, investing in a local business supports job creation; in turn the wages for those employees generate local tax dollars and increase their ability to spend and generate wealth in their own communities.
Approximately 15% of people in North America have some type of communication and hearing disorder. The issue affects people of all ages, but especially in the elderly population, both hearing and communication problems tend to increase. Hearing and speech are both fundamental for good health and can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life.
Given the prevalence of speech and hearing disorders, it’s no surprise there’s a demand for speech and hearing specialists. Healthcare professionals qualified in this area can help evaluate and screen individuals with hearing and speech problems and assess other associated problems such as difficulty swallowing and lack of balance.
Here is a quick overview of degree programs for people who are interested in pursuing a career in this specialty:
Many healthcare organizations today offer a multichannel engagement approach, presenting online and mobile access to services and even care. Adopting digital channels is a great first step toward meeting your consumers’ expectations, but is just the starting point.
Consumers today expect to be given choice in their healthcare engagement and care channels – via mobile app, on their computer, over the phone, in person – and they want these interactions to feed into a connected, seamless omnichannel experience that is simple, intuitive, and personalized to their needs. Today’s digitally integrated economy requires an approach to healthcare that puts consumers’ needs first and engages them at every relevant touchpoint along their journey.
Many healthcare organizations are turning to a digital front door to facilitate this kind of digitally optimized, omnichannel experience. A digital front door sets the foundation for a stronger, more consistent omnichannel experience that enhances every connection, increases loyalty, reduces friction, and drives competitive advantage.
Our healthcare experience experts have identified the five components needed to build a Digital Front Door strategy that meets consumer expectations and strengthens the omnichannel healthcare experience:
At Avtex, we often talk about the need to define your “North Star” to ensure that every aspect of the consumer journey aligns with your organizations’ overarching philosophy of the best possible experience. A Digital Front Door ensures there is alignment with this desired healthcare experience, from goals to governance.
Like any successful customer experience strategy, the digital front door must align with and improve upon existing patient and member experience strategies to digitally transform your organization. Activities like journey mapping and CX process mapping can help uncover pain points and clarify how a Digital Front Door plan can support your overall North Star.
A 360-degree view of your consumers is necessary to build a strong digital experience. Building a complete, holistic understanding of your consumers’ experiences will help you to identify gaps and opportunities to elevate this experience and create a more rounded, consumer-centric environment. For example, you may consider developing a voice of the customer (VOC) program to gain new insights, or you may decide to perform persona mapping exercises to help understand your target segments better so you can better meet their identified needs.
It’s also important to prioritize gathering employee feedback and data, as these insights provide invaluable information on needs, preferences, trends, and pain points – both at the individual and group level. We’ve learned that improving the employee experience will lead to a measurable improvement in the consumer experience.