Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, today released the findings of its latest healthcare vision study. The “Smarter, More Connected Hospitals” Global Report reveals a stronger commitment to advanced technology tools as acute care providers strive to become more resilient and digitalize the patient journey.
Eighty-nine percent of executive decision-makers and 83% of clinicians surveyed agree real-time intelligence is essential for optimal patient care, and hospitals are increasingly investing in clinical mobility tools, real-time location systems (RTLS) and intelligent workflow solutions to support smarter, more connected workflows.
However, more than two-thirds (67%) of hospital executives still don’t feel their organizations are investing enough to maximize staff efficiency and more must be done moving forward.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the efficiency of both clinical and administrative workflows,” said Chris Sullivan, Global Healthcare Practice Lead, Zebra Technologies. “As a result, today’s healthcare leaders face the challenge of recalibrating technology systems to better support the needs of clinicians and patients.”
Need for Intelligent Workflow Automation
Approximately two-thirds of executives acknowledge physicians and caregivers are overextended during their shifts and spend too much time locating medical equipment and supplies. Over half report their administrative staff is equally overburdened and unable to complete their work during their shift. With people’s safety and well-being always the top priority, hospital executives are turning to technology to help combat fatigue, reduce errors caused by manual processes and workarounds, and refocus clinicians’ time on patients.
Approximately 80% of executives plan to automate workflows in the next year to improve supply chain management, make it easier to locate critical equipment and medical assets, better orchestrate emergency rooms and operating rooms, and streamline staff scheduling.
About three-quarters plan to use locationing technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) to better track equipment and specimens and improve patient flow and security. They are also turning to locationing solutions to create more dynamic workflows and improve staff efficiency, safety and compliance.
Just as many executives say they will integrate visionary solutions like Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, prescriptive analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) to help improve both inpatient and outpatient care as the opportunities for remote physician-to-patient and clinician-to-clinician consulting grow.
“Hospital staff must be able to identify, track, locate and monitor the condition of every patient, staff and asset. A mobile device alone can’t do that. That’s why we’re seeing rapid investment in locationing and automation solutions,” explains Sullivan. “It’s the technology that will work behind the scenes to improve front-line clinician workflows and the patient experience.”
Purpose-Built Mobility Solutions Drive Manageability
The majority of respondents (84%) believe the quality of patient care would improve if nurses, physicians and non-clinical healthcare workers had access to collaboration tools and the convenience of using their mobile devices to access healthcare applications.
“Improving team communication is now a top goal of many hospitals, and executives are highly concerned about preventing the spread of infection and current staff burnout,” says Rikki Jennings, Chief Nursing Informatics Officer (CNIO), Zebra Technologies. “There is also a push to automate the orchestration of high traffic areas such as emergency rooms and operating rooms in the next year, which requires departmental staff to have mobile devices in hand.”