It used to be that product design and product development were two distinctly different things. Not anymore. In the inextricably interconnected world of “smart” devices where design and development (D&D) occur as tandem processes, they are now an integrated process.
In the case of medical devices and the stringent regulatory criteria with which all stakeholders must comply (designers and developers, technical and non-technical professionals alike with diverse backgrounds in business administration, life science, business administration, computer science, engineering, and the arts), this poses an additional layer of complexity that demands a highly coordinated, transparent, iterative approach to communication, execution, and review processes at all scales.
With this in mind, mapping the medical device product design and development lifecycle into a manageable workflow is critical, and can be simplified into the following 7 phases: [Read more…]
Benjamin Franklin was not likely talking about cybersecurity in the 21st century when he said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” However, he did describe the state of healthcare around confidentiality, integrity and availability in 2018.
At this point, everyone in healthcare — from the registration desk to the Board of Directors — has seen the litany of reports and stories of security and privacy incidents ranging from an EMR outage to a ransomware attack. Everyone has seen the impacts, too, from disruption of clinical services to lost revenue, loss of trust, and damage to brand reputation. Finally, leaders at healthcare organizations, from physician practices to large multi-hospital systems, are starting to ask questions about how to deal with attacks or other cyber incidents.
Unfortunately, those questions may not help to ultimately solve the problem. Typically, the questions they ask are, “How do we protect ourselves and comply with all the regulations, and how do we keep from being the next headline?” The question they should be asking is, “How can we make good, rational decisions — both from a business and a clinical perspective given the risks we face?” Asking the wrong question will always result in getting the wrong answer. [Read more…]
In today’s value-based care environment, greater emphasis and attention is being given to patient/caregiver interactions and experiences in ambulatory care in an effort to enhance the overall quality of care provided and outcomes realized.
A number of widespread industry trends are converging at the point of care to increase the significance of the interactions and experiences occurring in the space. These include:
- Value-based care is placing more emphasis on outcomes and patient/caregiver experiences.
- Shifting patient/caregiver demographics are changing how exam rooms and equipment are experienced.
- Increased connectivity at the point of care is making it easier to create a fully connected ecosystem that provides seamless experiences.
- Growing standardization within healthcare organizations is allowing good experiences and outcomes to be duplicated.
As these forces continue to reshape healthcare and impact the exam room, many healthcare organizations are struggling to place equal weight on increased efficiency and caregiver/patient experience and interaction as a way to provide better quality patient care. [Read more…]
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) developed the Triple Aim as a framework which can be used to increase the value of healthcare while optimizing the performance of the overall healthcare system. The key dimensions of the Triple Aim are:
- Improving the individual experience of care (including quality and satisfaction)
- Improving the health of populations
- Reducing the per capita cost of care
The Triple Aim framework is a vision for transforming the healthcare system to better meet the needs of all stakeholders – patients/members, providers, payers, and health systems. Virtual care technology, which includes video, email, texting, and secure messaging capabilities, can help the healthcare industry achieve the Triple Aim by helping deliver timelier, higher quality care – at a lower cost. [Read more…]
Health care has reached a tipping point—it’s a $3.4 trillion industry, meaning about one out of every six dollars we spend as consumers goes to health care. And, the cost of care continues to rise. In response to these rising costs, employers are increasingly gravitating toward consumer-directed, high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) as cost-saving mechanisms.
As a result, many employees who also feel an urgency to combat rising care prices have started to adopt HDHPs. In addition, the shift to higher out-of-pocket health care costs has given rise to new financial benefits related to health care spending, with employers now offering benefits far beyond traditional medical insurance to help fill in any financial gaps for their employees, creating a “horizontal” benefits explosion.
Benefitfocus’ The State of Employee Benefits 2018 – Industry Edition, analyzed anonymized data from 540 employers in health care, education, manufacturing and retail, showing employers in all industries are using a variety of tactics to drive selection of HDHPs, with varying levels of adoption from employees. So, what did the report find as the key emerging enrollment trends in the health care industry? [Read more…]
By Maricha Ellis
According to a recent study from the Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS), more than 240 million prescriptions were written for opioids in one year. This is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of opioid pills.
With so many opioids sitting in medicine cabinets across the country, it begs the question: what is the best way to dispose of unused medication?
Unfortunately, safely removing leftover medication from medicine cabinets isn’t as simple as flushing the pills down the toilet, which is incredibly dangerous for our water supply and environment. A new study from Stericycle shows that Americans hold on to their unused prescriptions for future use for fear of their illness returning (32 percent), or because they don’t know how to get rid of them (15 percent). In fact, 42% percent of Americans currently have 1-3 bottles leftover/unused prescription pills in their medicine cabinet. [Read more…]
After undergoing successful surgery at a hospital, a patient is discharged. Then within 30 days, they are readmitted. This sequence of events occurs over 20 percent of the time – frustrating patients, doctors and hospitals, and costing the industry billions of dollars each year. Patient care is heavily skewed towards in-hospital situations, but virtually nonexistent when remote.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), a rapidly growing healthcare segment, can be the key to driving down readmission rates as well as making medicine more cost-effective and accessible for the masses. A key component of RPM is wearable devices that allow medical professionals to monitor and diagnose patients without ever seeing them in the office. These devices have the ability to remotely monitor patient vitals as well as other symptoms, which can then be used as indicators of impending medical issues.
One example of RPM devices are the latest FDA-cleared continuous temperature monitors that aid in the early detection of infections. A study from The BMJ notes infection is one of the leading causes of avoidable readmission into the hospital, which can be painful for the patient and expensive for both the patient and the hospital. These devices are worn by the patient at home, and transmit medically accurate data to a doctor or nurse at another location. [Read more…]