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Where to Allocate your Hospital's HealthTech Budget in 2016

February 11, 2016
A report released by HiMMS Analytics last month,  The 17 Technologies Shaping Hospital Plans in 2016, named dictation and speech recognition, nurse staffing / scheduling, and nurse communication systems all in the top 7 systems for budget allocation of new technologies in hospitals throughout the US. As these are several of the categories which fall into our expertise, we wanted to dive into them with more detail. So we asked, with 5% of US hospitals  budgeting for upgrading, replacing, or adopting some of their technologies in 2016, what is it about these sectors that are so appealing and needed? 


Last week, our Director of UX Cathy Pearl spoke on REWORK’s Virtual Assistant Summit panel, “Are Virtual Assistants Ready to take on Current Healthcare Challenges?” While our form of speech recognition is generally on the patient side, the question was also raised from a nursing perspective. The age old adage of messy clinical notes that no one can read? A thing of the past. 
Speech recognition is the most intuitive form of user interaction. By lowering the learning curve for a new application, we allow both nurses and patients to focus on the actual data being collected, instead of becoming frustrated, and giving up on the application all together. 


In an article released recently, we discussed the amount of time nurses spend on direct patient care. One of the biggest takeaways? We need to refocus the amount of time spent on routine administrative tasks, including triaging patients, calls to appropriate departments, vitals readings, and scheduling appointments.
With technology where it is today, it simply makes no sense to have an on-staff, trained nurse spending their precious time on these routine administrative tasks. This is expensive time spent from a monetary perspective, heavily impacting your hospital’s bottom line, and also heavily weighs on your hospitals productivity from a patient care perspective. 


Our VP of Engineering, Ryan Connolly, and Director of UX, Cathy Pearl, were both in a meeting with one of our largest to-date pilots for chronic heart failure monitoring, when we were sharing quotes the our nurse avatar, Molly, had collected from patients. One of them was particularly striking. When asked how she was doing, the patient responded “I’m fine, but a bit nervous about my angiogram tomorrow."
The room was silent, and the head nurse perked up, “I wish I had received that alert. I would have immediately called the patient to make her feel better.” To begin, this led our team to begin putting systems in line to get these qualitative alerts to nurses, but we also realized one concrete truth: nurses need and want all important communication from both an emotional and data-driven perspective with their patients. This is what allows them to not just “do their jobs”, but partake in a genuine dialogue, and having systems that allow that while also empowering patients the comfort of their own home, are key. 
’Til Next Time, 
The Sensely Team

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