One million nurses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, that’s how many new and replacement nurses are needed by 2016 to meet our health workforce needs.
As medical care for chronic conditions is being increasingly pushed out of the hospital and into the home, care management nurses are being squeezed to deliver better care to more people with more complex conditions at a lower cost. Not surprisingly, nurse burnout is on the rise and recent studies have established a link between nurse burnout and lower quality care
as well as patient satisfaction
With fewer nurses in the workforce to care for the rising number of patients with more complex conditions, health plans and providers are under pressure to arm nurses with better tools to improve their productivity, make their work easier and less stressful, work together in teams, and prevent nurse burnout
Recently, healthcare IT company TriZetto
and Microsoft collaborated on a project to show how highly mobile care management nurses could be more productive and work better together in teams with a single, no- compromise tablet that was also a thin, lightweight, fully functional PC. Rather than using a tablet in the field and a workstation or laptop back at the office, nurses now have a single device that doesn’t force them to compromise between convenience and productivity, and that gives them all the apps they need to be productive and efficient anywhere at anytime.
The project demonstrated how Windows 8
when combined with capabilities within the TriZetto CareAdvance Enterprise Solution
could support health plans developing mobile care management applications. I spoke with Jeff Rideout, M.D., M.A., FACP, senior vice president and chief medical officer at TriZetto about the project and how TriZetto anticipates Windows 8 will support improved team mobility and productivity.
Schmuland: How would you say that Windows 8, new Windows 8 devices and the newly developed care management apps will change the way care managers work? How will they change how health plans do business?
Dr. Rideout: Leveraging new mobile technologies like Windows 8 tablets have the potential to dramatically improve care management, delivery and coordination. As we demonstrated in our project with Microsoft, there is an opportunity for our clients to develop apps that make it possible to take care to the patient as opposed to the patient coming to the care. Ultimately, Windows 8 gives care managers the ability to provide a “clinic in a box " functionality.
Additionally, new technology like Windows 8 opens the doors for our clients to provide their care managers with an innovative new tool to enhance the care process. Windows 8 gives them the convenience and mobility of a tablet with the productivity, flexibility and security of a full PC.
Care managers and coordinators experience improved productivity, convenience and mobility using one device which means they no longer need to carry a tablet and laptop or carry a tablet in the field and use a workstation back at the office. They can be productive anywhere and at anytime. In our case, care managers are able to run multiple apps side-by–side—for example CareAdvance alongside images, decision support and communications like IM—all on a tablet that fits in a briefcase.
Schmuland: One of the advantages of Windows 8 is that it's optimized for multi-touch input and fully supports a full range of input modalities including keyboard, mouse, pen and voice input capabilities. As your clients begin to develop mobile capabilities, how do you think this will help their care managers be more productive in the field?
Dr. Rideout: Healthcare requires a content- and data-intensive workflow. With all the input modalities available, it’s likely that case managers will have different preferences for how they input data. The fact that Windows 8 offers a variety here means that our clients have the potential to develop apps for their nurses in the field that maximize their productivity based on their input preferences. When preparing short notes, nurses can dictate, use a keyboard or mouse, use digital ink and handwriting recognition, or they can use any combination of these.
Schmuland: We're entering an era in the health industry wherein success for providers and health plans is less about encounters, procedures, and treatments in care delivery settings and more about distance care where we live, work, learn and play. As a result, we're seeing more health & life sciences workers go mobile—care managers, care coordinators, customer service representatives working out of their homes, making home visits, tapping into broadband networks to link back to the office from the local coffee shop, etc. How do you see Windows 8 and future mobile apps like the one we jointly demonstrated for TriZetto’s CareAdvance solution enabling mobile professionals to stay productive wherever they are?
Dr. Rideout: Many of our clients have care managers and coordinators or patient navigators who can now work from anywhere. They can take care management to where the patients are actually living to meet their care needs whether it is in their homes or in a hospital or clinic.
Obviously, health professionals are moving toward supporting mobile devices in a variety of settings and our clients are no different. A challenge health plan clients are facing is similar to that of many industries—the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) proliferation wave. They see the productivity and innovation benefits of enabling people to use the devices they are most familiar with, but they are uncertain on how to address the cost and risk of supporting BYOD environments.
Features like Windows-to-Go
in Windows 8 that give people a full copy of their corporate desktop on a bootable USB enable CIOs to support BYOD scenarios in less time, with less risk, and at a lower cost will help our clients justify BYOD environments and help them to support devices with or without connectivity.
One other mobility advantage of Windows 8 is that it natively supports 3G and 4G mobile broadband. This means our customers can keep their mobile employees and contractors connected to the home office but keep data usage costs low because Windows 8 can be set to automatically use free Wi-Fi hotspots where available.
: Data breaches are clearly on the rise. Days don’t go by without some announcement of a laptop theft, break-in or loss of a hard drive or USB drive that exposes the ePHI of thousands of consumers. In 2011, health data breaches were up by 32% over the prior year, according to Ponemon Institute’s 2nd Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security. Since 2009, the Dept. of Health and Human Services has cumulatively recorded a growing count of breaches that have exposed the medical records of 21 million patients, with six organizations reporting incidents that affected more than a million people. How does Windows 8 help you manage against data security challenges?
Dr. Rideout: As our clients move toward adopting mobile devices within their workflows, HIPAA security will always be a concern. The leading causes of HIPAA security breaches—physical theft of hard drives and laptops—are major concerns our customers have with mobile solutions. Because Windows 8 provides security features for encryption, clients can protect data stored on laptops, tablets and on-premise workstations and continue to address issues with HIPAA compliance.