surgeon in a hospitsal, healthcare, health tech, sensor technology

Article by Connie Moser, CEO at Navenio

With the NHS struggling with backlogs and staff shortages, the delivery of patient care is at risk of missing its basic standards. But not all is lost, says Connie Moser, CEO at Navenio who in this piece discusses how technology, and in particular AI-led indoor location-based solutions, can play a key role in revolutionising patient care.

I have always enjoyed working for companies at the intersection of technology and healthcare, bringing together two of my passions. I joined Navenio at the beginning of this year, at a time when the healthcare industry faces even greater challenges than before. Some, such as capacity, and returning nurses to the bedside have always been there, but these issues plus others  have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

According to latest figures in the UK, a record of over 6.73 million people are waiting for treatment with average wait time for treatment at 13.3 weeks, well above pre-Covid times. This crisis does not even take into account what the BMA refers to as the hidden backlog, patients who, for different reasons, have not made it into the health system.

For me the obvious solution to this issue is to apply technology to improve efficiency and capacity in such environments. After all, technology permeates all other aspects of our life so why not use it to improve healthcare delivery?

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Real-time location solutions have proven to help address the significant backlogs that hospitals face by improving task efficiency and accelerating patient flow. How can we improve on what exists today?

It is about providing the right person, right place, right time, at the right cost.

This transformative technology relies on highly accurate, and scalable indoor mapping and location services and works where GPS does not, enabled simply by using smartphone sensors and eliminating the need for expensive capital outlays in beacon or other bespoke location infrastructure. This solution is particularly beneficial in hospital environments, where access to certain areas for surveying the building is difficult or even prohibited.

For many reasons, ensuring clinical teams operate as efficiently as possible has always been a priority for hospitals, software solutions, and regulators; enhanced patient experience and outcomes, improved retention and staff satisfaction, optimization of productivity and throughput, etc. Yet while focusing on the optimization of a clinician’s time, few have attempted to add focus to optimising the supporting teams that provide the logistics which underpin the flow of patients throughout the hospital and clinical departments.

Teams that action jobs quickly based on their location, will lead to better patient care and, at a time where we are still battling the long-lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in healthcare settings, this will only lead to faster response times and safer hospitals.

As part of an AI in Health and Care Award funded by NHSX, over the last year we have been working with a number of NHS Trusts to support both clinical and non-clinical workflows to enable workforce working smarter, not harder. We are aiming to reduce task queuing time by 59% along with a 41% reduction in the time from a request being made to a worker being in location to start.   Knowing the location of these support staff and their expected arrival allows a nurse to properly set expectations and prepare a patient, thereby decreasing anxiety, limiting cancellations and rebookings, and enhancing the patient’s overall experience.

Much work still exists within healthcare, but with effective and complementary solutions and processes we will drive towards a more efficient, customer focused healthcare experience.

About the author

Connie is Navenio’s CEO and a Healthcare IT leader with 30+ years of experience building growth organisations. Connie’s success is data-driven, accomplished through validated growth metrics. In her previous roles as Chief Executive of Verge Health and the President/Chief Operating Officer of Rise Health, she validated her leadership skill with successful revenue transactions.

Connie Moser