Inside New York-Presbyterian Hospital's Major Mobile Upgrade - InformationWeek

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IoT
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Healthcare // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
7/30/2015
10:06 AM
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Inside New York-Presbyterian Hospital's Major Mobile Upgrade

Executives from New York-Presbyterian Hospital describe how they brought directories and communications into the 21st Century in this InformationWeek Elite 100 profile.

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When a person becomes a patient in a hospital, a team forms around them. Keeping that team informed and connected to other specialists, caregivers, and teams is a constant challenge -- especially when the healthcare organization encompasses six hospitals and more than 26,000 employees. That challenge was taken up by New York-Presbyterian Hospital in the project that earned it a spot in the InformationWeek Elite 100.

Aurelia Boyer, senior vice president and CIO, and Dr. Peter Fleischut, associate chief innovation officer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, discussed the nature of the challenge and how they found a solution, in a telephone interview with InformationWeek.

"One of the things we've been trying to improve around the hospital is the ability of people to collaborate around patient care," said Boyer. " A hospital is about collaboration and teamwork. It's been an asynchronous communication, where we rely on beepers and call lists where a person might not be available, and it's been rather inefficient."

Aurelia Boyer, Senior VP and CIO
(Image: New York-Presbyterian Hospital)

Aurelia Boyer, Senior VP and CIO
(Image: New York-Presbyterian Hospital)

The particular problems faced by a hospital make off-the-shelf products a difficult fit. "It goes back to the whole notion of who's on the care team for any given patient on any given day. In fact, it changes every shift," Boyer said. "The nurses come in and out, depending on their schedule. The residents rotate from day-to-day and team-to-team. There are attending physicians, physical therapists, [etc.], and so we've always struggled with identifying the right people and choosing the tools that would let them communicate in the most efficient way."

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Such communication is the key to the solution developed by New York-Presbyterian, called NYP Connect. "One of the things that started before NYP Connect was work around the care team," said Boyer. "We were able to identify, on an ongoing basis, who's assigned to the patient today. It's helped them communicate with one another, helped them communicate with the patient, and helped the patient understand who's taking care of them."

Database Complications

The complicated nature of the care teams was only a part of the challenge the development team faced in building an application to bring better communications to the hospitals. "The other problem is that we identify people in different ways," Boyer said. "The physicians are identified through a credentialing system, and that has a lot of information about how they're licensed and other things. Other employees are identified only through the IT department's Active Directory."

The initial solution was to build information about the care team into the patient's electronic health record (EHR). A great deal of the data about the makeup of the team was already stored there, and Fleischut's

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Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio
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asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2015 | 12:35:20 PM
Reality Check
So the hospital wants to transform chart reading into a glorified smart phone app to save money - I'm wondering if smartphone ownership is an employee mandate and if the hospital pays for or helps to pay for the phone and the data plan?  All too often the gee-whiz factor dazzles the decisionmakers who tend to earn six figures annually, and, meanwhile, the rank and file don't have the same level of disposable income to purchase the high tech toys the executive office believes it should have.
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