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The Visible Value Blog

How technology can help deliver truly joined-up care

Posted by Zebra EMEA

June 13, 2016 at 6:08 AM


The healthcare journey for a patient involves passing through various boundaries within and between facilities. From the bedside to the pharmacy to the home, care is provided and patients expect this to be a seamless, joined-up process. Yet in reality the process is often disjointed and inefficient, leading to frustration for the patient as well as for healthcare staff.

At a time when budgets are tight and the pressure to improve patient care is high, focussing on how different healthcare functions can work together seamlessly is essential. A joined-up system of care can reduce waste, save costs and ultimately improve the quality of care. Change has never been more necessary and the technology today can help to transform the way care is delivered and support the provision of joined-up care.

The digitisation of each stage in the care process can lead to better visibility, accuracy and efficiency, improving the overall patient care your facility provides. Giving your patients and assets a digital profile means that everything from identification, when your patient is first admitted, to the samples that are collected from them and the drugs administered to them is digitally labelled, tracked and recorded. This not only improves the accuracy of each step, but also streamlines the process, making it more efficient and releasing to clinicians valuable time to invest in their patients’ care.

This blog takes a look at three of the seven key areas where technology can help to integrate, enabling truly seamless joined-up care. Download our infographic here to read the full seven steps.

  1. Patient identification at admission

78% of hospitals still use handwritten wristbands, an alarmingly high percentage when you consider the inherent problems with this system of patient identification. Handwritten wristbands are prone to inaccuracies and misidentification, and this can mean a mistake is made at the very first point at which patients enter your care. Printed barcode wristbands, by comparison, are not prone to human error and offer staff real-time access to patient records.

  1. Point of care

A digitised system can also transform the process of blood and specimen collection. Two of the fundamental problems with sample collection are the failures to capture identification properly and to label the samples at the bedside. A technology solution involving printers and handheld computers can help to solve these problems, enabling a patient to be identified accurately using their barcoded wristband and the sample label to be printed there and then. All of this then links to the patient’s electronic health record (EHR), which staff can access in real time.

  1. In the laboratory

When the lab receives a sample for testing, once again a digitised system means the lab can scan the barcode attached to the sample and update the patient’s EHR to confirm receipt of it. When testing, the barcode can be scanned again for ensured accuracy and the test results automatically sent to the patient’s EHR. All in all, the process becomes more accurate and efficient, enabling staff to get test results quicker and improve the care they can give to their patient.

With the right technology at each stage of the care journey, processes are simplified and more accurate and staff are given real-time information on their patients. Underpinning the entire process, positive patient ID reduces the risk of misidentification. These are just some of the areas that can be integrated effectively to deliver joined-up care. The addition of pharmacy, drug administration, blood transfusion and discharge documentation to this system can enable your healthcare facilities to offer joined-up care via a seamlessly integrated solution which facilitates best practice.

D7_Steps_Infographic.jpgiscover more information on how you can achieve this by downloading our infographic, available here or by clicking the button below:

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Topics: Healthcare, EMEA, Technology