“Healthcare”. This one word dominates presidential debates, drives gross domestic product, and above all else, touches every man woman and child (or at the very least, should). As an industry, healthcare is believed to possess untold power and vastness, yet ask any patient what they value most and the answer is always the same; the highest quality of care. Quality of care is derived from a complex sum of many moving parts with the greatest influence coming from the contributions of countless individuals.
If it is all about the people, then which of us play the most important role? Turns out, that may be the wrong question given the growing evidence that we all play an equally important role, albeit different roles. For example, a patient visitor arrives with an early stage common cold to visit a loved and this expression of love and support is capable marginalizing the greatest of medical talents by accidentally spreading infection. These so called “avoidable events” cost us as much as $40B a year and significantly more than that in terms of heartbreak and suffering. What does a comprehensive approach look like and is it even possible?
“While the set of credentials have thankfully evolved… the body of evidence suggests massive opportunity for improvement.”
Credentialing: A brief history
As far back as 1000 BC, the ancient Persian cult of Zoraster outlined the process for physician “licensure.” The Vendidad, a book of religious law, states that to earn the right to practice medicine a candidate had to prove himself by successfully treating three heretics. If all three lived, he was considered fit to practice medicine for “ever and ever.” If all three died, he was denied the right to practice medicine. (source:http://www.acphospitalist.org/archives/2009/05/newman.htm). As ancient as this example is, the principals are precisely what healthcare follows today. There are two distinct components. Firstly, there is a “Credential” which is defined as a skill or ability and secondly, is the“Privilege” which is the right to use a given skillor ability. As far back as 1,000 BC these two distinct components were utilized to determine who was authorized to practice modern medicine. While the set of credentials have thankfully evolved, thereby continuously increasing the ‘skills’ of those who practice medicine, the body of evidence suggests massive opportunity for improvement remains given the huge costs and overruns that often define healthcare today. Assessing the skills of medical staff is performed in abundance, however, all other groups appear to be underserved in this capacity.
“…those who dedicate themselves to providing care are best positioned to increase the quality of care while preventing $40B in avoidable costs…”
Today: 20% of the people carry 100% of the burden
A snapshot of healthcare today reveals that the medial staff in its entirety represents about 20% of the people in patient care areas (in an acute setting) while carrying 100% of the burden of preventing avoidable healthcare costs. This is derived from a decades long concentrated focus on the medical staff to remain compliant with ever increasing regulations and policies. On the surface this makes sense. The idea is that those who dedicate themselves to providing care are best positioned to increase the quality of care while preventing $40B in avoidable costs. To remain compliant, medical staff invest on average 1.5 days of every week. Yet, each time there is a regulatory update, industry returns to the same well and increases the burden on the medical providers ultimately resulting in increased costs for all. While continuous improvement process is universally agreed and accepted, the question one company is asking is, “Why isn’t everyone given an opportunity to participate in creating a better, more safe and secure healthcare experience?”
the future of healthcare
IntelliCentrics, and innovative company based in Flower Mound Texas has a growing, multinational reputation due in large part because they had the courage to look at things uniquely and differently. The first thing Mike Sheehan, the company CEO will tell you is that, “As simple as it sounds, we all play a role in providing a safe and healthcare experience”. Sheehan goes on to explain that “” is an acronym that stands for safety, education, credentialing, communication, consistency, understanding, results and engagement. These are long standing practices deployed in healthcare however they generally only apply to the medical staff which accounts for about 20% of the individuals in patient care areas”. Sheehan’s vision is to leverage the existing core practices and principles and transfer them in a meaningful and relevant manner to anyone and everyone involved with patients. Sheehan says, “A healthcare experience is when everyone knows how to play their role resulting in the patient returning home faster, stronger, and healthier”. Everyone truly means everyone. IntelliCentrics offers unique and configurable solutions to medical staff, general staff, volunteers, medical students, third importantly are all of the friends and family members that visit their loved ones. Sheehan adds, “From a young age, we are told how to act at the library, or the movie theater, yet this type of meaningful information is virtually nonexistent when entering locations of care. IntelliCentrics is the first to include everyone on a single technology platform creating a community of users who value a safe and healthcare experience”. Sheehan takes great pride in the fact that the company’s vision appears unusually simple on the surface. He says “Personally, I feel the best technologies are defined in the explicit terms of how they positively impact our life rather than in terms of what the technology is or how it works”. Looking deeper into IntelliCentrics shows it has integrated an impressive and complementary range of products, services, and technologies that are woven together as needed to serve a variety of objectives. An example of those technologies are as simple as informing a patient visitor on how to properly wash their hands and as advanced as monitoring cumulative exposure to radiation for individuals who work radiation. There are also a myriad of additional technologies that are capable of assessing, predicting, preventing and improving essential behaviors in support of a safe location of care. Despite all of these exciting technological advancements, Sheehan insists it is the individuals that comprise the IntelliCentrics community that sets it apart. “Our community has a vigilant spirit that is undeniable and is consistent across our thousands of installations. I truly believe people are inherently good and given the chance, they will willingly participate especially if supported and shown how to play their role”.