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Things that need fixing!

There is plenty of excitement in healthcare about AI, Big Data, analytics, precision medicine, genomics, population health management, value-based care, Patient Experience (and engagement), tele-visits, imaging diagnostics, so many exciting initiatives – these are just ones that come to mind.   These bright and shiny ideas offer huge returns in value and lives to be sure.  But what about the nagging challenges that have plagued us forever?  The “sand in the transmission” of performance that can impede our progress or even prevent it?

I hope you will join me in building an investment shopping list for VCs and entrepreneurs – suggestions for addressing barriers, bugs, inconveniences – challenges that may be widely assumed to be not worth the effort, unsolvable or taken for granted.

Here are a few offerings to get a conversation started.  Please post a comment, add your “pet peeves” or roadblock challenges to the list.  Vendors and investors take note – there may be opportunities for value.

Optimizing Supply Chain? Fix Item Master:  There is growing investment and excitement around AI enabled Supply Chain management.  To get there, we need help with housekeeping.  The Item Master is likely in need of a cleansing.  Full of discontinued, redundant items reflecting purchasing preferences by departments, medical services, physicians and other clinicians.  Be careful.  Fixing Item Master means relabeling current inventories to standards, updating charge description master, order master, order sets and other configurations that reference supplies.  These are big tasks but optimizing supply chain without a scrub can result in accelerating and sustaining supply chaos.  Use AI to cleanse and maintain?

Patient Identity Management – duplicate or miss-assigned medical records: Effective patient record linking at Admission remains a tough challenge for hospitals.  HIIM is generally responsible for correcting a miss at Admission, but this may be days after admission or even after discharge.  Electronic patient charts and history make using wrong information or missing key historical data a patient safety and liability risk.  How can admissions be fast but always accurate?

What is happening to my loved one?  Let’s make it easy for patient families to know where their loved one is if away from the room; when doctors, therapists, tests or medications are scheduled; what is ordered; to know what is going on.  Who are the professionals providing care?  What do test results mean?  What do the medications do?  Help make sense of what is happening!

How do I navigate this place?  Can we do Google Maps for hospital campuses?  I once spent an hour looking for my car in three almost identical parking garages on a medical campus because I exited after a visit by a different door!  Signage is often terrible.  Construction can make navigation a challenge.  Every large medical center has been added to many times, leaving a labyrinth of halls, elevators, connectors, bridges no one can figure out.  Help!  I am lost.

Can I get care conveniently?  Can big, urban hospitals outsource pre and post op care or treatment regimens to local hospitals and medical staff with necessary oversight and support?

Do you care about me?  I might be discharged with medications, a follow up visit with my physician and post-discharge care instructions, but how about some follow through?  A simple phone call to ask about reactions, progress, pain, healing, instruction/medication compliance from a unit nurse makes a huge difference in outcomes, experience, readmissions and patient care risks.

Make clinical “e-experience” work well for patients!  Have you used a “patient portal”?  Bring patience with you – the experience is likely to be frustrating.  Most of the tools being sold can be integrated into production processes of practices and hospitals but are not.  Order content continues to depend on staff memory and entry that can be standardized or inferred for patients from past orders.  Information is collected but seldom posted/applied to realize value.  Providers – use your own products/services.  Vendors – protect your reputations with structured implementation services.  Investors – opportunity to supply patient satisfying services?

The list could go on, but what services, products, apps or fixes do you dream about?  Post your comments and share the need – I am sure that many of us will agree!

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