Hospitals no longer have the characterization of being dark, decrepit, scary places where you put off going – yes, even for that annual wellness exam.  In fact, some healthcare entities and hospitals are more like hotels, competing for patients, doctors and the reputation of being the Ritz-Carlton of infirmaries.

There is no question that health IT is helping to shape the reputation of healthcare institutions.  The technology is leading to improved workflow and, more importantly, a better patient experience.  Let’s take a look at how technology can impact the different perspectives from a hospital today, from IT and clinicians, to patients and even visitors.

A CIO’s Standpoint:

“I feel overworked and underappreciated sometimes.  Usually I’m reactive to challenges and issues brought to me by my COO or other peers.  But in a lot of cases, I see myself as a technology broker.  I work closely with our COO, CMIO and CNO leaders to help understand what challenges they are faced with and then align technology to help mitigate those challenges and needs.  I’m viewed as a technology driver, NOT merely just a cost center.

“That being said, my team is bogged down and I want them to concentrate on tasks more core to our mission of improving patient safety and care, not rebooting a router when it has gone down at 2 a.m.  And with the growing rate of data in healthcare, I’m concerned that our data center is running out of space and we can’t keep investing in infrastructure year after year.

“We also see ourselves shifting to a more application-focused group, rather than infrastructure.  As such, I’m seeking to implement a solution that will help monitor and manage some components of our infrastructure.  That would help give us time back to concentrate on initiatives like ICD-10 conversion and Meaningful Use Stage 3. Oh, and ensuring HIPAA compliancy — especially around backup and disaster recovery, since my DR site is a half a block away and 20 years old.  Of course that’s a concern but did you see all my projects listed above?  I am, however, considering solutions like DRaaS that would help ensure our operations are up and running in the event of an emergency, but require very little capital and resource investments.”

The Doctor’s Assessment:

“I’m always on the move and inundated with data ranging from patient information, to scheduling, to updated policies and procedures.  I’m usually traveling from location-to-location and need information anywhere.  I rely heavily on my mobile device.  So I’m thankful for this handy app on my device that gives me access to my information with the tap of an icon.

“In addition, IT just implemented a new solution that has cut down log-in times on treatment room computers from minutes to seconds – meaning I don’t have patients constantly waiting and I can treat them faster.  Talk about a win-win!”

“Our telehealth program continues to grow as a result of new reimbursement models being implemented.  IT has also launched a new video solution that helps us collaborate with not only our patients, but also our different locations and hospital entities, along with teaching institutions.  I can actually even use my mobile device to remotely communicate with my patients and staff when I’m traveling (or on the golf course).  More importantly, it is extremely easy to use, which is essential for me.”

A Patient’s Perspective:

“Ugh, I’m in recovery and all I want to do is watch some Breaking Bad on Netflix.  Thank goodness there is Wi-Fi here.  Also, I really want something else to eat other than this Jell-O cup that was served.  Good thing I can order food remotely from this app the hospital created!  Also, my specialist can communicate with me via video from my mobile device, which gives me peace of mind.”

“What about after I’ve left the hospital?  The ability to download my medical records and access them through the patient portal is major, same with improved communication between myself and my healthcare provider.”

“My hospital team is able to provide discharge instructions, video instructions and new updates electronically, which is extremely convenient.  What’s more, unlike paper instructions, I know I will never lose these documents!  In addition, my recovery is measured through a patch I wear and the data is provided to my doctors, all with the intent of keeping me healthy so I am not returning back to the doctor for the same treatment.”

The Visitor’s Viewpoint:

“Not only do I want to surf the web or watch content wirelessly via any device while I’m in the waiting room, but watching my friend or family member recover comfortably makes me feel much more at ease.  The technology in the hospital – from the monitoring systems to digital communication with hospital staff – all makes the experience more relaxing.  I know my loved one is in good hands and receiving the best treatment possible.”

Is the hospital of the future actually feasible – today?  Could you imagine a hospital where you’d actually want to check in?  Subscribe to CDW’s Industry View to stay on the cutting edge of trends and drivers in Healthcare!

Have thoughts? Let’s hear them in the comments.