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Samsung focuses on intuitive mobile tech and wearables at HIMSS24

Digital innovation has led to improved patient care within and beyond hospitals. But there remains frustration among providers and patients feeling overloaded with too many technologies that do not effectively flow from one aspect of care to the next.

Cherry Drulis, RN, is director of healthcare mobile B2B at Samsung Electronics America. She’s been at Samsung’s HIMSS24 Booth 2667 talking about the implications of patchwork digital health technologies, including healthcare worker burnout, patient confusion and inefficient communications between care teams.

We interviewed her to get her insights into why she believes a streamlined continuum of care based on intuitive, secure mobile technology and wearables – including the newly announced Samsung Galaxy Ring – will be critical for making the hospital of the future a reality.

Q. This week, you’ve been talking about how you believe there is frustration among providers and patients feeling overloaded by healthcare technologies that do not flow well. Please elaborate on what you’ve been telling attendees.

A. Medical technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, but clinical communications technology in many healthcare organizations has yet to catch up. While many leaders are focusing just as much on the employee experience as the patient experience, physicians, nurses and allied health professionals continue to experience unnecessary stress because of issues related to information delivery and data access.

Across the continuum, digital health solutions can relieve pressure on an increasingly overburdened and at times under-resourced medical system. Given the struggle to retain and support skilled staff, hospitals have an opportunity to improve overall performance by modernizing their clinical communications infrastructure.

However, too many different devices, operating systems and disparate apps make it difficult for IT to truly optimize communications and workflows.

To enhance productivity without overwhelming clinicians, hospitals should look to seamlessly integrate mobile technology into their workflows, providing doctors and nurses with real-time patient data and essential communication channels required for delivering high-quality care and exceptional patient experience, without adding to their already demanding workload.

Q. You’re also discussing what you see as a patchwork of digital health systems. What do you mean by this, and what’s the problem?

A. As hospitals incorporate more devices and communication solutions, the strain on IT resources intensifies, and security is compromised. Efficient and effective management of mobile clinical solutions by IT requires consolidated platforms, integration options that are developer-friendly, and robust device configuration and management capabilities.

That means standardizing devices and maximizing control over them. Another important way to lighten the burden for IT is to invest in unified communications solutions that include voice, texting and videoconferencing solutions compatible with existing legacy technology. Without such investments, IT departments will face the challenge of managing an increasing volume of vendors and software platforms.

Q. The implications of this patchwork can be healthcare worker burnout, patient confusion and inefficient communications between care teams. Your company’s answer is mobile tech and wearables – including your new Samsung Galaxy Ring. Please talk about these technologies and how they can help.

A. Clinicians and providers can use a single mobile device to handle a wide array of tasks, encompassing multichannel nurse communications, access to electronic health records, virtual patient consultations, remote monitoring of bedside equipment and pharmaceutical scanning. A smartphone can support collaboration with coworkers and communication with patients and provide real-time insights to improve patient care.

With all the contacts and data they need at their fingertips, clinicians can get the help and information needed to treat patients effectively, efficiently and, when necessary, remotely. This integrated approach streamlines healthcare delivery, enhancing both provider performance and patient care.

Wearables have also transformed patient care. Major health systems across the U.S. are using wearables to deliver home-based care that improves patients’ long-term outcomes. These devices are particularly helpful when providing care after major health events, as they allow patients to recover and keep their physicians informed on their condition from the comfort of their own homes.

Hospital networks using wearables for this purpose have seen a significant reduction in readmission rates and improvements in patients’ overall health, with much higher completion rates than programs that require repeated trips to the doctor’s office.

Mobile devices and wearables can harness the power of data in a meaningful way across the continuum of care, as long as they enhance rather than impede productivity, communications and, most important, patient care.

Regardless of the devices implemented, they should be part of a greater connected continuum of care rooted in improving every stage of the patient journey – from when they first enter a hospital parking lot, to bedside patient engagement for education and entertainment and finally to seamlessly transferring and managing care after a patient is discharged.

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Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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