8 ways Ochsner is transforming healthcare through innovation

New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System is using various means of technology to transform healthcare.

Here are eight ways Ochsner is transforming healthcare through innovation, according to a news release from the system.

1. Last year, the system launched the Digital Medicine Program, which manages patients suffering from chronic diseases. Through the program, Ochsner has continuously monitored clinic patients with uncontrolled blood pressure and proactively engaged them to modify behaviors and, when needed, adjust medications. Using Epic, Apple HealthKit and Apple Watch, patients enrolled in this outpatient program receive feedback from clinicians about important aspects of their care. This could include potential side effects once a new medication is prescribed, renewal notification for prescriptions and medications and lifestyle modification reminders to ensure good blood pressure control is attained.

Two-thirds of Ochsner patients with uncontrolled blood pressure who enrolled in the program in the first year got their blood pressure under control within 90 days of enrolling in the program, according to Richard Milani, MD, Ochsner's clinical transformation officer.

"We've seen higher levels of patient satisfaction using iOS devices over the more traditional methods of care and, overall, the patients are more engaged in their healthcare decisions. These are important factors which have a crucial effect on health outcomes in helping patients live more fulfilling lives," said Dr. Milani.

2. Last year, Ochsner also formed innovationOchsner, an innovation lab and accelerator.

3. Now, through iO, Ochsner is expanding its innovative programs into the inpatient setting through a new initiative called Optimal Hospital. Ochsner said Optimal Hospital uses various online tools and iOS devices "to improve workflow efficiencies in managing patient care, initiating more frequent and dynamic patient interaction."

4. Through Optimal Hospital, Ochsner physicians can now use the Epic Haiku app on iPhone or Apple Watch to instantly review patients lists, their conditions, new hospital admissions or discharges and retrieve patient records. Physicians may also use the Epic Canto app on iPad to evaluate test results, current data or trending reports, Ochsner said. 

5. Patients are also involved in Optimal Hospital. They may use an Ochsner-supplied iPad to view exam and treatment schedules, see lab results, medications and vitals and receive additional education on their condition. 

6. Nurses are using innovative apps such as Epic Rover on iPhone to scan barcodes on patient wristbands to correctly ensure the patient's identity and current medication dosage needs in a secure way.

7. Ochsner said the system has also added the Sotera Wireless ViSi Mobile System, a wearable monitor that continuously measures and records a patient's vital signs. Results are then linked into Epic as well as the care teams' iPhones.

8. "Our goal is to empower our patients so that they are more informed and fundamentally involved in their own healthcare, whether it is through the inpatient or outpatient experience," Dr. Milani said in a prepared statement. "Optimal Hospital is designed to optimize processes, patient assessment and outcome predication while also improving safety, quality and the overall patient experience."


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