Practical tech, innovation investment in the coming months: 2 focal areas for Banner Health

Deanna Wise, senior vice president and CIO of Phoenix-based Banner Health, sees continuing to focus on telehealth and home monitoring technology as well as delivering information about vaccinations faster as the important technologies she'll need in the next six months.

"Telehealth is an evidence-based delivery model that has worked successfully for a wide range of health services," she said. "Due to the pandemic, telehealth has seen an increase in adoption because of the ability to deliver care while decreasing or preventing hospital readmissions, and focusing on shared decision making and collaborative care. Supplementing telehealth with skilled home health nursing, and expanding services to include care for mental health and continuous bedside monitoring is going to transform this care delivery model."

She is focused on making sure the health system has the right hardware and software offerings for patients and providers as an important element to success. For practitioners, Banner is focused on increasing telehealth adoption and skilled practitioners coverage while staying compliant with federal and state telehealth laws.

"Overall, this evidence-based delivery model, while focusing on collaborative care, allows us to stay true to the community we serve by 'making healthcare easier, so life can be better'," she said.

The other key technology Ms. Wise will need in the coming months is a speedy vaccination station with a QR code that can tie to personal health records. The CDC and its immunization partners have explored the potential of 2D barcoding to streamline immunization practices since 2011, and accurate patient identification, product identification and automatic data capture for speedy vaccinations will make the process successful.

"Banner Health's focus to implement speedy vaccination stations will be on the availability of the right technology and vaccine products, while adhering to federal and state laws and best practices," she said. "Alongside the right technologies and products, availability of the vaccination stations across our communities is essential. Automatic capture of patient-practitioner details, verification of missing or incorrect information and real-time secure bi-directional transmission of data to update the electronic medical record will ensure the primary and secondary objectives of this care delivery model."

The QR code, versus a linear bar code, allows the health system to capture details necessary to verify the accuracy of the patient and vaccine product.

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