Where automation can help improve patient care

A featured panel discussion at the Becker's 11th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable revolved around the implementation of automation in healthcare to drive clinical efficiencies and help improve patient care.

The panelists were Becky Fox, MSN, RN-BC, chief clinical information officer for Intermountain Health; Nilesh Desai, chief pharmacy officer for Baptist Health; Erin McElvania, PhD, director of clinical microbiology for NorthShore University Health System; and Beth McCombs, executive vice president and chief technology officer for BD.

They discussed their experiences with automation across various healthcare sites of care, including the diagnostic lab, pharmacy and bedside. The panelists highlighted the importance of automation in addressing healthcare worker shortages and improving patient outcomes. The panelists also emphasized the need for strong partnerships with vendors to ensure successful implementation and a holistic approach. They also discussed the potential of AI to enable clinicians to focus on high-value tasks. 

Key takeaways

1. Automation can help improve efficiency and help alleviate healthcare worker shortages.

“I was very lucky to be with an organization that implemented laboratory automation in 2014 - we have five fewer full-time employees as we did before we started, despite our volumes being nearly 50% greater,“ said Dr. McElvania. “Automation is a huge part of our great culture, why people like to go to work. We are fully staffed, which is a very unusual in this environment.”

2. Build a solid business plan to identify opportunities to retain value in your health system

“We had billions of dollars’ worth of prescriptions going out [to retail pharmacy chains],” said Mr. Desai. “We devised a business plan to build a center out [central fill] with state-of-the-art automation that is not dependent on full-time employees, because we knew there was a staffing shortage. We now have a hybrid environment where you may come a couple days on site, other couple days you may work from home.”

3. Implement automation holistically for maximum impact; collaboration and partnership between departments is crucial. 

" You really have to have a great understanding of the challenges that everyone has in their own [expertise] and then also figure out how you can leverage those, whatever methodology that you're doing to make improvements, you can leverage those together," Ms. Fox said.

4. Technology partners should have a clear vision and be able to adapt to the needs of the healthcare organization, adding value beyond their products.

"The partner really becomes an extension of your team," Ms. Fox said. "You have to have a tight partnership with any of your vendors, they can really come in and ... give you another data point; at least it gives you a direction where you might be headed."

“Really working with a vendor who sees everything and knows the process from start to end is really, really helpful,“ said Dr. McElvania. “Intimate knowledge of your problems is really how we innovate well. We like to get our engineers and scientists out in the field to understand those needs,” continued Ms. McCombs. 

To see how BD solutions advance care across the patient journey, visit bd.com/whatsnext.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars