How moving to a digitally streamlined workflow helps improve care


VITAS recently moved its clinic visits, in addition to admissions, to the ServiceNow scheduling package so nurses can use iPhones instead of computers when seeing patients. This platform, comprised of templates and custom apps, is integrated with Microsoft Teams and other cloud-based tools to enhance clinical collaboration.

“The more automated you become, the more immediate the need for always-on computing becomes for the actual daily workflow of our clinicians,” says Hale.

ServiceNow helps VITAS prioritize care and better respond to real-time patient needs. For example, it can signal a change in status for a patient so that the caregiver can care for those who need it most.

“They now have a new urgency and a new immediacy of data available,” says Hale. “Instead of worrying about the 47 visits that were going to happen that day, they can focus on the top 10.”

Ultimately, he plans to extend the concept of just-in-time delivery to an “Uber for home care” model. If a patient has a need, a nearby nurse can respond to an automated alert. “When this happens, the nurse’s schedule is automatically changed to show, for example, that the appointment she had at 2:00 p.m. had to be rescheduled,” says Hale.

“When you have an ecosystem of clinical resources online and available, and they are geolocated, you can make very smart decisions that help you increase the immediacy of your care while reducing costs and improving quality,” he says.

LEARN MORE: Learn how Intel and ServiceNow combine to create a powerful remote solution.

Automation makes business process management more efficient

In central Florida, the biggest challenge for Ocala-based Marion County Hospice is communication. It has 400 employees, half of whom use laptops during patient visits. Rural Ocala, however, lacks the level of connectivity, such as extended LTE and fiber lines, that is available in cities.

“We’re the horse capital of the world,” says CIO Darrell Poteet. “Here we have more horses than people. What we don’t have is good communications. But we have a large outgoing staff, and they have to communicate all the time. We provide end-of-life care to our patients, and families want to be able to reach their clinical support staff.

One of Poteet’s first projects after starting at Hospice of Marion County in 2010 was to adopt Quest’s KACE Systems Management Appliance (formerly known as KACE K1000) to automate business processes such as integration.

“KACE took something that could be quite complex in the organization and allowed us to script it,” says Poteet, explaining that previously they had to cobble together spreadsheets and Microsoft Word documents to follow the process, but there were often gaps. “We would miss giving someone something they need to do their job. There was no way to really manage it centrally across the company so we could be sure we didn’t miss a thing.

RELATED: Learn how ServiceNow supports automation in healthcare.

A few years later, Hospice of Marion County added KACE Desktop Authority for managing printers and other tasks. The organization has four campuses and its clinicians work from different locations. Connecting them to the right printer was a challenge. Desktop Authority has automated the process of matching staff to printers based on where they have logged on to the network.

Over the years, the organization has used these two KACE products to add new functionality, such as laptop and desktop reimaging.

“We use a lot of laptops. They fall, they fall off the roof of a car, milk spills on it,” Poteet says. “But the nurses on the ground work with the patients; they need what they need, and we need to get it to them quickly.

With KACE, Poteet IT staff can automatically image a computer, copying a worker’s data, applications, configurations, desktop and icons to the new device.

“A lot of times when they come into the office, we have this imaged system,” says Poteet. “Before, it could take us two days to prepare a laptop.”

Poteet credits these automated workflows for the organization’s success in meeting challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as sending up to 40% of the office workforce home with laptops. . “We would never have survived if we didn’t already have these functions in place,” he says.

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