How Smart Room Technology has the Potential to Solve Healthcare’s Workforce Challenge

Julie Bastien, VP of Marketing at Vibe Health by eVideon shares examples of how technology can support clinical workflows and help to close staffing gaps.

The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) recently released their 2022 Top Issues Confronting Hospitals Survey which revealed that workforce challenges were ranked the top obstacle that hospitals are currently facing. Respondents from the ACHE survey identified the specific workforce challenges their health systems are grappling with including shortages of nurses, physician specialist and clinician burnout.

There has been a lot of discussion around the role technology plays and how it can ease the stress being placed on our system. Yet, some healthcare leaders are hesitant to invest in new technologies – with many thinking their EMR can fill the gaps, or others hesitant to take a risk without a quantifiable return. We recognize that prioritizing innovation is not easy, it requires a focused investment in people, processes, and systems.

At Vibe Health, we are partnering with other solution providers to make it easier for our hospital and health system clients to select, deploy, and realize the benefits of smart room technology.  Vibe Health’s smart rooms are equipped with technology solutions that can mitigate these challenges by cutting out unnecessary tasks on clinicians and giving them the tools they need to provide the best care possible.

Challenge: Nursing in Crisis  

A recent study from the Michigan Nurses Association found that more than 90% of nurses in the nation’s 10th most populous state believe that understaffing is negatively affecting the quality of care they’re able to provide. The study called attention to the alarming impact on patient safety —the percentage of participants who know of a patient death being caused by nurses being assigned too many patients nearly doubled in past seven years, growing from 22% in 2016 to 42% in 2023.

Vibe Health is helping hospitals address staff shortages with a solution that enables virtual nursing and telehealth programs. We are bringing the convenience of video conferencing directly to the patient via thein-room television – no extra carts or devices needed!

Our integrations with virtual care leaders like Caregility enable hospitals to leverage remote nurses / telenurses to support floors or units that may have fewer available full-time staff. Hospitals are then able to utilize virtual care to supplement and even enhance bedside care by increasing the number of eyes on the patient, helping with medication compliance, fall prevention, patient safety and patient experience focused interventions.

North Carolina-based Atrium Health, who began their virtual nursing program in March 2021, recently reported that their virtual nursing program has decreased falls and medication errors and led to increased patient and nurse satisfaction.

Challenge: Staff Burnout

Administrative burden is one of the leading factors contributing to the rise in healthcare worker burnout. In 2022, The U.S. Surgeon General issued a special advisory on addressing worker burnout, suggesting that hospitals need to ensure that health IT is interoperable so as to reduce the documentation and administrative burdens on staff. Vibe Health’s smart room platform is built on open APIs to allow for integration with existing hospital technology.

Vibe Health communicates directly with the EMR to eliminate the administrative strain put on nurses. Products such as our Insight digital whiteboard and Aware digital door sign integrate with the EMR to display real-time information both inside and outside of a patient room.

For instance, our digital door sign can display an alert if a patient needs to be re-positioned, and our digital whiteboard can automatically update key details such as the patient’s medication schedule, dietary requirements, and anticipated date of discharge. These paperless workflows save nurses steps and give them time back in their day to foster more meaningful connections with their patients, as well as their peers and colleagues.

Challenge: Shortages of Specialists  

Physician shortages have been an industry concern for decades, yet recent studies from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) cite troublesome shortages in specialty areas such as emergency medicine, anesthesiology, radiology, neurology, and psychiatry, among others. While the pandemic brought telehealth to the forefront, it continues to emerge as the leading tool for increasing access to specialty care.

Our partnership with Zoom has allowed us to reinvent the in-patient experience—enriching the patient’s stay and alleviating unnecessary strain on nurses and the care team. We are the first to offer a streamlined integration between our Engage TV solution and Zoom Rooms.

Through this integration, we are bringing video-enabled communication directly into the patient room for telehealth consultations, virtual nursing observation, language interpretation services, discharge planning, and more. Ensuring hospitals and health systems can provide patients with increased access to specialty care, regardless of location.

Healthcare is facing a unique opportunity to harness the power of intelligent and intuitive technology to address the staffing crisis head on. I might be biased but I believe that the hospitals and health systems we’re partnering with, those who are embracing this technology for the benefit of both their staff and patients will turn the tide.  

Interested in learning more? Contact us to explore the platform and discuss your IT priorities!