In February 2018, Philips announced the debut of FocusPoint, a network application management system to help improve biomedical and IT department productivity.
Depending on the size of a health system, there can be hundreds to thousands of medical devices and network equipment, making it difficult for IT and biomedical staff to have visibility into the back-end of multiple systems. FocusPoint gives providers operational insight through an easy-to-use dashboard that unifies data from Philips medical devices to help pinpoint problems and deliver actionable insights to intervene quickly. The full view into a health system’s equipment and networks allows providers to increase system uptime and reduce costs associated with maintenance and servicing.
We had the opportunity to speak to Christine Storm, Business Leader of eICU at Philips, about FocusPoint and tele-ICU care.
Alice Ferng, Medgadget: What’s your background, and how did you get involved with Philips and this project?
Christine Storm, Business Leader, eICU, Philips: While I am newer to the eICU Program, I am not new to Philips. In November 2017, I relocated to the United States from Germany specifically to lead the eICU Program, and to prioritize the delivery and innovation of critical care monitoring and analytics. I come to this role with 13 years of experience at Philips and I stand strongly behind our company’s mission.
We must aim to increase care team effectiveness through reduction of clinical variation by being the clinical practice and informatics partner to transform clinical practice. We need to simplify data presentation for clearer interpretation, and advance workflow and change management that improve care team collaboration.
Medgadget: What is Advanced ICU Care? How does this fill the gap in tele-ICU care?
Ms. Storm: Advanced ICU Care® (AIC) is the nation’s leading provider of high acuity telehealth services, contracted to provide care to more than 65 hospitals in 25 states on a 24 x 7 x 365 basis. The technology-enabled clinical services provider employs cutting edge tele-technology, U.S. board-certified intensivists, multiple dedicated tele-care delivery centers, and a proven implementation and client service approach to benefit patients, families, providers and hospitals.
Evidence shows that 24/7 intensivist coverage improves outcomes in the ICU. Yet there is a national shortage of intensivists that is exacerbated by the aging population, and those intensivists are not equally distributed to support all hospitals in each state, urban and rural. Thus, technology can break down these barriers and the tyranny of distance to accomplish real time care anywhere, with access to synthesized patient data to drive continual patient monitoring and also broader consultative engagement. This extended relationship between AIC and Philips enables broader access to the eICU Program for all hospitals, regardless of location.
Medgadget: What is Philips eCareManager? Can you elaborate and highlight what is innovative as compared to the competition out there in the same space?
Ms. Storm: Philips IntelliSite eCareManager is the technology core of Philips’ enterprise telehealth program. The software is designed not to replace an EHR, but to serve as a purpose built population health layer that can aggregate patient data from EHRs and other source systems using standardized bi-directional HL7 interoperability.
eCareManager enables effective patient population management, provides actionable insights for increased clinical decision support and fosters care coordination with confidence. Powered by advanced clinical algorithms, the technology synthesizes patient data and translates it into meaningful information that helps providers identify patients most at risk at any given moment and allocate resources accordingly. As a patient moves through the different units of a hospital, eCareManager keeps their information in a centralized database, providing patients’ care teams – both bedside and remote – access to the same, up-to-date information, so they can collaborate efficiently and effectively, every step of the way.
Medgadget: What features of the latest version of Philips eCareManager make it more likely for healthcare workers and physicians to adopt it long-term?
Ms. Storm: Philips eCareManager and the relationship created between Philips and eICU Program customers is an evergreen one. Our focus is on clinical care transformation of the ICU, which is the highest cost of a health system initially, and continuous monitoring and engagement by dedicated customer teams to drive perpetual improvement on key hospital metrics and fuel further innovation. The keys of interoperability, actionable intelligence, provider productivity, and reporting analytics drive the solution design forward.
In the U.S. today, centralized, co-located resources to address patient care management is increasing in adoption, and solutions like IntelliSpace eCareManager can provide enterprise virtual care throughout the acute care cycle. The outcomes are targeting patient flow, capacity management, improved provider and customer satisfaction, all at a lower cost with better outcomes.
Medgadget: Which specialties will the virtual care hubs focus on?
Ms. Storm: The adoption of a centralized model begins with change management and adoption of standardized care delivery. This adoption creates a foundation of care delivery methodology coupled with enabling technology, like IntelliSpace eCareManager, from which entrepreneurially-minded health systems can expand the offering to extend value across a broader inpatient continuum. For example, the IntelliSpace eCareManager suite includes disease specific solutions for stroke, and venue-based tools for ICU, Med-Surg, and Skilled Nursing. Through these solutions, customers such as Northwell and WakeMed have innovated initiative-based programs targeting organ donation or best practice/quality programs where access to normalized data is needed.
Medgadget: What are the current limitations of the technology? What are going to be the toughest things to develop?
Ms. Storm: At present, one of the largest challenges for broad scale tele-ICU adoption is reimbursement. Even with this impediment, tele-ICU adoption has grown in the U.S. and now the technology accounts for over 15% of all ICU beds, with Philips’ eICU Program currently monitoring approximately 1 in 8 adult ICU patients. As hospital consolidation continues at a rapid pace, the need for IntelliSpace eCareManager to continue to support broad scale interoperability to the EHR and key physiologic parameters is paramount, while increasing predictive alerting capabilities by embracing AI and machine learning concepts will continue to expand the value of such platforms to customers and health delivery. As an agnostic aggregator of data, IntelliSpace eCareManager, such as in the case of Advanced ICU Care, supports health systems across multiple EHRs and instances concomitantly.
Medgadget: What are the toughest features or programs to implement?
Ms. Storm: We have observed that the most successful health systems adopting the eICU Program emphasize change management and care transformation. A key input is ensuring that executive sponsorship at an organization carries the vision forward to standardize care delivery and incorporate workflows that create a partnership between the bedside and virtual care teams. Peer-reviewed evidence suggests greater levels of standardization in care delivery can optimize the scale and scope of such a program.
Medgadget: What is on the horizon in terms of this technology and where does Philips want to go with it all? Are there other exciting technologies Philips is going to focus a lot on in parallel with this?
Ms. Storm: It’s exciting to see that global recognition of this paradigm shift in critical care delivery is increasing. This recognition is captured in the excitement and interest in tele-ICU adoption in markets across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Our purpose is to enable scalable access to such platforms so that the benefits can be applied across all markets and infrastructures. Philips Global Research continues to emphasize the integration of machine learning and AI to develop and refine algorithms that can detect adverse trends prior to such leading to adverse outcomes.