New Interactive Patient Care System Helps Hospitals Weather a "Perfect Storm"

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A new version of Allen Technologies' Vigo™ in-room Interactive Patient Care (IPC) solution helps hospitals improve scores for Hospital Process of Care Measures, mitigate Medicare Never Events, and facilitate requests from patients to participate more fully in their treatment decisions.

In the first half of 2008 two Medicare initiatives and a patient trend have converged on hospitals driving an accelerated effort in three areas: improving hospital's compliance with quality of care metrics, providing better patient education, and focusing on patient satisfaction

Allen Technologies announced today a major enhancement to its Vigo Interactive Patient Care solution that promises to give hospitals an effective tool for meeting tough new Medicare requirements and improving the patient experience.

"The new applications and capabilities that we're making available in version 8.0 couldn't have arrived at a better time," according to Gary Cowsert, CEO of Allen Technologies.

"In the first half of 2008 two Medicare initiatives and a patient trend have converged on hospitals driving an accelerated effort in three areas: improving hospital's compliance with quality of care metrics, providing better patient education, and focusing on patient satisfaction," Cowsert said.

The Vigo™ IPC is an in-room interactive communication solution that delivers a wide variety of personalized information and services to the patient and/or nurse via a 17" touch screen device or interactive LCD/TV. The system enables the patient's care staff and hospital administrators to make available to the patient important information and videos about their care, medication, hospital facilities and staff. It also enables the patient to provide real-time feedback.

How Vigo Assists Caregivers in Boosting CMS Hospital Process of Care Measures:
There are 24 Process of Care Measures that the CMS has identified as being critical to successful outcomes. For example, did a surgery patient receive the appropriate preventative antibiotic? Based on the diagnosis, Vigo delivers a pop-up message for the patient asking if they received the antibiotic. If the patient answers "no" or "I don't know" the appropriate hospital personnel will be notified. This not only aids the busy nursing staff, but lets the patient feel that they are participating in their treatment.

How Vigo Assists Hospitals in Elevating CMS Patient Experience Scores:
There are 10 Patient Experience metrics by which CMS is measuring and comparing hospitals as part of its HCAHPS initiative (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems). Vigo contributes to a positive patient experience by providing a convenient and prescribed way for the hospital to send messages to the patient inquiring about such things as pain level, satisfaction with the doctor's communications, room cleanliness, etc. At the first sign that the patient is less than satisfied, hospital staff can address the concerns.

How Vigo Mitigates Medicare Never Events:
Medicare's Never Event policy went into effect in 2008. Medicare no longer reimburses hospitals for the treatment of preventable injuries occurring in the facility, including falls.
For example, Vigo allows for prescribing fall prevention education videos, monitors if the patient views the video, and can quiz the patient to rate their comprehension level.

How Vigo Assists Patients and Their Families Participate More Fully in Health Care Decisions
Hospitals have learned that many patients today are more educated about their illness and want to participate actively in care decisions. For those patients, doctors can recommend information sources and videos that the patient accesses bedside via the Vigo system.

New Functionality in Vigo 8.0:
1. The new bedside client is based on Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) that delivers PC look and feel, a major step above old set-top box technology in terms of functionality and performance.
2. Workflows that focus on patient safety and enable the hospital to address issues real-time.
3. myCare suite of content modules and applications, including myRx, myCare Team, myDischarge, myCare EducatonRx, and mySchedule.

About Allen Technologies
Allen Technologies, headquartered in Austin, TX, is a pioneer in interactive, computer-based technology for hospitals. The company's systems are improving the quality of care and the quality of the hospital experience for over 50,000 patients daily in over 60 U.S. hospitals. Visit us at htttp://http://www.allentek.com.

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Gary Cowsert
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