Transforming Hospital Workflows with Network Operations Centers (NOCs) and Coordinated Clinical Care
The nucleus of a hospital is increasingly becoming its network operations center. If the system isn’t connected, communication breaks down. The evolution of network operations centers in healthcare and how to build an effective one drives the conversation on this episode of Health and Life Sciences at the Edge by Intel. Intel’s Global Head of Health solutions, Alex Flores hosts What You Do Matters’ National Director Todd Larson.
Larson said, “Let’s take all of the high-level decision makers, starting with security, emergency management, our IT partners with intrusion & cyber, our cameras, and our surveillance, and then we can move into visitation, patient monitoring, and we continue to expand.” These network operations centers, when built correctly, allow multiple hospitals and facilities to interconnect and realize efficiencies and cost savings.
While many organizations recognize the benefits of a network operation center, others aren’t always easily convinced. Larson says involving key stakeholders is essential for winning the day.
“I always believe strongly in involving the people who need to be involved, getting the people who are part of the process involved early on so they’re part of the implementation. Bring nursing in; bring hospital operations in; bring any unit that you will involve into the NOC, and bring them in.”
Utilizing a network operations center for coordinated care creates a positive patient and staff experience today. Larson says the future of network operations centers is wide open.
“In the future, let’s discuss implementation from a trauma perspective. I’ve had my trauma surgeons say to me, why can’t I be in the ambulance? Why can’t I be right there on scene? If you know anything about paramedics, they work under a medical director’s license. So, why is it that we can’t think about a future where the NOC gets that call? Now the patient is in the ambulance, that information is being fed to the patient transport and transfer center as part of the NOC. They are already entering the patient in; the patient’s enroute. Could the surgeon be in the ambulance on some telemedicine platform, assisting and directing that care? It could truly be something lifesaving where seconds can save a life.”
Technology innovations will play a central role in transforming network operations centers. And Larson believes leveraging augmented AI is critical to that success.
“We have to start utilizing AI, whether through our cameras, software platforms, or maybe we have to build some of this. But ultimately, utilizing AI saves clinicians time because a lot of what they do is task-driven, and if we can take some of those tasks out of their daily function, they can truly care for the patient.” For its part, Intel spends a lot of time working with ecosystems on optimizing different algorithms and getting them to work appropriately to augment the clinician’s duties.
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