HISTalk Interviews Jay Deady, CEO, Awarepoint.
For most of you interested in Healthcare IT news and opinion, I bet you’re already familiar with the HISTalk Blog.
However, did you know that HISTalk was started in 2003 by an anonymous hospital staffer looking for an outlet to collect his thoughts about what was going on in the healthcare IT industry? For those in the know, HISTalk is pronounced "H-I-S Talk", although many refer to it as “HiZZTalk”. Either way you refer to it, the contributors don’t seem to mind – they’ve managed to rack up 3,881,282 visitors since their launch on June 20, 2003!
HISTalk's interview with Jay Deady begins with a brief history of Jay’s time at Eclipsys, but them jumps right into Awarepoint and RTLS.
[If you’re not familiar with RTLS, or Real-time Locating Systems – here’s a brief description: RTLS is somewhat analogous to indoor GPS – it is used to track and monitor assets, patients and personnel in hospitals. The benefits of RTLS in healthcare are well documented – you can check out more detail about the value drivers and expected real-time results by clicking on this link.]
When asked what differentiates Awarepoint from other solutions that have been around for some time (with mixed success), Jay is very clear about Awarepoint’s focus and strategy: Many vendors in this market segment offer just the hardware infrastructure (the locating technology), or just software applications (that rely on locating technology to function) – few offer a complete solution. “We have the technology running on a ZigBee wireless network, which we think gives us an advantage in the marketplace. We combine that with SaaS-delivered software modules and back-end analytics so that we can come to market with a full solution versus just one or the other, or asking a client to patch the two together.“
MrHISTalk clearly understands Awarepoint’s strategy – we are marketing a solution, not simply tossing technology over the wall and hoping it sticks. It’s clear to Jay that RTLS is a great enabler, but it isn’t magic! The people and processes behind the technology are what drive ongoing clinical and financial success. In fact, a recent guest blog post on KevinMD.com entitled Physicians love a CIO who lets them focus on patients, not technology, summed it up well: “Changing the behavior of those who use the technology — doctors, nurses and other staff — may be a greater challenge than managing board-level expectations.”
As a result, Awarepoint continues to invest in user friendly software, client focused product development, and staffing up the solutions teams needed to work with clients - versus just giving clients technology and software, without understanding their needs or helping them implement solutions effectively.
The interview briefly explores Awarepoint’s ZigBee-based technology – describing it as simple, scalable technology using plug in sensors to create a wireless mesh network with no cabling or permanent infrastructure.
And then tackles the question about using RTLS to track people (both patients and personnel)...
Patient tracking is clearly on the radar screens of most hospitals – efficient discharge planning; coordination of transport; decreased wait times and infection control issues; these are all priorities most hospitals can agree upon. For personnel tracking, it can sometimes be difficult to get staff buy in. That's why most hospitals start with coordination of transport or housekeeping in an attempt to speed up the discharge process.
When it comes to tracking nurses and other caregivers, the concerns are clear. Many are reluctant to imagine situations where time spent in the cafeteria or on break is automatically documented. However, when you start to discuss infection control benefits, or being able to limit personnel tracking to simply documenting the physical assets and patients with which personnel has come in contact; or auto documenting nurse rounding to eliminate manual charting; all of a sudden, it starts to make sense and hospitals become much more comfortable.
Jay concluded by expressing his excitement for real-time awareness in hospitals, the RTLS market segment and the vast opportunities within it.
Thank you, MrHISTalk, for the opportunity to 'hear' Jay talk about RTLS and Awarepoint.
[You can read more about Jay in Awarepoint’s press release announcing his appointment as President and CEO, or his first blog post Tracking Jay Deady: Welcome and Introduction.]
With Jay’s leadership, Awarepoint is poised for incredible success in the coming months and years. I'm excited. I hope you are, too!
~ Valerie Fritz