Monday, June 19, 2017
by Kathryn Holleman
BJC | Mobile technology has exploded into almost every corner of health care. Devices like smartphones, tablets and wearables have given health care providers and staff the ability to communicate with each other, access patient information, manage inventories or perform other vital tasks remotely and in real time. While mobile health care technology can be a literal lifesaver, without proper management and oversight, it can become a safety and security headache.
To meet the challenges of mobile health care technology, BJC established a mobility center of excellence (MCoE) — a framework of governance and strategies designed to unify and standardize the organization’s approach to mobility and make BJC a leader in mobile technology health care practices.
“The MCoE serves as a nerve center for all things mobile,” says BJC IS group manager Chris Mossengren.
Different needs, different technologies
Most BJC employees understand how invaluable mobile technology can be when trying to navigate daily life — and work, says Sherry Ward, BJC human resources operations and Total Rewards vice president. Ward and BJC chief clinical information officer Keith Woeltje, MD, serve as executive sponsors for the MCoE.
“Handling what you need to do as part of your work or as part of your life outside of work is enabled through mobility strategy,” Ward says. “As a single mom, I value the ability to manage a major portion of my parenting responsibilities with my teenagers’ school through mobility. This includes making sure their lunch accounts are funded, checking grades, alerts about upcoming events, volunteer sign-ups or supporting charitable endeavors. Without online access through my phone, texts, mobility enabled technology for sign-ups, navigation/directions or funding capability, I would never catch up.
“Our employees feel the same way about managing responsibilities at work — from time cards to benefits enrollment, from recognizing a peer, to filing an expense report. These tasks should all be easy, enabled by technology and accessible whenever you have a spare moment. If our employees are enabled through our investment in mobility, it will have a direct impact on their productivity, satisfaction, and the BJC culture, as well as having a direct impact on the BJC patient and family experience. I’m excited to see BJC committing to a mobility strategy and making employee and patient expectations become reality!”
At BJC, employees across the organization use company-issued smartphones, tablets and pagers; some nurses and other staff wear voice-activated communication badges and mobile voice and text call devices. Mobile apps allow employees to answer and send email and messages, help managers connect with their staff and let providers share vital information.
Historically, however, each BJC hospital and service organization independently decided on and deployed solutions to fit their particular needs, says Jeanne Epley, MCoE business consultant. There wasn’t much coordination or sharing between entities or groups.
Letting each entity “do their own thing” with mobile technology resulted in disparity and challenges, including lack of governance, asset management, education and support; no standardization of devices or apps used; and possible compliance and security issues.
To address these challenges, leaders across BJC realized they’d need comprehensive, collaborative mobile technology governance and strategy. A more organized approach would lead to efficiencies, better user experiences, reduced costs, and improved safety and security. With mobile technologies rapidly evolving and usage on the rise, BJC felt the time was right to establish the MCoE.
Bringing people together
The MCoE and its governance were designed as an enterprise framework to organize, manage, and distribute mobile solutions and initiatives. Its directive is to lead mobile technology strategy and planning across BJC, serve as a trusted knowledge source for users, and forecast evolving trends for staff and patients.
The project assembled a core team including Mossengren and Epley; executive advisors John Barenkamp, BJC tech services vice president, and Jerry Vuchak, BJC health care delivery vice president; and executive sponsors Ward and Dr. Woeltje.
In addition, the 25-member MCoE leadership council includes hospital chief medical officers and chief nursing officers, as well as leaders from BJC Medical Group, Washington University School of Medicine and
BJC shared services.
MCoE partners include the BJC Center for Clinical Excellence, IS enterprise planning and analysis, HIP team, telecommunications, telehealth team, alarm management council, IT work group, and Washington University School of Medicine.
It’s imperative that BJC have a resource like the MCoE to ensure employees and patients are getting the most value possible from the available technology, says Terry Bryant, BJC chief nursing information officer.
“The Mobility Center of Excellence is an important project for clinicians across the organization as technology needs to support clinical care workflows and enhance quality patient care,” she says.
The team spent much of last year gathering mobility interests and challenges from leaders across the system, as well as building current-state inventories of mobile technologies, apps and devices in use across BJC. Formal strategies to address BJC’s mobility challenges were developed, and in late 2016, the MCoE leadership council endorsed the recommendations.
Laying a foundation
The MCoE’s initiatives are meant to create a fully collaborative and sustainable approach to mobility across BJC and to lay a strong foundation for the future.
The initiatives include:
Mobility in health care has become mission critical and has a major impact on clinical, professional and patient experiences. The MCoE, says Epley, is paving the way for BJC’s success in the journey.
Kathryn Holleman, firstname.lastname@example.org
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