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James Caffrey

A day in the life of a biomedical technician — Before and after remote enablement of a patient monitoring system

By James Caffrey

As healthcare systems continue to shift toward value-based care, many are choosing to incorporate increasingly sophisticated IT solutions to optimize the use of resources and their overall service.
While the benefits triggered by leveraging new technology are most visible at the patient-clinician level, the evolution of remotely enabled application management systems has had the most transformative effect on the role of biomedical technicians.

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The increased connectivity and application management possibilities made possible through technology’s evolution has made remote enablement a reality in patient monitoring. Remote enablement allows biomedical technicians a view across the entire patient monitoring system — and all of its connected devices — during both troubleshooting and routine maintenance.

Today, with more pressure now than ever to improve outcomes while lowering costs, the success of a hospital boils down to more than just clinical workflow efficiencies. It’s also critical to ensure operational efficiencies are maintained across the IT infrastructure — making this aspect of remote enablement all the more important.

Downtime is money
Large-scale hospitals and integrated delivery networks (IDN) can have large and complex clinical networks across multiple units and even different buildings. Before the introduction of remote enablement, biomedical technicians had limited visibility into these specific clinical areas, causing them to have to manually go to the unit or separate building to check each system or device to identify the source of a problem. Even after the problem was identified, each upgrade or bug-fix would also have to be administered manually.

In the healthcare industry, time is costly. In fact, studies show that IT downtime due to unplanned issues can cost healthcare organizations up to $8,851 per minute, per incident.

Although disturbances to a healthcare IT system are sometimes inevitable, given its complexity, fragmented and sometimes poorly designed networks have done little to help biomedical technicians minimize the length of occurrence, and the overall impact on both operational and patient satisfaction.

Empowerment through remote enablement
Remote enablement has been helping to improve efficiencies in other industries for years. Although the healthcare industry has been slower to adopt the level of connectivity and device or application management required for remote enablement, its implementation has dramatically improved the maintenance of healthcare IT systems.
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