Rich Simpson, CTO on Designing Technology with the Patient Journey in Mind

Technology has become an increasingly important tool for the healthcare industry, especially in a post-COVID pandemic environment. Patient engagement technology provides hospital organizations, clinicians, and patients with many benefits and allows patients to take an active role in their healthcare journey. Armed with the right patient engagement technology, healthcare organizations can continue to improve the patient experience and deliver high-quality care. Recently, two patient engagement technology experts shared their insights on the topic.  In a recent PX Space podcast interview, host Linda Robinson, MSN, CPXP, RN, Vice President of Clinical Excellence at MDM Healthcare, interviewed her colleague Rich Simpson, Chief Technology Officer. The two discussed how patient engagement technology can transform care delivery models with the right design.  

Simpson expressed how his background in the healthcare field provided him with insight into patients’ mindsets, which aided him when he set out to help design the cutting-edge cloud-based patient experience platform, Journey PX. Simpson explained that prior to his current role, he was the Director of Biomedical Technology for a major trauma center and had a lot of close patient interaction.  

“I could see that patients were afraid or simply didn’t understand what was going on around them. So we started working on providing patient education in ways that allow patients to understand what is happening in their care experience. We wanted to design technology that could reach a patient throughout their journey, ease their anxiety, and provide them with vital information,” he said.  

 Simpson noted that the Journey PX platform is crafted with important design elements that make it uniquely suited to meet the complex needs of today’s hospital patients. One of these, according to Simpson, is an intuitive user experience. Patients often have varying levels of technical proficiency, and therefore it is essential that the technology is user-friendly and easy to navigate.  

“Back when I was working in a hospital, we’d hand out a printed sheet to patients with all kinds of information about their specific condition. (At the same time), we would hand out a considerable amount of information that was totally irrelevant to the specifics of that patient. What we set out to accomplish with Journey PX was to keep the focus on pulling vital health information from the hospital’s existing electronic medical records and then translating it into something understandable and relevant to the patients,” he said.  

Simpson reflected that Journey PX’s technology will continue to evolve to allow for more patient personalization in the future.  

“We have a research lab here working with artificial intelligence technologies to further that analysis down the road. The technology will get more and more accurate at interpreting the various parameters. Medical parameters can be very complicated; this condition plus this condition plus this condition can mean a whole new set of variables you have to concern yourself with. So we want to make sure that we’re tailoring that to only the patients that need all that extra detail, and the ones that don’t get something that’s much more concise and easy to understand.” he said.   

 Another notable aspect of Journey PX Simpson discussed is that it can provide patients with an individualized patient education plan, that has an auto-assignment functionality based on key variables such as diagnosis, problem list, orders, risk assessment, age, needs assessment, etc. Robinson explained that this capability is due to Journey PX‘s integration with electronic medical records (EMR) systems.   

 “The information that’s coming to patients, especially health education, is very relevant because of integrations. Through integrations with other devices at the hospital, we are able to provide each patient with a very targeted, relevant approach to their care,” she said.  

Since Journey PX integrates with a hospital’s existing EMR, it allows for a seamless transition of patient information between systems. This integration also allows care teams to easily access patient information, track patient progress, and provide personalized care plans.  

 “We pride ourselves on trying to meet the patient where they are, which is so important, and on streamlining their daily plan of care, and on staying with them for the whole journey,” said Robinson.

In addition to offering a comprehensive patient education library, Journey PX also offers patients a wide variety of content for relaxation and entertainment. Simpson emphasized that his history of working in patient care revealed to him that these types of tools are important.  

 “The value of being able to help patients relax is tremendous. We wanted to make sure that we’re delivering all of this seamlessly whether it is education, relaxation, or entertainment,” he said.  

The Journey PX platform supports care delivery by improving workflow and communication for hospital care teams. Journey PX solutions allow clinicians to offload non-clinical tasks and create LEAN workflows. By offloading these tasks, care teams can focus on providing high-quality clinical care to their patients. McKinsey & Company recently published a study that outlined how impactful patient engagement technology can be for hospital organizations that have had to deal with the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

 It predicts that for every 1% expansion of capacity created through changes in care delivery models, technology-enabled productivity tools can decrease the need for additional nurses by 25,000.   Currently, there is a wide-scale nursing shortage in the U.S. healthcare system.  

“We’re not in a world where we have an unlimited number of clinical staff. The more that we can do to assist them in being successful with the patient, the better the outcome. I’ve been in hospital rooms where technology was rolled in on a cart, and the nurse would spend 10 minutes explaining how to use it to the patient. That doesn’t help nursing time. We need the patient to get the information to pop up as soon as they turn on the TV in a language they’re going to understand. This removes the burden from nursing to have to do anything more,” Simpson said.  

 Journey PX offers real-time feedback and analytics, allowing care teams to continuously improve the patient experience and track their performance metrics. This can lead to improved patient satisfaction and better patient outcomes.   

 The rise of telehealth in healthcare is another lasting effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Journey PX Connect enables video calling for patients and families. It also provides a secure connection that allows for virtual visits and rounding by hospital care teams through the TV in the patient’s room.   

“If there is something that needs to be communicated quickly, care teams can get in the room virtually. Our Connect solution increases the flow of communication, lets patients see their loved ones, and keep them updated on the status of their care,” said Robinson.  

Connect can also assist in closing the experience complexity gap that plagues nursing by providing an innovative supplemental care model that employs virtual rounding. This enables hospitals to bring back experienced nurses in a less physically demanding capacity to round on patients virtually, taking some burden away from the bedside nursing staff. Another benefit to note is that during a time when healthcare staff is masked, virtual visits eliminate the need for a mask, which humanizes the visit.

“People are used to being able to video chat with friends and family in all areas of their life, so why shouldn’t they be able to video chat with healthcare staff?  Video chat enables patients to visit with expert consultants such as pharmacists and allows all patients access to visits even if they have a certain restriction,” said Simpson.  

You can hear more insights from Simpson by listening to his full PX Space podcast interview, including more insights on why the Journey PX platform’s optimized design humanizes care, enriches patient engagement, and provides care teams with valuable insights and tools.  

To learn more about how Journey PX can help your organization schedule a demo with our team today.