Transforming the Remote Worker’s Experience in Healthcare

The following is a guest article by Heather Haugen, PhD and Vivian Chan from Atos.

The definition of working “remotely” is evolving quickly. Coronavirus has created a new sense of urgency to prepare employees to work effectively in non-traditional environments.

The technology is available and rarely the limitation; delivering value to the remote worker presents challenges in the areas of access, ease of use, security, timely and relevant support, and training.

The Digital Experience
We want to do more than simply provide remote workers with the required technology. We want to offer a complete digital experience that allows a radiologist to read images from their home as if they were sitting at the hospital, for example. The speed, resolution, and access should mimic or exceed the clinic environment. Ancillary devices should feed data to the workplace to reduce re-keying and potential errors. Physicians moving around the hospital shouldn’t be slowed down by multiple logins or lack of interoperability among clinical applications. These are examples of our priorities for healthcare teams: provide ease of access, give back time for patient care, support mobility, and provide accurate information.

Best Practices:

  • Work closely with clinicians to understand their clinical workflow
  • Find opportunities to decrease redundant data entry across devices and applications
  • Identify ways to secure access without multiple logins in consideration of mobility requirements for clinics, hospitals, and multiple locations
  • Introduce telehealth using best practices for training, support and ensuring well-integrated technology
  • Capitalize on technology tools to collaborate with clinicians to find opportunities for care coordination
  • Provide training and education around using digital tools for secure messaging; give healthcare workers clearly outlined processes for all PHI

Support YOUR Way
The help desk is only one aspect of a truly remarkable digital experience. We must transform the way employees consume support services and benefit from automation, cognitive analytics and intelligent virtual agents. Any support channel we use MUST provide full resolution as quickly as possible.

Best Practices:

  • Offer digital channels like virtual assistants and self-service
  • Offer live channels like phone, email, and chat
  • Offer direct channels like technology bars, onsite support, and technology “vending machines” for replacement devices
  • Collect key performance indicators to prevent recurring and common issues
  • Consider cloud-based service desk platforms to expand capabilities. Integrate machine learning analytics so contact centers gain insight into sentiments, trends, and compliance to improve the user’s help desk experience
  • Explore natural language search capabilities to search knowledge databases for help desk

Innovation and Integration
Digital workplace innovation occurs when the technology is so well integrated that it simply enables the users’ workflow. Physicians can navigate from patient to patient without technology interruptions and, with access to timely and relevant information, allowing them to engage with patients using data and insight from multiple applications.

Best Practices:

  • Work closely with clinicians to understand clinical workflow
  • Understand which applications and data sources are important within various settings
  • Automate redundant tasks
  • Gather insight and requirements from physicians, nurses, pharmacists, radiologists, business leaders, and administrative support
  • Use big data analytics for patient preventive monitoring
  • Develop new mobile applications focused on the patient experience

Security and Compliance
For many years, we have achieved security by locking down devices and limiting remote access. This made it easier to control costs and ensure compliance. Considering the user mobility, device expansion (including BYOD), electronic health record implementation using patient portals, and the growing size of healthcare organizations from recent merger and acquisition activity, a new paradigm is required.  Security and compliance requirements become exceedingly complex and the risk of breach continues to grow.

Best practices:

  • Ongoing education and awareness to protect data and devices
  • Having a single identity to access all services
  • Ability to work securely from any device: desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone
  • Processes for requesting and accessing new applications
  • Accessing and sharing files and documents from any device without downloading them to the device
  • Protecting technology assets from accidental data loss
  • Utilize automation tools to review EHR input and editing
  • Secure the asset disposal and recycling process
  • Develop visibility into access privileges and control access to protect health information

Healthcare organizations have unique requirements for remote workers and are challenged to move toward more access and more productivity. The new world requires us to plan and follow best practices to ensure the best experience for our employees. Take the time now to prepare!

About the Authors
Heather Haugen PhD is the Chief Science Officer for Digital Health Solutions for Atos. Haugen holds a faculty position at the University of Colorado Denver- Anschutz Medical Center as the Director of Health Information Technology, where she actively mentors- doctoral students and teaches courses. She is also the author of Beyond Implementation: A Prescription for the Adoption of Healthcare Technology.

Vivian Chan is the Client Digital Architect in the Digital Transformation Office for Atos. She has been supporting healthcare industry clients for over 20 years. Her global IT experiences include digital workplace services and security solutions.

Inbal Vuletich serves as the editor for Atos Digital Health Solutions publications.

About Atos
Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with 120,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of € 11 billion. Atos Positioned as a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing, Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services, Managed Workplace services, Cloud, Cybersecurity and High-Performance Computing, for Both Europe and North America, the Group provides end-to-end Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud, Big Data, Business Applications and Digital Workplace solutions through its Digital Transformation Factory.

Atos has completed one of the world’s largest hybrid migration and is a leader in hybrid orchestrated cloud for third year in a row according to Gartner Magic Quadrant.

The Atos healthcare business has a vast set of core competencies including a dedicated EHR team with a tremendous amount of experience with Epic and clinical data. This is complimented by the Atos Scientific Community, a global network of 150 scientists, engineers, and industry experts, playing an integral role in defining the solutions, products and innovation we bring to the market.

Atos is a proud sponsor of Healthcare Scene.