Innovations in pervasive computing and ambient intelligence now make the creation of a ‘digital’ or ‘smart’ hospital a possibility, allowing health systems to re-organize their care delivery model to embrace a connected health strategy that leverages digital communications, such as ICAT – Information, Communication and Automation Technology – and the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is a new ubiquitous computing paradigm in which everyday objects become capable of both adding information to the network and responding to information from the network, as well as interacting with each other in ways that help to improve patient outcomes.
Having a digital or smart hospital vision is a good starting point, but having the right platform to enable that vision is equally important. The Managed ICAT Services (MIS) platform brings the pieces together to deliver important components of the vision. Built on the Managed Equipment Services (MES) platform, which HMSC has successfully implemented with several health systems, the MIS platform includes, among other features, (a) a flexible, long-term program ranging from 10 to 15 years, (b) a predictable equipment and services investment plan (ESIP) and services model that guarantees equipment replacement (refresh), (c) a stable payment stream which is equalized throughout the term, (d) a contract that allows for the transfer of risk to the party best suited to manage it, and (e) a structure that ensures higher accountability and coordination between the parties.
With MIS a single service provider manages the purchase, implementation and support of equipment and services from multiple suppliers, and consolidates the maintenance and services. A service desk function is set up for ICAT-related issues and technology upgrades. To incent and sustain the desired level of performance, financial penalties are applied against performance deficiencies.
The MIS model establishes a long-term, sustainable operations-focused partnership, one that facilitates stable, predictable pricing for the term of the contract, and in which various risks are transferred to the service provider (ie, implementation, pricing and service risks). Importantly, the MIS model encourages innovation and forms the bedrock on which the technology-advanced health system rests.
With MIS the service provider is required to actively support the delivery of the smart hospital vision, as defined by the health system. The service provider provides the information technology expertise and advice needed to help the health system achieve its data exchange and interoperability objectives.
The MIS service provider also supports the delivery of the health system’s planning principles, which may include, for example, optimizing the patient and family experience through the eyes of the patient; organizing the services so they maximize the efficient delivery of quality patient care, and; supporting change through flexible facility design.
A key role of the the MIS service provider is to organize the health system’s access to specific industry experts, in accordance with the health system’s vision, and coordinate their work effort for the benefit of the health system. In all cases, the health system establishes its own planning principles, which the MIS service provider supports and delivers.
The purpose of deploying advanced technologies is to accelerate and further the exchange of information within the health system to improve care delivery. MIS provides a comprehensive infrastructure that brings together clinical and business information systems and forms the financial, procurement and legal platform that health systems require to support their vision of the digital or smart hospital.