A popular folk musician once said, “You just get the vibe of your surroundings, and it rubs off on you.” Indeed, surroundings are very important; and when a pleasing aesthetic melds with functionality “the vibe” gets even better, and so does effectiveness. Such innovation helps drive success, and in healthcare, it even helps improve the patient experience, cost management, staff satisfaction, and outcomes.
This year, the winner of ECRI’s annual Health Technology Excellence Award (formerly known as the Health Devices Achievement Award) has demonstrated a high commitment to innovation resulting in improvements that will advance both patient care and comfort. ECRI proudly named McLaren Northern Michigan the winner for the member facility’s exceptional initiative to improve patient safety, reduce costs, or otherwise facilitate better strategic management of health technology.
As the nation’s largest patient safety organization, ECRI places high value on initiatives that put patients and innovation at the center of healthcare,” says Marcus Schabacker, MD, PhD, president and CEO, ECRI. “For these reasons, we are pleased to honor McLaren Northern Michigan for their forward-thinking achievements.”
In its winning submission, McLaren Northern Michigan described its expansion plan, which includes 200 private patient rooms, clinical care areas, and pharmacy and sterile processing services. The addition was designed to build the safest and most advanced integrated patient experience.
This goal required the involvement of a wide range of vendors, including companies that provide high-quality solutions within specific areas of expertise, namely nurse call, patient monitoring, staff communications, electronic medical record (EMR), real-time locating system (RTLS), patient safety, virtual nursing, patient education, Internet Protocol television (IPTV), and patient interaction and entertainment.
“We put considerable thought into which technologies would be used in those spaces, how those technologies would interact with one another, and what implementation measures would be required to ensure that the technologies functioned well together,” said Rich Reamer, regional manager of clinical engineering at McLaren Health Care.
To succeed with their clinician/patient-centric vision, McLaren needed to select product solutions that used an open architecture as well as vendors who would collaborate in connecting different systems. The initial meeting with vendors was a critical first step. Together, they developed an integrated system offering nine total systems working in either total integration, or in support of safety and quality outcomes for the hospital's patients.
“In many aspects, creating a healing environment is just as important as treating and caring for our patients,” said Chad Grant, chief operating officer at McLaren Health Care. “The innovation and follow through displayed by the McLaren Northern Michigan team to develop and implement these technologies were truly remarkable and deserving of this recognition, and it affirms our forwarding-thinking mentality in developing a patient-centric experience at our facilities.”