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In the News: Oct 24–31

UPS and CVS Partner to Explore Drone Deliveries

A recent Modern Healthcare article discusses how UPS is attempting to use drones to expand their options for CVS prescription delivery to patients’ homes. UPS Flight Forward, UPS’s drone delivery subsidiary, is already using drones for the delivery of lab samples to medical campuses, including WakeMed Hospital in North Carolina. The move to directly target consumers could potentially lower overhead costs and accelerate delivery for time-sensitive situations.

Yet, there are many security regulations to consider as the companies attempt to explore more business-to-consumer delivery routes. UPS is working with government agencies to better understand the potential downsides, including hacking, identification verification, tracking and costs. Protecting consumer privacy and considering environmental impact are current hurdles UPS, among other organizations such as Amazon, must consider as they tap into the drone industry.

Every year, Sg2 identifies potential disrupters in the health care market and how they may impact opportunity across the System of CARE. To learn more key disrupters that should be on your radar for the remainder of 2019, please watch the on-demand Sg2 Webinar Disrupters to Watch in 2019.


Remote Patient Monitoring Could Reduce Readmissions

A recent FierceHealthcare article describes how health systems can address readmission rates in the aging population. Readmissions put substantial strain on clinical resources and are a costly occurrence to both patient and hospital. To address rising rates of readmissions, changes must be made to the delivery and management of care. A few initiatives include better understanding high-risk populations, improving transition of care across the care continuum and optimizing aftercare regimens.

High-risk patients can be closely monitored by coupling EMR data and machine learning, enabling providers to make tailored decisions on a patient-by-patient basis. The use of remote patient monitoring (RPM) further personalizes patient care and provides the notion that care does not end once the patient leaves the facility. For example, RPM would ensure patients’ vitals are being watched postdischarge, providing peace of mind that their provider would call them in when necessary. Additionally, with RPM, patients’ recovery can be tracked longer without significantly straining clinical resources.

Poor care transitions ultimately lead to increased costs and lower quality of care. Implementing RPM is one among many actions taken by organizations to improve the transition of care from inpatient to outpatient settings, as well as reduce readmission rates for high-risk patients. To learn more about how discharge planning and care coordination can be optimized to reduce overall health care costs please read the Sg2 FAQ Enhancing Transitions of Care.


Addressing Burnout Requires Work System Changes

A FierceHealthcare article discusses the impact of the National Academy of Medicine’s recently published report that revealed between 33% and 50% of clinicians experience burnout. The academy believes burnout is influenced by the work system, which includes physical environment, technologies and how team members interact. Given the range of factors influencing burnout, strategies to mitigate symptoms must be directed at the work system rather than personal stress management initiatives.

The report describes 6 crucial areas health systems can center their physician burnout prevention efforts around, including addressing burnout in early career stages, reducing administrative or nonclinical tasks and improving the user experience of health information technology. Implementing burnout prevention strategies has the potential to impact the performance of physicians, nurses and other health professionals, thereby improving health outcomes for patients.

Today, health systems are increasingly overwhelmed by the complexities of the workforce landscape, with burnout being one of the leading causes of physician attrition. Organizations typically rely on national numbers, but those with successful workforce planning models localize results at their market level. To learn more about how health systems can deploy a methodology that accurately assesses physician workforce demand, please read the Sg2 Report Strategic Workforce Planning: Finding Focus.

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