According to a release by Philips, as healthcare becomes increasingly digitalized, much of the care that is delivered in hospitals today will move into the home and the community. At the same time, hospitals will continue to play a key role in the distributed healthcare system of the future, serving both as a central physical hub and as an orchestrator of a wider ecosystem of care. In our new position paper, ‘The smart hospital of the future is a hospital without walls’, we present a vision that can help healthcare leaders chart a path to the future.
Smart hospital of the future
A smart hospital, as we envision it, connects people, data, and technology in intelligent ways for better end-to-end care experiences and seamless transitions across care settings, from the hospital to the home.
More specifically, we distinguish between four guiding principles:
1. Operational efficiency
Hospital care today is labor-intensive, putting an increasing strain on staff as hospitals grapple with growing workforce shortages and alarming rates of burnout. Smart hospitals rely on workflow automation to liberate healthcare professionals from repetitive tasks that get in the way of providing patient care. At the same time, they use centralized operational insights to forecast and manage patient flow across settings, and to manage the allocation of staff, beds, and medical equipment for optimal resource utilization.
2. Clinical excellence
In their bid to provide superior specialist and (post-)acute care, smart hospitals connect patient data across different modalities and systems, turning it into insights that support clinical decision-making at the point of care. As an integrated part of a wider network of care, they embrace virtual collaboration and remote patient monitoring to extend the line of sight for healthcare professionals beyond hospital walls.
Recognizing that consumers want to take a more proactive role in their own care, smart hospitals empower patients and their families with digital engagement tools throughout their care journey – even before they enter the hospital. They also create human-centric care environments that support patient and staff well-being, even under the most stressful conditions.
4. Innovation capability
Becoming a smart hospital is as much about organizational and cultural transformation as it is about technology. Smart hospitals develop and embed new organizational capabilities to sustain digital innovation and create a culture of continuous improvement.