How We Used Beacon Software to Help our Client Save Lives
For 25 years, Special Care Providers (SCP) units at hospitals across the country have worked tirelessly to care for catastrophically ill patients, nurture strong relationships with patients and their families, and above all, save thousands of lives per year.
But SCP faces certain challenges. Their patient population often has poor outcomes, their care is expensive, their length of stay is quite long and readmissions are frequent.
SCP wanted to find a way to fix this. They needed a partner, and an innovative solution to improve care and quality of life for their patients.
Enter Centric: A Beacon Technology Solution to Improve Patient Care
SCP sought help from Centric Consulting’s Miami office, which developed technology to improve data analysis and insights into clinic staff movements within acute care facilities. Over the course of a year, we found a way, together with the client, to blend technology with “high touch” multidisciplinary patient care.
The solution: BlueBeak beacon software, an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technology framework that gathers signals and data from battery-powered Bluetooth beacons installed in Special Care Providers’ facilities.
Built on the AWS platform, we leveraged Kinesis for its ability to process high volumes of streaming data from the sensors. The Docker and Couchbase components were hosted on Amazon Lightsail.
Clinic staff carry a small ID badge that includes a wireless beacon sensor. The beacon sensor operates on very low battery power and creates a wireless connection with nearby beacon readers installed at the facility.
As clinic staff visit patients and move throughout the facility, Special Care Providers can access the dashboard to view patient visit history, ensure compliance with foam in/out procedures for patient safety, and monitor staff location and data analytics to determine where clinicians and staff are providing the most significant impacts to patients. By tracking staff activity, the SCP can now encourage and reward staff for more “high-touch” patient care time and establish a better cadence of check-ups with the patients.
“Physicians intuitively know that multidisciplinary care improves outcomes, but this project reinforces that feeling,” said Marcie Stoshak-Chavez, MD, National Healthcare Practice Leader at Centric. “A data-driven approach combined with a true patient-provider relationship is the key to success.”
Results: An Approach That Can Save Lives
Since partnering with us, SCP has seen encouraging results in terms of patient outcomes.
With the introduction of our beacon technology, their ventilator weaning rates improved by 80 percent (much higher than the national average), decannulation rates have exceeded 63 percent, and they have achieved an increase of nearly 400% in subsequent discharges home. In addition, readmission rates have reduced to nearly six percent, compared to an average of 30 to 60 percent at other hospitals.
The SCP is continuing to use the beacon technology to measure the impact of nurse shift time, ratios, education, and discipline on patient health outcomes. But for now, with our help, both management and staff have embraced beacon technology, enhanced both provider and patient (caregiver) satisfaction, and improved quality of life.
‘”This is a win-win solution for patients, families and healthcare providers,” said Kim Caruthers, Centric Miami’s Practice Lead. “Not only does it give patients and families some peace of mind in knowing their care is being monitored for effectiveness, but it also gives healthcare providers more confidence. They’ll know that clinicians are doing their job, and can identify things that can be done differently.”