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VUE15: Data analytics, enterprise social-based communication and Uber! Oh my!

For two days last week in Sarasota, Florida, at Voalte’s first-ever user conference, VUE15, representatives from Sarasota Memorial Health CareTampa General HospitalFrisbie Memorial HospitalTexas Children’s Hospital and many other leading healthcare organizations gathered to share success stories and lessons learned relative to their experiences working with Voalte technologies. These engaging conversations culminated at the conference’s closing speech where Trey Lauderdale, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Voalte, provided not only a succinct history of clinical communications, but he also offered a glimpse in what may prove to be mHealth’s very exciting future. 

Trey Lauderdale, Founder and CEO, Voalte
Trey Lauderdale, Founder and CEO, Voalte

After detailing Voalte’s growth since it went live within its first customer hospital, Lauderdale gave an overview of Voalte Platform, the company’s new communication platform.

“We believe [Voalte Platform] is the most effective tool in the market today that enables better decisions, better connections, and better care,” said Lauderdale. “Built specifically for the healthcare enterprise, it’s a complete communications solution, based on years of experience and front-line clinician input, for inside and outside healthcare organizations. It is reliable, and it gives clinicians access to the dependable information they need to deliver high-quality patient care. Its simple user interface is in one cohesive app, powered by a few simple taps, removing any real obstacles for your communications.” 

After this explanation, Lauderdale offered three special sneak peaks into future Voalte Platform solutions set to launch in 2016. What he revealed made the case that when healthcare administrators draft their organization’s long-term mobile communications strategy, Voalte Platform ought to serve as their starting point.

Voalte Insight

Lauderdale first announced a new reporting and analytics tool, Voalte Insight, which quantifies system usage, identifies communication flows, audits events and meets analytic mandates. 

“Voalte Insight is an analytics and business intelligence package that provides out-of-the-box reports and dashboards, and a report editor allowing Voalte users to gain meaningful ways to monitor, analyze and optimize communications throughout their organization,” said Lauderdale. “Meant primarily for clinical and IT managers all the way to clinical and IT leadership, users may view, report and analyze their communication usage in an easy to use drag-and-drop interface while gaining insights like communication volume, patterns of communication and communication trends.”

Lauderdale offered a glimpse into Voalte Insight via three brief demonstrations. The first instance outlined a hospital overview that provided a quick ‘at-a-glance’ view at an organization’s entire Voalte communication environment. He showed how administrators can see how many individual users have logged in, track adoption of unit expansions, and discover peaks or valleys in usage. A heat map allows a user to see a sum of communication (voice and text) that occurs between units across a healthcare organization and to discover synergies that may not have been known to exist.

The next Voalte Insight element Lauderdale previewed was an IT dashboard where a user may track the adoption of Voalte across units and client type; discover WiFi issues within individual units by watching for units with large numbers of device reconnections and track device-specific performance and usage.

The final slide showed Voalte Insight’s event audit dashboard. Following an adverse outcome of a patient, users can drill down into a specific unit during a user-defined time to see exactly what happened on a particular floor. Lauderdale demonstrated how a user could take an organizations’s ocean of communications and then focus upon individual pools, buckets and even drops of communications during a time surrounding an adverse event. 

The purpose of these features, according to Lauderdale, is “to fill the vacuum of data needed to draw any science and best practices in the clinical communications space. Voalte Platform, with the introduction of Voalte Insight, begins to produce the information that is needed to build such a field of data science.”

Based upon the demonstration of only three stunning components of Voalte Insight, one could clearly see how Voalte and its healthcare partners may prove to be genuine pioneers in developing actionable data science for clinical communications.  

Voalte Story

The second major announcement made during the conference’s closing speech was Voalte Story, a co-development effort with Center for Digital Health Innovation (CDHI) at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) using its CareWeb solution. According to Lauderdale, this partnership will develop Voalte Story, an interactive patient wall that clinicians may access to post and link texts or alarms to a specific patient. Care team members may focus upon individual messages, or pull back and view the combined communications that are occurring around their patient.

Lauderdale introduced Dr. Raman Khanna of CDHI to demostrate how Voalte Story utilizes “enterprise social-based communication” (ESBC) to drive communication in a format similar to popular social networks. “By using common social media symbols like @ and #, caregivers can easily reference a patient, care-team member, or other specific individual when communicating about a specific alarm or text message,” said Khanna as he presented an engaging use case of Voalte Story centered upon the communications around a congestive heart failure patient.

“Voalte Story takes voice, alarms and text and pushes each form of communication into a patient wall similar to what is found on Facebook,” said Khanna. “Communication among an entire care team can be easily established within a precise context of the patient as well as conversations around specific events that occurred, not in a strict point-to-point infrastructure where most clinical communications take place today.” 

While ESBC clinical communication might be viewed as somewhat foreign today, much like many thought texting was foreign to healthcare a few years ago, Voalte believes this form of communication will be pervasive in the next five years. 

Partnership with Uber and Sarasota Memorial Health Care

The final announcement began with the introduction of Karen Reynolds, Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Reynolds outlined the growing problem of healthcare transportation in America. Drawing upon her own experience working with patients in Sarasota county, and then using Dr. Khanna’s use case of a CHF patient, Reynolds painted a vivid picture of the obstacles many patients and their families face when trying to schedule and attend follow-up medical appointments after discharge. 

Lauderdale then returned to the stage to reveal that Voalte, Sarasota Memorial Health Care and Uber would partner in 2016 in order to create a pilot program aimed at assisting CHF patients in Sarasota county in making their follow-up medical appointments.  

Matt Gore, General Manager, Uber Florida, then took the stage to describe Uber’s current footprint in the Sarasota area and then made a point of emphasis that Uber is more than a collection of drivers in a given area. “Many people know Uber as a cab service,” said Gore. “However, it’s actually a logistical platform that enables individuals or equipment or materials to be moved around from different locations. We are very excited about this special partnership because we hope not only to create better health outcomes for residents in the Sarasota area, but also to create a logistical system that other health organizations, or other industries, may replicate in order to solve their communities’ own unique issues via Uber’s platform.” 

Lauderdale then returned to close the announcement describing how Sarasota Memorial and Uber will interface with Voalte Platform within a pilot system in 2016 that will allow patients to coordinate their doctor visits. “The first group that we are working with will be CHF patients’ case managers from Sarasota Memorial Hospital,” said Lauderdale.  

To conclude the conference, Lauderdale asked each audience member to continue their conversations and to continue to share how they use Voalte technologies to drive more efficient workflows and generate better patient care. “Without our constant feedback from you all over the past several years, we would not have been able to create the exciting new tools that we announced today and we won’t be able to do the same in the future. “

analytics, CDHI, Center for Digital Health Innovation, enterprise social-based communication, ESBC, healthcare transportation, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Uber, UCSF, University of California at San Francisco, Voalte, Voalte Platform, Voalte Story, VUE15

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