Sunday, November 6, 2011

Health Care Innovation to Reform Prehospital Care in Emergency Rooms

Lateral thinking is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic. . Lateral thinking is concerned with the movement of ideas. A person would use lateral thinking when they want to move from one known idea to creating new ideas. Edward de Bono defines four types of thinking tools:

• Idea generating tools that are designed to break current thinking patterns—routine patterns, the status quo

• Focus tools that are designed to broaden where to search for new ideas

• Harvest tools that are designed to ensure more value is received from idea generating output

• Treatment tools that are designed to consider real-world constraints, resources, and support.


November 6, 2011 - When I received the following email from Roger Heath, a biomedical engineer who is CEO of www., I thought immediately of the concept of "lateral thinking," arriving at innovation through direct and creative thinking.

Edward de Bono, MD, founder of a thinking institute in Malta, says the medical system is comprised of a horizontal landscape full of vertical holes with a specialists at the bottom of each hole. The problem is the vertical holes do not always intersect. The Internet, social media, and IT Techologies are in the process of connecting the holes. This is especially true in business-friendly environments, where entreprenuers and venture capitalists actively talk to each other.

The E-Mail

We are focused on the 'front door' of the hospital, the Emergency Department, where roughly 80% of admissions occur. This is also where most medical record systems are initialized. We are working with Chief Dennis Murphy of the International Association of Fire Chiefs in this area. This is the "eye of the storm" of our projects, you might find this perspective fascinating because this may save cities tens of millions right away, even during healthcare reforms.

Simply put, this involves the prioritizing calls as emergent of non-emergent. Then non-emergency calls (30-60% at the 911 level) may be responded to with a lower cost Mobile Primary Care Unit (MPCU) that can elevate care, lower risks, and save substantial monies. To do this, one needs Decision Support Software (DSS) and mobile telemedicine. In the middle of healthcare reforms, major cities can respond by significantly lowering costs while providing higher levels of care at the same time. It's a win-win situation, for both providers and patients.

I saw you reporting on Skype being used to qualify ED visits. I view this as potentially very risky, when done without Decision Support Software, like our Odyssey systems. Nurse teletriage was started in major U.S. city some years ago and resulted in a patient lawsuit that was successful and resulted in the complete over-haul of the fire department administration. This set back this concept for some years. Many are experimenting in this area without a great deal of understanding of the inherent risks. I did a post on our site that addresses this issue about using video conferencing only. See:

I brought the Odyssey DSS software from the UK because I could not find this in the US. It has done over 20 million assessments without a lawsuit. It has been developed over 15 years now. East Midlands Ambulance service has already been saving $11 million annually using the software for some years. I recently was at the Cleveland Clinic reviewing all of this at a very special meeting there regarding call center management. Triage and qualifying patients needs is becoming a central focus. See:

Prioritizing and coordinating care is the name of the game. It involves very carefully, and safely, matching patient needs to exactly the level of care required.

For biographical information of Roger Heath and, visit the wwwl. lifebot. website.

Tweet: Roger Heath, entreprenuer and inventor, writes his firm, lifbot, can connect fire departments with emergency rooms, tramditting vital signs and other data.

No comments: