A comprehensive new report from AAMI sheds light on the complex challenges associated with the use of healthcare technology in homes and other nonclinical settings, and sets forth a series of ideas for how to best address them.
The release of the report, A Vision for Anywhere, Everywhere Healthcare, comes a little more than two months after roughly 170 clinicians, home care providers, manufacturers, healthcare technology management professionals, and other interested parties came together for the AAMI/FDA Summit on Healthcare Technology in Nonclinical Settings in Herndon, VA.
The summit report lists five “clarion themes” that reflect the main points made by presenters and attendees during the two-day event in October. Those themes, which are fleshed out with specific priority action items and lists of accountable organizations, are the following:
- Deepen all stakeholders’ understanding of use environments—and their remarkable variability.
- Coordinate multiple and recurring transitions in care to improve patient safety.
- Adopt a systems approach—encompassing people, workflows, therapies, technology, and payment—to redesign the full spectrum of healthcare in nonclinical settings.
- Standardize and simplify.
- Design with empathy.
The report also includes advice from experts, profiles of various stakeholders, and compelling personal accounts from those who have experienced the benefits—and frustrations—of using healthcare technology in the home. Many of those who spoke at the summit expressed the need for designers to better appreciate the needs and limitations of end users, especially those who are not experts in how to handle medical devices.
Another overarching theme heard throughout the summit was the need for regulators to reassess what some call the “wheelchair” model for healthcare delivery. In times past, perhaps the only piece of equipment that hospitals considered in discharging a patient was a wheelchair. Now, however, an increasing number of complex medical devices have moved into the home and other nonclinical settings as patients and caregivers manage chronic or long-term conditions.
As a result of the move of these technologies into the home, manufacturers have new factors to consider in their design of devices; clinicians and healthcare technology experts must give more thought to transition and training challenges; and insurers and agencies face a host of new payment and reimbursement challenges. In short, there are multiple system-wide issues to consider.
“Manufacturers can design and produce perfect ‘home-ready’ devices with the very best, intuitive instructions for use, and patients and their caregivers at home will still be at risk when using these devices if the rest of the system of care is not ready,” wrote AAMI President Mary Logan and FDA Senior Policy Advisor Mary Weick-Brady, with the Center for Devices and Radiologic Health, in a letter within the report.
Logan and Brady encouraged those who are interested in the topic of healthcare delivery in nonclinical environments to read this publication and share it with others. “As before, this year’s summit was a community event, and this publication belongs to the community,” they wrote.
A printed version of the publication has been mailed to all AAMI members and summit attendees. To download a PDF version of this report, click here.
For more information about this and past AAMI summits, click here.