“Optimization is an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible.”
Einstein never said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Why, because Einstein was smart and knew this could only be true if we lived in an unchanging environment with unchanging conditions. But the reality is the only thing constant is change.
Have you ever gone to a doctor for a checkup? Why?
Because our bodies contain many complex systems working together for our good in an ever-changing environment. You want to know whether these systems are working optimally and if they are not, you want this corrected.
Have you ever taken your car in for an oil change and service? Why?
Because on a lesser scale, your car is also made up of many complex systems working together for your transportation and safety and this car is operated in an ever-changing environment. We want to know these systems are working optimally and if not we want it corrected.
Healthcare organizations also depend on many complex healthcare IT systems working together for the benefit of the patients, staff, organization and local population. These systems also operate in an ever-changing environment. Some of these changes may include newer modalities providing more advanced imaging capabilities, staff turnover, hardware and IT improvements and evolving connectivity and mobility needs to name a few.
Powerful advances in medical imaging capabilities have created much larger data sets than may have been considered when the healthcare IT system was originally purchased. These larger data sets may be heavily taxing older hardware, original system configuration and networks, potentially affecting performance for end users.
Staff members who were initially trained and had a full understanding of the system’s capabilities may have left the organization. Often the transfer of their knowledge to team members who will assume their responsibilities is not optimal. So the next team members may not have had any organized training on the system or knowledge of the system’s fully optimized capabilities. They are dedicated team members who try to learn as much as they can and provide the best benefit based on their knowledge of the system’s capabilities. Generally, data integrity and connectivity are the primary focus, ensuring the correct data is available to the healthcare providers as quickly as possible. But abilities such as multi-stage display protocols may be overlooked. New modality units with different naming conventions may break previously functional display protocols. If the current staff hasn’t been trained on how exam data affects a display protocol they may not know how to resolve the issue. Therefore an assumption may grow into perception that protocols do not operate well with the system they have. Radiologists who may have 100 or more studies to read each day may begin dragging and dropping imaging series as well as zooming and window/leveling manually because display protocols that functioned in the past are now unreliable. The assumption becomes, “this is just how it is” and can become accepted. However, the reality is that the system in place has capabilities that provide and exceed what is requested but may be underutilized or configured for yesterday’s environment.
Due to all of these constant changes and their impact, healthcare IT system benefits also come from checkups to examine the clinical workflow, configurations and uses of the system capabilities as well as the IT technical configurations and health of the hardware components to verify the system is functioning optimally in today’s environment and is prepared to support your vision of tomorrow.
The optimization team can perform this system checkup for our customers. The team consists of seasoned, knowledgeable clinical workflow and IT technical experts who visit our customers to examine their system hardware, configuration and performance as well as clinical workflow and utilization of available system tools to provide targeted improvement opportunities with expected performance and enhanced end user experience.