The future is now for Augmented Reality (AR) technology in healthcare. Unwavering commitment to enhancing the overall Patient Experience is the bedrock of Heritage Biologics (HB). We are constantly pursuing innovative solutions that can improve actual health outcomes for patients. Most recently our high-performance nursing team that specializes in home infusion therapy implemented AR venous access imaging. More simply, HB nurses can now use AR to map a patient’s veins before administration of an IV line for drug infusion. Visit: VeinViewer and AccuVein to learn more.
Michael Porter and James Heppelmann highlighted the power of AR in an insightful Harvard Business Review article: “Why Every Organization Needs an Augmented Reality Strategy.” Many AR technologies exist today that can deliver substantial benefits to numerous businesses, but remain on the proverbial sidelines. Why is this? Undoubtedly one of the reasons is cost. In our circumstances, we don’t get “paid more” to use a new technology that increases the chances of gaining access to a patient’s vein on the first stick. It’s more of a “nice to have” tool for the lucky nurse. That truth might seem a bit odd, but it’s often the healthcare model today. At Heritage, we are proud to be disrupting this antiquated paradigm by investing in preeminent solutions that will improve outcomes regardless of “reimbursement.” Our clinical team is empowered to put patients before business, and the positive results speak for themselves. More specifically, our patient outcomes do the talking around here.
Our experience in evaluating innovative ways to improve patient care always leads us to a central question: WHY DON’T INSURERS, PROVIDERS, AND PATIENTS DEMAND MORE FOR THEIR DOLLAR? If best practices are available in a marketplace that have significant data to support better health outcomes, then why don’t the folks who pay the bill demand them? The answer can be tricky, but the reality is that typically our healthcare provider relationships are determined for us by our insurance companies. The patient gets from their provider what their insurance company has “contracted” those services to look like. In regards to the AR technology HB nurses are using, no insurance company is demanding providers use this to enhance patient experience. You can guess how that translates. Yep, most providers aren’t using this technology because it has a significant cost with no reimbursement. We are not like most providers though; Heritage Biologics is an OUTCOMES company.
The healthcare discussion continues to place major emphasis on “value-based care” solutions. To that end, it seems like using a simple technology like AR venous access to improve the odds of a patient only having one needle stick would warrant a universal “thumbs up.” As a matter of fact, we know it’s what patients want because, just like outcomes, we measure every element of our operation. We hope that leading by example when it comes to investing in better Patient Experience solutions will serve as a framework for other innovative healthcare providers to follow. We must stop looking at healthcare as a traditional business and embrace the substantial economy of improved health outcomes.
In closing, I want to present this challenge to all of us in healthcare. Let’s stop talking about innovation and start investing in these breakthrough solutions that can produce better outcomes for patients. The good news with this approach is that reimbursement for services is rapidly changing, and your investment in a new technology or process today might provide you with the outcomes data to prove your worth in the new “value-based” economy.
Until next time, we will be leaving our “AR vein light” on for you!