This is what the hospital of the future looks like

Business leaders are better positioned today than ever before to build innovative companies. Successful businesses are recognizing the cutting-edge technologies available to them and restructuring their organizations to adopt these solutions.

We recently met one such technology pioneer: Seth Bokser, MD, MPH. As Medical Director for IT in the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center at Mission Bay Center for Digital Health Innovation, Bokser is helping lead the technology charge in the creation of a new 289-bed hospital in San Francisco. The UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay is scheduled to open on February 1, 2015.

Envisioning the hospital of the future

With the corporate headquarters for the likes of Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, and Yelp nearby, the UCSF team looked around the region and recognized a gap between the way in which patients use technology to empower themselves in the rest of their lives, versus the way they use technology in healthcare. So UCSF, led by Bokser and his team members, embarked on a path to bridge that gap—using leading-edge patient-facing technology as a key ingredient in what they envision to be the hospital of the future. Through a capital campaign and generous philanthropic partnerships, the team received the support they needed to embark on the journey. “The vision for building a hospital around the twenty-first century, engaged, and empowered patient is one that is shared from our CEO to our benefactors and throughout the incredibly passionate UCSF Mission Bay team that has worked tirelessly onsite to make this project possible,” Bokser said.

Patients and families are an integral part of the new children’s, women’s, and cancer hospitals at UCSF.  From blueprints to construction, Bokser’s team upheld their promise to design and build a facility that empowers patients and their families, and they invited patient and family input throughout the process.

When choosing a technology partner, the UCSF team evaluated vendors according to both their technology and their commitment to building a patient-centric solution. “There’s innovation and then there’s practical innovation that will lead to results, and that’s what we’re most interested in,” Bokser said. UCSF selected healthcare software company Oneview, given its shared vision for patient-first healthcare. Through the Oneview Healthcare solution, patients receive point-of-care access across all devices (e.g., smartphones, TVs, and tablets), both during their hospital stay and at home afterward.  “We also know that the patient interactive apps we use today will be different from the apps we prioritize in the future.  Digital health apps are rapidly evolving, the science and business of healthcare is rapidly evolving, and our patients’ and families’ needs and expectations change,” Bokser said.  “So it is important for us to implement, and partner with IT companies that support, our very flexible, extendable, and modular vision. We believe the interactive patient care platform we are implementing at UCSF Mission Bay is one upon which we can grow.  One on which our patients will take advantage of the newest and best applications for their health.”

Digital health apps are rapidly evolving, the science and business of healthcare is rapidly evolving, and our patients’ and families’ needs and expectations change, so it is important for us to implement, and partner with IT companies that support, our very flexible, extendable, and modular vision.

With this project, both UCSF and Oneview are focused on the technology divide when it comes to patients and their health. Much of the healthcare industry is struggling to keep up with the breakneck speed at which technology is evolving, and yet, patients still fully assume technology should be factored into their healthcare experience just as it is with everything else in their lives. “They’re expecting—and they should expect—to use healthcare technology to close the health literacy gap, so they become enabled and enlightened when it comes to their own health and that of their families,” said Bokser.

Inside UCSF Mission Bay

UCSF’s new facility will boast some of the most innovative patient care technologies available in healthcare today, including tablets linked to large-screen TVs, video education, play-based technology exhibits, and patient-engagement media walls, to name a few. Physicians will also receive innovative tools to engage and teach patients, like the ability to screencast data, x-rays, or other information on the interactive patient care system directly from a patient’s room. The councils of patients, families, and caregivers who have already tested and interacted with the hospital’s technology have loved their experiences. “The focus is really on how do we use technology to enhance the lives of patients and enhance the lives of those taking care of the patients,” explained Bokser.

Implementing these new technologies won’t happen overnight for UCSF. Staff, patients, and families will need to undergo training to familiarize themselves with the hospital’s new technology, and a cultural shift will need to occur in how these individuals work together. Bokser points out how this shift has already started to set in for some physicians, such as in their adoption of electronic health records. “Through the implementation of the electronic health record in the last decade, providers have gotten a lot more comfortable with using technology within their workflow,” he said. “We now have familiarity and the technical opportunity to move healthcare to the next level.”

A flexible solution with the patient at its core 

Maintaining this level of innovation requires a flexible technology solution that allows UCSF to grow and innovate in the years to come. Oneview is ideally suited for UCSF’s future growth and commitment to the patient experience. “I truly feel like we are on the leading edge of a very important innovation for patient care and the healthcare industry. We have a state-of-the art, world-class hospital, and a fully integrated patient engagement solution which comes together beautifully,” said Bokser.

For more information on Oneview, visit its website and watch the Oneview demo. Oneview is built using various Microsoft technologies, including Windows 8.1, SQL Server, Lync, Skype, and Office 365.