It is no secret that the future of facilities management will adapt to new technologies. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic first began in 2020, many organizations had to shift their operations in order to keep their employees safe. One of the ways they achieved this goal was by implementing emerging technology. Five –years worth of technological innovation took place in the span of six months during the beginning of the pandemic, and many facilities are not slowing down, health care included.
As more hospitals and healthcare facilities begin to add new software and other technology applications, it is crucial that managers evaluate technology trends. In this manufacturers roundtable, Healthcare Facilities Today talks with technology professionals on what managers should watch for in the coming years.
What software/technology trends do you expect to see in the coming years?
“Visitor management systems and mobile device usage will continue to gain traction in the healthcare space. We will see more interactive touch screens that can oversee many functions, including health screenings, emergency mustering and attendance recording. The usage of mobile credentials will be integrated into these systems and offer the user additional capabilities.”
— Paul Cannon, healthcare industry leader, SALTO Systems
“Two key trends we’re seeing for older adults and the organizations that support them are personalization and data. The personalization element comes with delivering an experience that speaks to individual needs, whether curating physical fitness or mental wellbeing content, customizable home automation that provides comfort and safety or being able to leverage Alexa to personally connect with family members and loved ones. This is what transforms technology from an amenity into a necessity. Secondly, data and analytics are becoming absolutely essential, both to older adult care and the operational side of supporting them through community housing and services. That personalized data delivers a more holistic view of an older adult’s health that ultimately drives better care, and eventually, predictive and preventive health, such as fall prevention. Operational insights enable communities to better equip staff with streamlined tooling that saves teams critical time and cuts operational costs, while providing insight into how to better serve residents with trending event/activity data, dining, and more. From the resident to staff and to the owner/operator, enterprise data is informing significant shifts in the future of long-term care.”
— Scott Moody, CEO of K4Connect
“We can expect to see digital health models mature. I expect to see more technologies that support care beyond the four walls of the hospital, such as digital and remote case support, which make procedures more efficient and repeatable while improving outcomes.
Consumerism will also have an impact on the industry. Patients are playing a more active role in their care. They expect today’s care to be accessible, affordable and personalized, which has increased demand for more digital interactions, whether it’s telehealth services or the ability to research providers, procedures, prices and outcomes. As such, we can expect to see healthcare organizations invest in the digitization of their infrastructures to meet these demands.
We will also see work continue around creating a ubiquitous health record, as well as the continued integration of clinical systems with the supply chain, which will help drive down costs, improve outcomes and improve the patient experience.
At the highest level, patient care decisions must be grounded in data, product expertise and procedural best practices because lives depend on it. New technologies generate the data we need to make the delivery of care more efficient and equitable. With this mind, we can expect to see a great deal of emphasis on modernizing data management strategies to democratize knowledge and insights to create more efficient processes and better outcomes.”
— Jimmy Hurff, senior vice president, data and analytics, GHX.
"I anticipate a move away from compliance management and toward a focus on space management and associated space-based risk management. Continued and expanded focus on metrics-based decision support will require input from a multitude of data points, including BAS, property management, CMMS, energy management and smart building/IoT software platforms. I anticipate a market overhaul of CMMS platforms where most platforms will completely redesign their software in favor of a more streamlined program focused on maintenance staff and infused with current technology, as opposed to the traditional system layout and design that is over-complicated and challenging for the intended user group."
— Brian Crum, strategic solution consultant, Brightly
"I anticipate continued movement away from legacy on premise installations and investment in cloud-based deployments both for cost and security reasons. Leveraging that trend, we will continue to see further integration and data-sharing capabilities across otherwise separate platforms. Legacy enterprise systems with rigid architecture and installation requirements will be challenged to become more agile in adapting to the changing patient care and service line environments."
— Mark Mochel, strategic account executive, Brightly
“For years, hospital infection preventionists and EVS directors have begged for investments in new tools and technologies to aid in the battle against superbugs. When the world focused on COVID-19, we saw increased investment in technology that reduces the risk of pathogen transmission within healthcare facilities. That’s good news for public health because new disinfection technology can destroy the pathogens we are fighting today and the ones we’ll face in the future.
Telemedicine and telehealth played an essential role during the pandemic, and we'll continue to see them utilized when the pandemic is over. Telemedicine reduces the number of people in waiting rooms and medical offices, reducing the stress of travel to healthcare facilities.”
— Witt Copeland, senior director of sales, Xenex Disinfection Services
Mackenna Moralez is assistant editor with Healthcare Facilities Today.