Evolving technology and a move to all-digital hospitals

Some health systems and hospitals are embracing technology in a big way – building all digital, wired facilities.

In April 2016, Modern Healthcare reported on Humber River Hospital in northwest Toronto, which has automated approximately 75% of its back-of-hospital functions. At Humber, the most notable changes have to do with efficiency and quality of care. Staff and patients wear real-time locating devices so the closest available staff person can respond to a need and so family members can track and receive updates on loved-ones who are receiving care.

Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, TX is also embracing digital. It offers interactive kiosks that guide patients, families and caregivers through the facility. Patient rooms house large screens called footwalls that provide entertainment and education.

If you’re considering an investment in new technology or digital upgrades, what should you consider?

Parkland’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Matthew Kull says health care leaders must recognize technology is always evolving.

“Evolution was certainly key when we planned the hospital. We knew technology is expanding at a rate that is almost unpredictable,” says Kull.

Because Parkland leaders realized that hardware would change, they focused on building a digital platform that could grow and expand – one that could be used with any new device.

Kull says they feel like they succeeded.

“We are ready for what’s coming next. We’ve purchased technologies and we’ve implemented technologies and platforms which we believe will grow with us over the next 60 to 80 years,” says Kull.

Kull continues the discussion about digital hospitals in the latest #5in5 episode.

#5in5 features industry experts answering five questions in five minutes on changes in the health care industry.

Click here to watch a 5-minute video featuring Kull and his insights on:

  • How the ability to expand a digital platform affects the value of investment
  • How Parkland is expanding the use of technology outside of the health system
  • The capacity for growth and longevity of the system


About the Author:

Leslie Cozatt currently serves as director of Marketing, Optum Provider – Thought Leadership and Content Strategy. She directs the development of content that spotlights the role of data analytics in healthcare – specifically the transition to value-based care, risk management and population Leslie Cozatthealth management. She brings to her role more than 20 years of experience developing B2B and B2C integrated marketing campaigns for companies including ThreeWire, Eliance and 3M. Leslie attended the University of Minnesota and graduated from Wellington College with a BS in international business & communication

Leave a Reply