Driving a Context-Aware Clinical Desktop Experience
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Driving a Context-Aware Clinical Desktop Experience

By Rebecca Kaul, Chief Innovation Officer, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

Rebecca Kaul, Chief Innovation Officer, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

The Challenge

Clinicians are challenged with having to work with a multitude of clinical systems each time they treat a patient. Patient information is stored and accessed through siloed systems that are not interoperable. Because of this, physicians often struggle to use technology that is not optimized for clinical workflow and spend less time interacting directly with patients.

"We provide highly skilled Microsoft experts who understand the full scope of the project’s goals"

The UPMC Technology

Development Center (TDC)—a visible sign of UPMC’s passion for innovation— was tasked with developing a way to simplify the physician experience for our more than 3,500 employed physicians by making disparate data sources available and actionable at the point of care and within a seamless clinical workflow.

The Solution

The TDC recently developed a breakthrough clinical platform for physicians called Convergence. The platform enables a modular approach that drives a context-aware clinical desktop experience, providing clinicians with an intelligent navigation framework across a suite of clinical applications. The core functionality of Convergence includes a consolidated view of key patient health data (extracted from a variety of clinical systems), as well as meaningful visualization of the longitudinal patient record to bring the “patient story” to life.

The longitudinal data display and our targeted navigation to legacy systems enable clinicians to engage deeply with the patient, and their health history, across multiple devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile) without interruption to their workflow. A key feature of Convergence permits existing clinical tools, and newly developed Windows 8 applications, to interoperate seamlessly within the patient and user context.

Why Microsoft Surface Pro 3?

The Microsoft Surface is a low-profile, touch enabled, mobile platform that enables clinicians to continuously interact with up-to-date patient data while moving throughout the hospital. Paired with Convergence, the Surface enables clinicians to spend the majority of their time face-to-face with the patient, instead of splitting time between the patient and a desktop computer (often located in a different room). The Surface is also one of the only devices that has a keyboard and can be disinfected. In addition, Convergence can be accessed from any Windows 8 device (desktop, laptop or tablet), giving end users their choice of preferred hardware vendor and form factor.

Why Windows 8?

Convergence optimizes the clinician workflow by enabling clinicians to seamlessly navigate between multiple clinical applications while maintaining user and patient context. This is achieved by leveraging native platform visual and touch capabilities, as well as identity management technologies available only through Windows 8. In addition, Windows is the enterprise platform where all legacy systems reside. The differentiator of the Convergence platform is to “converge” the past, present and future by allowing a unified workflow with contextual sharing across legacy Windows applications, as well as the new, modern UI applications.

The Results

Cardiologists engaged in UPMC’s pilot of Convergence believe that the product will reduce the time it takes to learn about a  newly admitted patient’s health history and to quickly assess their patients’ needs. Use of Convergence enables physicians to spend less time with technology and more time with the patient, thereby improving the quality of physician-patient engagement. Early feedback suggests that this technology will enable the shift from a fee-for-service to a fee-for-outcome payment structure. Convergence provides an intelligent and patient centric, not billing centric, view of the data. UPMC  believes that this product, while not intending to replace EMR applications, will transform the way physicians interact with the patient record. 

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