Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

How digital technology can improve patient experience and boost operations workflow



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Advanced diagnostic imagery experts Affidea has networking at the heart of its business. Zisis SotiriouSenior Vice-President of Operational Excellence, updates us on the company’s latest innovation

As the leading provider of advanced diagnostic imaging, outpatient and cancer care services, Affidea’s footprint across Europe is considerable, covering in 246 centres in 16 countries. We employ over 7,500 hardworking healthcare professionals, who every year operate over 1,260 diagnosis and cancer care modalities, generating almost 13 million diagnostic examinations per year. The standardized data that this provides is almost unique across the health imaging industry.

We are also one of the most awarded healthcare providers for patient safety by the European Society of Radiology. Of the 90 radiology centres awarded five stars in Europe, 50 per cent belong to Affidea. But we are always conscious of our ability and duty to strive for better – not just for our patients, but our excellent teams.

This means working smarter, and ensuring our clinical teams, managers and support staff have access to the greatest amount of information to drive continuous improvements in patient outcomes.

For patients and practitioners

With the increasing move towards digitization in the healthcare sector, we took the important decision to introduce two new applications to drive forward our operations and increase productivity as well as overall patient experience and safety. Given the scale of our network, this has been no small undertaking – but we want to ensure that technology is being used to make a difference to radiology and the patients we are responsible for.

The introduction of these new applications therefore marks an important step change for Affidea, both in terms of how our patients receive the best possible experience when accessing our services, and how we organise and prioritise the work of our clinical teams and wider members of staff.

We are introducing a cloud-based KPI Dashboard and a mobile app in a bid to ensure uninterrupted operations of our medical equipment while enhancing patient experience and safety across our expanding network. The digital tools use algorithms that provide to Affidea real-time and predictive insights, with the purpose to increase productivity while maintaining quality, preventing delays in appointments and reducing waiting times, which results in improved patient experience.

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The KPI Dashboard contains a set of carefully developed quantitative and qualitative key performance indicators. These KPIs are displayed on a digital dashboard so our teams in the centres can analyse the performance of our service vendors and drive improvement initiatives, contributing to operational excellence.

Predicting results

This is just the beginning of our journey to utilise digital technologies across our expanding network. Our view is that radiology really is no longer an industry driven solely by state-of-the-art technology, but also predictive data. To give one example, Affidea is one of the first diagnostic imaging providers that is able to predict the replacement of a CT tube before it breaks. By doing so we can avoid any delays to patients receiving scans, and any machine breakdowns are addressed immediately.

Our goal in operational excellence is to use state-of-the-art technology, insight-rich data out of our machines and the best human expertise in tandem. The positive impact of our digital dashboards will be felt immediately by our expert clinical teams and technicians across the business, and – most importantly ­­– by our patients. These two digital tools have already been installed in 165 centres across our network, and we are currently on schedule for them to be installed across our entire network by the end of this year.

Zisis Sotiriou

An updated network

Each and every day, working for Affidea brings new experiences and challenges for our clinical and management staff, many of whom find themselves constantly on the move and in communication with other centres in the country and across the continent. It is vital therefore that both our operation managers and centre managers are aware of how their equipment is operating in real time.

To achieve this, we teamed up with GE Healthcare to develop a new KPI mobile app. This is an incredibly exciting first for Affidea and will be installed directly onto the mobiles of our centre and operations managers. The app will feature the service KPIs, displaying immediate updates on the health and status of Affidea’s state of the art medical equipment. Throughout the day managers will receive dynamic information updates across 70 per cent of our centres in 15 countries. By installing the app across Affidea’s network of medical centres, clinical teams can be assured of uninterrupted operations and equipment data sharing, with notifications on asset status and service operations delivered every minute of the day.

About the author

With well over 100 years experience between us, we've been around the editorial and medical blocks a few times. But we're still as keen as any young pup to root out what's new and inspiring.

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