“Aventura is right up there with sliced bread and butter!”

Bonny RobertsAs vice president of customer experience, I regularly talk with customers to understand their needs and learn how we can better serve our clients. Some days I end up with a long list of suggestions for improving the company and our platform. Other days, I can’t help but smile and say, “Yes! We’re making a difference!”

Of course it’s a really great day when a customer tells you your product is right up there with sliced bread and butter. That’s exactly what the folks at Republic County Hospital recently told us.

Republic County HospitalRepublic, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Belleville, Kansas implemented our Aventura Roaming Aware Desktop solution in March 2015. Republic discovered Aventura when searching for a single sign-on option to navigate their multiple layers of security.

Like many organizations, Republic runs several different applications and each requires users to enter a separate log-on and password. Ed Stiner, Republic’s director of information technology, noted that “It not only took a long time to log in because you might need to enter credentials for two, three, or four different applications, it also took a good memory because you had to remember all the log-ons and passwords.” Stiner added that users would regularly forgot their credentials, requiring administrators to log in and perform a reset.

Another problem was that users had to continually log on and off computers as they moved around the hospital. The process was so time-consuming and cumbersome that the physicians had actually quit using the system.

After reviewing several SSO alternatives, Republic selected Aventura’s platform, which offered the functionality they required and was compatible with their existing IT infrastructure. A few months after the implementation we checked in with Stiner and other members of Republic’s management team to see how things were going – and were thrilled to hear their positive feedback.

Stiner noted that within two weeks of going live, they had seen a “huge decrease” in the number of password resets and forgotten passwords and doctors were using the system more than ever before.

Surgical Services and Outpatient Director Rebecca Brown told us the workflow was “so much easier and the staff frustration level was 90% less.” Director of Nursing Diane Reed added that they had been able to increase the amount of time staff spent in patients’ rooms by 85% and nurses were now charting at the bedside.

“Before the staff wasn’t charting in the room because it took too long with all the multiple log-ons to get in and out of the system. Now we just tap, click, and we are in and out in no time.” Reed believes patient care is enhanced and charting is more likely to be accurate because nurses are entering information “right when it happens,” rather than after rounding all the patients.

Aventura The Republic team estimates that Aventura’s platform is saving staff “hours” a day – leading Brown to declare the solution is, “right up there with sliced bread and butter!”

From a financial perspective, CFO Barry Bottger also gave the Aventura solution a thumbs up. “The startup cost wasn’t all that bad for what it has done to employee satisfaction and morale. The ongoing cost is minimal and it’s definitely been worth the investment.”

Finally, we even heard great feedback from the top: CEO Blaine Miller confirmed that the Aventura solution has been worth the investment. “We are always concerned about HIPAA compliance and the need to have strong passwords. Aventura has eliminated our constant challenge of resetting passwords and ensuring that our staff remembered them because now the system handles it.”

Miller summed it up by adding, “Happy nurses and happy doctors make for a happy administrator.”

And obviously happy customers like Republic definitely make all of us at Aventura very happy!

Imagine how much time your staff could save in a day and what that could mean at your hospital.  If you’d like to learn more about Republic’s implementation of the Aventura solution, please let me know!

- Bonny Roberts, VP of Customer Experience

Aventura & Awareness Computing

Aventura-HIMSS15

If you attended this year’s national HIMSS conference in Chicago, you may have noticed the sea of orange at the Aventura booth, including our wall of orange Skittles, M&Ms, and other sweets. Or perhaps you eyed our super hip staff wearing their orange sneakers. Based on the questions from passers-by, we know a lot of folks also noticed all the “SSO, only sweeter” signs splashed across our booth.

At a show the size of HIMSS, it’s not easy to stand out, but thankfully our booth traffic was heavy. Maybe the draw was our abundance of candy. Then again, perhaps health IT folks have a proclivity for the color orange. More than a few asked if we had any extra orange sneakers. Regardless of their reasons for stopping by, we had fun chatting with the masses and answering questions from the curious.

The two questions we heard most were, “What do you guys do?” and “What the heck does ‘SSO, only sweeter’ mean?” The simple answer to the first question is that we deliver awareness – and believe we do it better than anyone else in the world. As for the meaning of our tagline: it’s a simplified way of saying we sell a platform that includes or ties into single sign-on capabilities and a whole lot more. Unlike standalone SSO products, Aventura’s platform provides awareness capabilities that solve a multitude of challenges in healthcare.

So, what does all that mean? To understand “awareness,” I like to think about what happens when I stop into the Starbucks around the corner from my house. As I walk in for my morning caffeine fix, the barista immediately recognizes me and recalls my drink of choice. When I get to the front of the line, he gives me a nod and asks, “Grande caramel macchiato?” This type of recognition is called “human awareness.” Occasionally I’ll stop by my Starbucks in the afternoon. Once again, my barista recalls who I am, but also remembers that later in the day I always order a small coffee. When awareness extends beyond simple recognition and considers the context, we call it “situational awareness.”

Aventura’s platform provides situational awareness. We identify each specific user and consider their location, the patient they are treating, the patient’s diagnosis, and other relevant factors. As a clinician walks up to a computer, we customize the desktop based on the context of the situation. As a result, users get faster access to the information they need with minimal navigation.

System navigation is a bit like navigating a house. Traditional SSO products allow you to walk into the front door. We sweeten things up by not only getting you in the front door, but also helping you navigate the rest of the house. In a hospital as you move from one patient room or another or to another department within your organization, your desktop is automatically personalized. Based on your location, the system seamlessly updates your access to different applications, your security settings, available network drives, printers, and more.

Which brings up another oft-asked question: how does the computer already know who and where I am? First, the system identifies a user based on password, badge ID, RTLS, or other method. The software knows each user’s role and identifies their location. Our secret sauce is a sophisticated rules engine that predicts and understands specific workflows depending on whether a user is a nurse in the ER or a physician in a patient’s room or a tech in the lab. We can even make the rules specific to unique patients and take into account their diagnosis or other important factors.

Which brings us to one final question for today: “What’s with the owl?”

The owl was actually selected by our customers and employees as the animal that best represents our technology. We call her Iris and her job is to remain ever aware and watchful of her surroundings.

Do you have any unanswered questions about Aventura? Let me know!

5 Reasons Healthcare Leaders Shouldn’t Ignore Awareness Computing

Accurate documentation is critical to delivering improved outcomes and patient safety. Yet for many physicians and nurses, the realities of their jobs can get in the way of charting or ordering in real time, long considered optimal to achieving accuracy.

The typical medical/surgical nurse walks more than four miles in a 12.5 hour shift.  Constant disruptions and a job that takes them all over the hospital means most either wait to settle in at a nearby nurse’s station or bulk load patient information into the electronic health record at the end of their shift. Many even opt to take home their charting, documentation or dictation duties in order to catch up.

Clinicians report that the process of accessing records is a time-consuming barrier; their computers are slow to respond, and the number of clicks required to navigate to the point of entry can be mind-numbing.  An emerging technology called “awareness computing” is removing that barrier. When clinicians tap their badges and authenticate their identities, the workstation intuitively recognizes the user, their role, location and relevant applications including patient records already in use. It presents their virtual desktop, so they may immediately enter their data and “tap out” to securely move on to the next patient or location.

Turning a computer from a blank instrument to one that already knows what a clinician needs and what is required to do it has many advantages. The following five reasons explain why healthcare leaders should make themselves aware of awareness computing:

1. Increased staff satisfaction. A 2013 HIMSS study revealed three in 10 providers believe healthcare technology doesn’t positively impact efficient patient care or information accessibility. By making record and application accessibility quick and easy at any device stationed across the hospital, awareness computing allows physicians and nurses to spend less time struggling with cumbersome logins and more time helping patients. As clinicians roam, the technology automatically updates the default printer to the one nearest that location, eliminating the need to scroll through a lengthy printer list to hunt for the appropriate printer. It also minimizes the need to stay late or take work home to complete the documentation. One hospital reports awareness computing has cut nursing documentation time at the end of the shift from 105 minutes to 15 minutes.

2. Increased data accuracy. Real-time data entry at the bedside or workstation means charting occurs while it is still fresh on the minds of clinicians, reducing the amount of after-the-fact interpretation of notes or reconstruction from memory they must perform later. The near instant speed-to-desktop promotes greater focus and reduces opportunity for interruptions, ensuring the clinician’s train of thought is unbroken and, in fact, enhanced when entering critical facts into a patient’s chart.

3. Improved clinical collaboration and throughput. Granting real-time data access to the next clinician participating in the patient’s care plan promotes collaborative communication and ultimately smoother care continuity. Patient transitions of care to other settings are better coordinated — for example, from the emergency department to admissions, the imaging center to the surgical recovery floor, the ICU to a step-down unit or discharge to home. Additionally, the expedited appropriate treatment, thanks to the up-to-date information shared across the care continuum, helps achieve effective throughput.

4. Securer protected health information. Clinicians often attempt to save time by leaving sessions open while going on rounds, checking patients or performing other tasks. Unsecured devices put PHI at significant risk. With the instant access of awareness computing, providers can securely shut down each session following charting completion, confident the next computing session will launch quickly. Additionally, since all data resides in a centralized data center instead of being stored on individual devices, there’s no risk to PHI if a device is lost or stolen.

5.  Maximized current hardware and teamwork. While sharing devices is an effective way to save on hardware costs and a practical answer to ergonomically challenged clinical space challenges, it can lead to battles over who has priority, or result in lost work if one user unintentionally logs another out mid-session. Awareness computing automatically saves current sessions when another user taps in, preserving the work already performed. Providers can easily tap over and between each other’s sessions, securing the previous clinician’s work and launching the applications necessary to meet their needs. At the same time, nurses and physicians report the unexpected benefit of enjoying increased collaboration and productivity due to the fast access.

Bonny Roberts, MHA, PMP, Clinical Liaison, Aventura, has worked on both the provider and vendor side in healthcare information technology. She has assisted academic medical centers with strategic application selection, development and implementation, as well as supported startup healthcare software companies. Roberts is a member of the HIMSS Innovation Committee.