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Connected Care Solutions To Improve Workflow And Cut Costs

Image of Mary Kay Ladone

How are connected care solutions improving workflows and reducing costs?

Some people might be surprised that the company’s homepage highlights “Advancing connected care” rather than hospital beds. What business units support that concept?

Hillrom has historically been known as the leading bed company, but if you have followed Hillrom over the last several years, you know that we have significantly diversified our portfolio. For example, today our hospital bed portfolio accounts for just less than a quarter of Hillrom's total revenue versus about 50% of our total revenue 10 years ago.  Our connected care efforts are focused primarily on improving workflows, lowering costs, and improving diagnosis and patient care. We estimate that there are over 1.3 million Hillrom devices in the field that can be connected across a variety of the care settings, including acute care and surgical environments, the ambulatory or physician office setting, or in the home. 

What is involved with turning a large amount of medical device data into information that a clinician can use for real-time decision-making?

We are continuing to invest to build an ecosystem of connected devices that will put actionable information in the hands of the caregivers. You don't want to overwhelm the caregiver with too much information, because that makes it less actionable and less valuable to them. An example is the launch of our digital offerings or algorithms later this year that will target two of the most costly non-reimbursable expenses for the hospital -- patient deterioration and patient falls. Our value proposition with these algorithms is focused on lowering hospital costs while increasing quality and enhancing outcomes.

The acquisition of Voalte gave Hillrom a solution that includes devices, integration, and communication. Does that provide a competitive advantage given the importance hospitals place on reducing vendor count and complexity?

We have traditionally been the leader in the traditional nurse call systems for our acute care customers, but in doing so, we have realized that we could accelerate our connected care strategy by building on this leadership position and creating an ecosystem of solutions that leverages our smart beds as the hub for communications data and connectivity. The acquisition of Voalte and then the acquisition of Excel Medical differentiated Hillrom as the only provider of a comprehensive mobile communication solution that provides voice, text, alert and alarm management, digital wave forms, and medical device integration.

What will be the company’s most important areas of focus in the next 3-5 years?

We are focused on what we consider our core growth platforms. These would include the areas of care communications, respiratory care, patient monitoring, and surgical kinds of activities. All these care categories represent attractive markets and areas where we believe Hillrom brings capabilities as well as a competitive advantage where we can win. These are going to be the areas that will drive our success in the future.