An Interview With Brian Crowther, Senior Systems Administrator at UETN
19Labs Business Development Head Messias Soares interviews Brian Crowther, UETN's Senior Systems Administrator to get his thoughts on successful end-to-end telehealth deployment based on their project with 19Labs earlier this year.
*Note: This transcript is non-verbatim, and has been abridged for easier reading.
Messias: Thanks for joining us today Brian. To kick things off, what was important for you when UETN was still looking for a telehealth platform?
Brian: Thank you for having me. The first questions we asked were around security (e.g. Is it HIPAA compliant? Is there encryption?). Another thing we looked at is technical support: their team's communication with us and our clients. We looked to see if they can incorporate our feedback and needs; and how quickly they can do that.
Simplicity and ease-of-use are also important, along with sustainability. We wanted to make sure that the company we partner with will be in business for a long time. Finally, the platform should be financially feasible, as we are responsible for every dollar that we spend.
Messias: How many solutions did you look through while you were in the pre-decision phase? Brian: We looked at about 4 or 5 different options that were available to us at the time.
Messias: What were the unique challenges that UETN had in rural areas, which brought about the decision to implement telehealth in these remote locations? Brian: This particular project had to deal with school-based telehealth. A lot of school districts in Utah are very rural, and we didn't have the resources to have a nurse physically located in every single school. We had to find a way for students to get health services without overburdening the nurses and having them travel long distances between schools.
Messias: Once you choose a telehealth vendor, what is critical for you when deploying the platform? What do you expect from a technology partner during this second stage in the relationship? Brian: The vendor should have the flexibility to adjust to our input in case we needed to tweak some features in the implementation phase. Open and clear communication is also important to meet milestones and goals. The organization that we choose needs to realize that our success is also their success: if our team is happy with the way that the solution is being rolled out and used, then obviously that will reflect back on the vendor. As a state-run agency, we also report on our utilization, so we need ways to be able to monitor the platform's results, like when it's used or how it's used.
Messias: Seems like you're referring to our deployment management system, which allows you to monitor equipment and how they are being utilized. Any thoughts on your experience with that feature? Brian: We've found huge benefits around that. First of all, we needed a platform that was flexible enough to adapt to each of our schools' different needs; which your team did a great job in. The system allowed us to see if a particular school district was having problems with their deployment. The location information is also helpful because it allows us to know where the devices are, if they are being used, and if they are deployed or not.
Messias: You have multiple schools and staff spread across Utah. How was the training process like? Brian: 19Labs' platform is simple and easy to use, but we still needed to train our staff. We worked with your team to create two training sessions: one for the clinicians and another for the nurses. We needed something that was concise, easy to learn, and wasn't very long as our staff is very busy, and 19Labs delivered on that. Learning also had to be measurable so we had short tests at the end of the training.
Messias: Thanks for your time Brian. We really enjoy the work that we're doing with your team. Brian: I appreciate that. Like I said before, one of the things we were looking for was an organization that realizes that "my success is your success", and I think 19Labs really hits a home run on that. You've listened to what we had to say and you've strived to implement our needs.
Messias: To close off the discussion, as someone with a lot of exposure to telehealth, may I ask where you see these technologies going in the near future? Brian: That's a great question. I think the pandemic has made people realize that the technology allows for some unique opportunities. One of those is the ability to provide care in places where it was previously unavailable. Obviously some medical consultations require a 1-on-1 physical environment but there are also a lot of things that can be done via telehealth. We deal with a lot of rural locations and for some people, it's a whole day process just to see a doctor. Telehealth allows home patient monitoring, and I think this is another area where the industry is growing. Mostly, I just see more options for patients' health to be successful. I see patients' success increasing due to the awareness and embracing of the technologies we have.
19Labs is the creator of GALE, the one flexible enhanced telehealth platform that integrates the right devices for any use case, at the right price point. GALE brings together “best of breed” diagnostic technologies from industry leaders like Zoom, Eko, Samsung Mobile, MIR, Omron, and many others in one smart, efficient, and cost-effective platform. It was designed from the ground up to be operated by either clinicians or non-healthcare professionals under the most extreme conditions on the planet, including areas with very limited infrastructure and low bandwidth situations. To learn more about GALE, please visit www.19labs.com/platform.