The digitalized hospital of the future will include clinical command centers and interoperable EHRs

Johns Hopkins Command Center
Command centers, like the one at Johns Hopkins Hospital, will be commonplace in 10 years, experts say. (Johns Hopkins Hospital)

In 10 years, hospitals will be outfitted with a centralized clinical command center that collects real-time data, wearable sensors and yes, even interoperable medical records. 

That’s according to a group of 33 experts from around the globe that unveiled their vision for digitalized hospitals in the next decade based on specific use cases. Their input was outlined in a report released by Deloitte earlier this week.

The experts envision hospitals using a central command center that mimics an air traffic control system for patients by collecting real-time data using wearable sensors to identify patients at risk for complications and help clinicians make quicker decisions. Using artificial intelligence and data analytics, this technology will suggest interventions to caregivers.

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The experts note that the Cleveland Clinic has been using this type of command center for three years, allowing physician and critical care nurses to monitor vital signs in the ICU on a digital wall with a color-coded risk status. Others, like Johns Hopkins, have rolled out their own command center. 

The report also predicts that the “long-elusive goal of EHRs populated by interoperable data from different sources will likely be a reality in the hospital of the future.” With a growing need to incorporate real-time social, genetic and behavioral data into patient care decisions, hospitals will transition EHRs to the cloud and incorporate cognitive analytics to sift through massive data sets.

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Exactly how that will happen is still up in the air. According to research published earlier this week, less than one-third of hospitals are fulling interoperable, and most struggle to integrate data from other sources.

The Office of the National Coordinator has pegged interoperability as one of its primary near-term priorities, and analysts say analytics companies will be forced to manage a wider variety of data sources in the near future. Some companies are more prepared than others to take on that task.