Celebration Health Uses Real-Time Staff Tracking to Improve Performance

All along, the usage of RFID was confined to “things” such as managing inventories in the retail and supply chain industries. Then came the concept of Internet of Things where data from connected devices was analyzed to deliver new services or help customers / end-users gain more out of intelligent devices.

One one hand, we have these inherently uni-dimensional “things” literally coming to life – a thermostat or a light bulb is no longer just a thermostat or a light bulb as these devices are now “talking” to one another and collectively generating data that gets converted into insights. On the other hand, we have connected employees with access to mobile devices to do lot more than what they were able to do without the mobile devices.

But what happens when employees are just “things” that are monitored in real-time and transmit data? If you think all hell will break loose, you are dead wrong.

Ashley Simmons, Director – Performance Improvement, at Florida Hospital Celebration Health has spearheaded the roll-out of a Real-time Location Tracking devices (worn by nurses, physicians and patients along with their badges) that gathers data on the movement of nurses within the hospital premises and correlates it to how efficiently patients are being handled. Here is the summary of what I gleaned out of an interview with Ashley Simmons at GigaOm Structure Connect 2014.

Celebration Health Implemented a software application from Stanley Healthcare, a company that provides tracking devices and software for a variety of healthcare applications.

The data generated by the devices worn by nurses and patients resulted in detailed workflow patterns that was accessible to their staff and they could check out how their day was spent and the bottlenecks that they need to look into.

Building trust and ensuring that the bogey of big brother watching or monitoring people was a key focus area for this project. According to Simmons, the hospital made sure that the staff was completely on-board with this idea before it was implemented and get their feedback on a daily basis. The objective of this program was not only to get data about operational efficiency to the top management but also share the data with the staff for their own review and performance improvement.

Here is a screenshot that shows how the staff movement data was analyzed


The data on these movement patterns allowed the hospital to build more efficient work spaces that promotes better workflow patterns within the hospital. See (image below) how the hospital building layout was modified based on the data generated from these tracking devices.


Staff engagement scores have gone up as a result of this data being made available to the hospital staff and their involvement in data analysis and feedback. This was validated through an internal Gallup poll on employee engagement. The hospital also measured an improvement in patient satisfaction after implementing this solution.

Some of the insights the hospital was able to pull out of this system included:

- Day shift Vs night shift behaviors

- Workflow patterns for new hire Vs experienced hires

- Productivity data for various activities

- Social patterns of different groups of employees. For example, introvert nurses had a different movement pattern compared to extroverted nurses!

- Analyze workflow patterns surrounding events such as patients falling and figure out what were the activities before such adverse events.

- Correlating all the data elements from the tracking system with other factors like day and time of the week or patient issues. This is very similar to how ecommerce sites and retail chains track customer behavior and correlate it to sundry parameters.

- Analyse behavior patterns before and after specific events such as a rude encounter with a patient.

Here is one clear example of a process improvement that I gleaned from Stanley Healthcare’s website.

It has become clear to the hospital that, contrary to a widely held assumption, the night shift is just as busy as the day shift. The way it is busy, however, is very different. Activity on the day shift is more or less constant, whereas the night shift is characterized by periods of intense activity at the start and end of the shift, with a lull in between. By shifting some activities to the quieter hours, the hospital has helped reduce bottlenecks and addressed a point of dissatisfaction for the clinical staff. For example, it used to be routine to return IV pumps for sterilization at 6:00 am, just as patients were being prepared for discharge. Now, this task is performed in the early am period, when technicians have fewer demands on their time.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

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Posted in Performance Improvement

Three L&D predictions that never took off

Generating hype is in itself an industry that keeps many of us gainfully engaged or just engaged. The learning and development industry is no stranger to hype but training departments are inherently averse to hype. This inherent propensity not to embrace the latest and the greatest is an advantage and a disadvantage. In instances where a trend or technology is just a hype or a fad, not jumping on the bandwagon is obviously prudent in hindsight. However, ignoring the writing on the wall is also dangerous. For example, if the prevailing attitude in your training organization is not aligned to the mobile first world, there is a very high possibility of the training department losing its relevance. Let’s take a look at three predictions that never went anywhere, at least not yet.

CollaborationFacebook as a Learning Platform: In around 2007, there was a lot of buzz around how Facebook can replace the LMS. This idea caught on with the higher education and K12 trainers as they were looking to find ways to take the courses to where students were (online). The same idea was touted as the next big thing for the enterprise. Facebook never attempted to make it self relevant for the enterprise crowd and never ever achieved the same engagement that Apple commands from its users. This idea of using Facebook was a big miss, but the likes of Yammer and other social collaboration tools validated the fundamental promise of Facebook i.e collaboration.

screen-1024x640Virtual Worlds for Enterprise Training: Big names got caught up with Second Life in 2005 / 2006 time frame. Companies like IBM built islands, immersive 3D was touted as the panacea that will change revolutionize training delivery. The idea never really took off beyond the initial enthusiasm for various reasons – lack of a secure platform for the enterprise, the rapid drop in interest levels of the audience once the novelty factor dries up, and expensive development efforts scuttled this trend. Virtual Worlds are still being used in industries such as oil and gas where these tools make a lot of sense and deliver a tangible ROI and there are specialized providers that are catering to the requirements of the enterprise.

Hunger_games_game_maker_roomGamification of training: The impact of gamification is still being debated as organizations are figuring out the real ROI of gamification. Predictably, gamification has not really caught on as a tool to promote greater learner engagement for training programs in the enterprise. However, game-based content has seen better traction as enterprises are trying to build more engaging content. The reason I am writing the obituary for gamification in the enterprise training domain is because enterprise are unable to see the connection between incentives / points / badges and employee motivation and engagement with training programs. The higher education industry has seen better traction in this regard.

Would love to hear your comments on other notable disappointments.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

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Posted in Gamification, Social Collaboration, Virtual Worlds

The Keynote Effect

I had the opportunity to attend two back to back conferences and now I am heading out to attend the third conference. One of the most interesting aspects of conferences is the keynote session. Conference organizers are lining up big name personalities to open the show and I find these keynotes to be inspiring. At least for the first 1-hour of the conference, everybody is paying close attention to what is happening on the stage before the distractions of food, freebies and cocktail parties kick-in.

If you have not been attending conferences or listening to keynote addresses from rocket scientists, business moguls or movie stars, you can watch this video from Microsoft that visualizes the possible future of technology at home and at work. Remember this video is from 2011 and the visualizations were meant to happen in reality in 5 to 10 years from 2011!

Its a great feeling to escape from the realities of finding the elusive power outlet in an airport for your “dying” smartphone or dealing with traffic jams on the way to an event. BTW, our faithful keyboard seems to be the only thing we will recognize in future.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

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Sify at DevLearn 2014 Conference & Expo

This week I will be attending DevLearn 2014 Conference and Expo on Oct 29th and Oct 30th. You can find me in booth 213 at the Expo. Just look for Sify eLearning.

Here are three great reasons to stop by our booth:

1. Get a glimpse of how we have addressed learning and performance support challenges for diverse customers.

2. View exclusive demos of cutting-edge solutions in mobile learning and emerging tools like augmented reality.

3.  Share your L&D challenges with us. We will do our best to find a solution or point you in the right direction.

Online registrations are closed, but you can still register at the event. You will find the details here.

See you in Las Vegas!

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

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Posted in eLearning, Learning, Mobile Learning

The Internet of Things – New Opportunities & Challenges

Sify will be participating at Gigaom Structure Connect 2014 on 21st and 22nd October in San Francisco. This event is focused on the Internet of Things. I am excited at this opportunity to hear from industry leaders and pioneers in this space. Internet of Things has the potential to turn performance support on its head. It also opens up immense training challenges as companies will have to rethink their products and how they sell them. New skill sets are required to compete in a new paradigm.

Check out this infograhic from Intel. Couldn’t help noticing the typo!


Srinivas Krishnaswamy

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Posted in Uncategorized

The Future of Work


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Posted in Talent Management

Test Strategies for Mobile Apps in the Enterprise

I am diving straight to the point. If you are launching a slew of mobile apps for your enterprise, read on (courtesy – IBM).

1. Characteristics of a High Quality Mobile App

The expectations of quality when it comes to mobile apps is different when compared to that of enterprise applications. With mobile apps, we are used to high standards of user-centric designs as our first exposure to mobile apps was outside the enterprise. This mental reference carries forward to the enterprise. In short, a high quality enterprise mobile app should be bug free for sure but in addition should be well designed, secure, functionally complete and stable.

2. Lower Budgets to tackle Increasing Complexity

The cost of building a mobile app has come down significantly. All major platforms provide comprehensive SDKs and we also have plenty of platform-agnostic development tools available for building mobile apps. That’s great news, but keep in mind the fact that your mobile app has to work consistently across of thousands of OS – Device variations in an increasingly BYOD world. When the cost of building the mobile app goes down, don’t expect your management team to ramp up your test budgets.

3. To Fix or Not To Fix?

Testing mobile apps requires a keen understanding of what the users can tolerate and what they cannot. Testing strategy should take this “tolerance” band into consideration. Example,if you are launching an app that delivers critical financial information to traders, you better make sure the app works flawlessly in terms of functionality and remains secure. You may sacrifice user experience at the altar of functionality and security in this case.

4. Integration Can Derail Your Mobile App

Enterprise mobile apps invariably works with other back-end systems such as ERPs or other legacy applications. These back-end applications have their own development and test cycles. Ability to stay one step ahead of these moving parts is key to maintaining the integrity of your enterprise mobile applications. Having access to a sandbox to test these integrations upfront with dummy data is critical.

5. In the Wild Testing

Round up a bunch of users or hire them from service providers to test your apps in the real world early on in the development lifecycle. This should be considered as a key test strategy and not a afterthought.

Some Useful Mobile Application Test Tools

I believe in Karma. So I spent my weekend curating a list of mobile testing tools to give you a head-start. BTW, I am not affiliated with any of these companies.

Applause  – Analytics for crashes, bug reports and user feedback for apps.

Appium – This is a open source tool.

SOASTA  Aother test automation tool.

Eggplant – Another popular tool.

DeviceAnywhere and Perfecto Mobile – if you need access to devices on the cloud for testing.

Of course, the usual suspects – Silk Mobile and IBM Rational.

And one more thing.

Cartoon Srinivas Krishnaswamy

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Posted in Mobile Learning

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