Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital was designed to be able to accommodate new technologies as they come onto the market.

Photo courtesy of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital

Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital opened two years ago as a safety net hospital for residents in South Los Angeles. It serves a population of 1.3 million and has 85,000 emergency department visits each year, but, like the rest of the nation, has grappled with provider shortages. One of its strategies to mitigate that issue has been key investments in technology infrastructure.

“We designed the foundation so the hospital could leverage future technology,” said Chief Information Officer Sajid Ahmed to sister publication Hospitals & Health Networks.

MLK is wired for telemedicine, and partners with the University of California Los Angeles for its telestroke, teleinfection control, telepsychiatry and teleneonatal services. The hospital is even planning to incorporate hospital-at-home features for patients to allow for at-home biometric monitoring and virtual visits.

Smart patient beds record a patients weight daily and have sensors to alert nurses when patients at risk of falling attempt to get out of bed.

Photo courtesy of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital

Within in its patient rooms, the hospital has incorporated technology such as inpatient smartbeds that weigh each patient automatically each day and record the findings in the patient's electronic health record. The smartbeds also detect when a patient is getting out of bed and can alert the attending nurse if the patient is deemed a fall risk.

The hospital also incorporates technology to improve asset tracking. For instance, MLK uses smart bar coding in its pharmacy to track medication stocking and usage patterns, and to conduct other materials management functions.