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Coordinating the Dots: Putting the Grand Unified Theory of Healthcare Communications into Practice

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

Quick Summary

  • The Grand Unified Theory of Healthcare (GUTOH) encourages providers to conceptualize healthcare as a single force, rather than looking at each individual slice of the industry in a vacuum. GUTOH employs a data-driven approach, using metrics for quantitative improvement.


  • Putting a GUTOH into practice is all about drilling down to the jobs to be done (JTBD). Rather than focusing on the minutia of new technology, or only the end user’s perspective, consider the full lifespan of the system through the lens of every stakeholder. The goal is to identify the actual JTBD and to ensure that any technology used directly addresses those specific needs.


  • With CareSight joining the Lone Star Communication family, health systems are now able to develop compiled, actionable insights across integrated delivery networks (IDNs), nationally and worldwide.




In the world of particle physics, the Grand Unified Theory (GUT) is a model used to describe the universe. This theory posits that three distinct forces — electromagnetic, weak, and strong — once existed as a single force. Scientists who embrace this theory believe to better understand the universe, it’s necessary to explore how these forces work in tandem.

While healthcare providers are not trying to do anything as complex as explaining the structure of the universe, the GUT can be usefully applied to healthcare settings. The Grand Unified Theory of Healthcare (GUTOH), coined by Director of Research and Development at Lone Star Communications Justin Bailey, urges providers to conceptualize healthcare as a single force, rather than looking at each individual slice of the industry in a vacuum.

On a recent episode of the CarePoints Podcast, CareSight founder and CEO Kenny Schiff sat down with Justin to discuss the benefits of the GUTOH, and how to put it into practice day-to-day. Tune in to the video at the bottom of this post. Highlights of the interview as follows.


Looking at the Big Picture


The GUTOH encourages healthcare providers to look beyond the nurse call system, and consider the full continuum of the lifecycle of a hospital visit — and beyond. Under the GUTOH, organizations should also be able to assess and communicate with any systems that are used in ambulances, or as part of home healthcare.

As part of the GUTOH, it is essential that disparate systems are tied together and able to communicate with one another. Systems that are tied together are more effective collectively than they are separately.


Benefits of the GUTOH


The ultimate goal of this model is to keep patients out of the hospital, to begin with and to reduce the length of stay when hospitalization is necessary.

To achieve these goals, as part of the GUTOH, Justin advocates adopting a data-driven approach, using metrics for quantitative improvement. To effectively address deficiencies, healthcare systems must first compile actionable insights across IDNs.


Implementing the GUTOH: Jobs to be Done (JTBD)


Putting a GUTOH into practice is all about drilling down to JTBD. Rather than focusing on the specific attributes of new technology, or only the end-user’s perspective, consider the full lifespan of the system from every stakeholder's perspective. The goal is to identify the actual JTBD.


It is important when doing this, to keep in mind that the technologies used to complete various jobs can change over time, but the jobs themselves do not.

Focusing on the JTBD helps organizations avoid implementing unnecessary or superfluous technologies that do not truly address the task at hand. It’s often tempting to adopt new technology simply because it’s cutting-edge, but under the GUTOH, organizations are encouraged to ensure that the technologies they employ are solving specific problems.

One strategy for pinpointing the JTBD is to interview key stakeholders, asking them to identify the various and specific steps they follow to complete a particular task.


Applying JTBD to Nurse-Sensitive Indicators (NSIs)


NSIs enable healthcare providers to measure and explain elements of patient care and patient outcomes that are directly affected by nursing practices. NSIs are essential for accurately describing the contributions of nursing care. Identifying and measuring NSIs are critical first steps in building improvement plans in ambulatory care settings.

There are 12 NSIs used to assess patient care under the GUTOH:


  1. Falls

  2. Staff duress

  3. Alert Management

  4. Analytics/Insights/Prediction

  5. Barriers to discharge

  6. Counting of instruments/Surgical tools

  7. Duplication of efforts

  8. Patient Satisfaction/Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCHAPS)

  9. Alarm fatigue

  10. Operational uptime/System uptime

  11. Benchmarking/Recommended best practices

  12. Staff retention

Relatively all NSIs can be measured and tracked with specific metrics. Collecting and organizing data on these key NSIs allows providers to collaborate more effectively with hospitals and to achieve desirable outcomes.


Optimizing the GUTOH with CareSight


If achieving a GUTOH is the goal, then CareSight’s analytics are the dark matter that ties everything together to make the GUTOH possible.

CareSight’s analytics-as-a-service allows healthcare teams to collect and organize key data on metrics (like NSIs) so that providers can interface more efficiently with hospitals and optimize patient care.

Because CareSight is now part of the greater Lone Star Communication’s family, health systems will be able to develop compiled actionable insights across IDNs. This ensures IDNs will be used to assess performance within the four walls of a specific healthcare organization, while also comparing site-specific practices with best practices across health systems nationally and worldwide.


Looking to the Future of Healthcare

Achieving a GUTOH state is all about supporting advancements based on reliably reported data-driven metrics. CareSight’s analytics-as-a-service platform empowers IDNs to assess disparate systems and analyze the data across organizations.

CareSight’s model is poised to positively affect the world of healthcare in a number of ways:

  • Facilitating cohesive care in home health settings,

  • Decreasing the amount of time that caregivers expend on inefficient and superfluous technologies,

  • Improving quality of care through the utilization of new tech, under the JTBD methodology,

  • Enabling machine learning to mine data for new insights inside hospitals, within IDNs and, ultimately, across IDNs.


Many healthcare teams are surprised by just how much data is left out of the big picture using conventional software. With CareSight, all of this information is available in a consolidated, unified view.


With CareSight, the Grand Unified Theory of Healthcare (GUTOH) is within reach.


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Justin Bailey is the Director of Research and Development at Lone Star Communications and a thought leader on best practices when working with stakeholders through complex healthcare implementation projects.


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