Medical Device Integration Blog

Karen Lund, RN BSN

Role at Capsule: Clinical Consultant Degrees & Certifications: RN, BSN, MNI in progress Hospitals / Organizations Worked At: New England Deaconess Hospital, Sharp Memorial Hospital, UCSD Medical Center, Scripps Healthcare Areas of the hospital you have worked SICU, MI/CCU, Heart Lung Transplant, IT Who/what inspired you to become a nurse? I was a candy striper and saw what I call the fantastic voyage. I got to look through a learning scope as a doc did a bronchoscopy in search of aspirated pizza. What is the most rewarding part of being a nurse – to you? Fixing problems, Macgyvering things. What is the biggest adventure you have ever been on? Life is an everyday adventure. I like being out in the middle of nowhere in a forest or foreign country.

Recent Posts

Applying Technology in Nursing: Lessons to be Learned From Other Industries

Posted by Karen Lund, RN BSN on Nov 04, 2014 @ 10:17 AM

Technology will not replace nurses at the bedside, but applied appropriately can enable nurses to work smarter rather than harder, and help alleviate some of our complex practice issues. Yes, we need better staffing ratios, work environments and benefits for when our aging baby boomer population requires more care.  But we also need to provide nurses with the right technology tools and support to enable them to deliver the best care possible.  In fact, if we can make nursing “cool” from a technology perspective, then perhaps more young people would be attracted to the profession and help alleviate some of our nursing shortage. 

Just as nursing theory has drawn from professions like psychology, sociology, physiology, anthropology and other disciplines to create better nursing practices, we should also draw from cutting edge technologies to help us provide better and more efficient care at the bedside.  For example, just as manufacturing applied Toyota’s “lean” strategy, nursing has started applying it to health care by giving nurses the power to change their environment to support their ability to deliver better patient care.  But there are still many, many ideas we can borrow from other industries. Waiters in restaurants, for example, can order food from the kitchen using a handheld device while customers are giving their food order.

As nurses, we should be able to order and/or charge supplies, chart medications, take and post pictures and chart all from one device. Nurses should be able to monitor patient vital signs, and automatically record changes to the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and receive notification of trending changes. 

The technology solutions to achieve these simple, yet time and resource consuming tasks is available today, but have sadly been slow to adopt. I challenge you to ask you hospital why not? Why aren’t they using the technology that would help nurse to give better, more efficient, safer care to patients?
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Tags: Medical Device Connectivity, Medical Device Integration, Healthcare Technology, Medical Device Information System, Medical Device Data

You can change the face of Sepsis. (Yes you!)

Posted by Karen Lund, RN BSN on Sep 30, 2014 @ 05:41 PM

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, care for persons with sepsis is one of the most costly health conditions with a total healthcare expense of over $20 billion every year.  Why put this burden on hospitals and families?

Early detection, early treatment, lower costs, decreased mortality and better long term outcomes all are dependent on the prompt and correct diagnosis of sepsis. And it’s easy to do if your hospital recognizes their data is a critical asset in fighting sepsis. By compiling all data elements from various systems and utilizing that data to its fullest is an indication your hospital sees the value of its data. 

Why would you only use the four data points of Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) to detect sepsis when you could be analyzing and evaluating over 120 different data points from the entire EMR for more accurate early detection and communication? Who wouldn’t want to decrease mortality and the number of catastrophic long-term multi-system organ effects of post-sepsis syndrome? 

Does your hospital see their data as an asset? Look to optimize the use of your data to combat sepsis with Clinical Vigilance for Sepsis software from Capsule.

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Tags: Sepsis

Multitasking Nightmares? Tame Them with A MDIS

Posted by Karen Lund, RN BSN on Jul 10, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

Rising patient acuity and dramatically shortened hospital stays are threatening nurses’ ability to meet the needs of their patients. We are constantly on the move, switching from activity to activity, too often finding it difficult to spend enough time with our patients.

How many times have you had to tap your super-power multitasking abilities? Daily? Take, for example, the following all too common scenario. Patient #1 is coming back from surgery. The blood bank calls to say the packed red blood cells are ready for patient #2. You’re waiting for labs in order to give medications to patient #3. Your nurse aide has just informed you that your confused patient #4 has just fallen out of bed and requires immediate help. And patient #5 is waiting for you to complete brand new procedures for discharge paperwork so he can leave the hospital. Sound eerily familiar?

Nurses have adapted to the endless demands for our attention in order to meet both patient needs and their facility’s goals. Distractions may come in many forms on top of patient care, such as new equipment, increased education for new procedures, documentation requirements, and orienting new staff. Krichbaum (2007) reported 40% or more of a nurse’s workday is outside of direct patient care. So what happens when nurses feel like they’re no longer helping the patient and that they’re overwhelmed with non-value tasks? Burn out?

A Medical Device Information System (MDIS) can help nurses gain back more time by helping improve the efficiency of patient documentation. It automatically integrates your medical device data into your hospital’s information system(s), which can save documentation time, increase communication, all while improving accuracy and timeliness. Moreover, in addition to providing connectivity with the EMR, an MDIS delivers monitoring, management and analysis of real-time patient data, enabling nurses to recognize signs of a patient’s physiological deterioration.

Why is this important? An MDIS is one of the few IT solutions that can take some of the pressure off those who give care to our loved ones, while offering real enhancements to the quality of care we are so committed to deliver.

If your facility has already deployed medical device integration capabilities, what kind of impact has it had on your daily activities? And if you haven’t, what’s holding you back?

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Tags: Patient Care, Workflow, Medical Device Information System, Clinical, Clinical Documentation

The Big Picture of Patient Care

Posted by Karen Lund, RN BSN on May 22, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

Nurses often talk about understanding “the big picture” in order to provide safe, competent care. As technologies move closer to the bedside, the practicing nurse naturally becomes a major user of them. As a nurse, it’s critically important that we know our patients.  That means, connecting the technologies and data together to get a clear picture about the true state of the patient.  However, with complicated patients the focus is sometimes blurry.

Knowing your patient well – having an accurate assessment of trending data and a good practice foundation – will help bring that picture into focus. But, with constantly evolving health care reform, the worsening nursing shortage and the increase in the elderly population, our workplace will demand nurses to be even more adaptable, efficient and flexible.  We will no longer be able to make slow changes in practice, but will need to predict outcomes accurately, and swiftly alter our practice to keep up with future demands. That makes research, evidence-based interventions and clinical decision support – information technology – critical to getting the “big picture” and improving patient care. 

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Tags: Patient Care, Patient Safety, Nurses, Healthcare Technology

A Nurse's Intuition

Posted by Karen Lund, RN BSN on Apr 16, 2014 @ 01:30 PM

We develop an interesting set of skills as nurses. We have that 6th “early warning sense” … intuition, if you will … when something just isn’t right with a patient. Patient deterioration is often difficult to assess because of the complex nature of patient care and the need for accurate assessment skills. I had a septuagenarian nursing instructor who said we were never allowed to tell a doctor “there’s something wrong with the patient.” We had to describe the signs and symptoms that made us believe the patient was in trouble. This invaluable lesson created stronger relationships between the nurses and doctors, while being beneficial to the patients.

As nurses we use all our senses and our powers of observation to help us care for patients. But to do this, it requires us to be in the room with the patient. We see the color changes on a patient’s skin. We hear what they’re saying to us and their breathing patterns. We can smell the various scents of a patient’s condition as soon as we enter the room. Our sense of touch can detect a patient with a fever before taking their temperature. I won’t cover the sense of taste here… except to say we greatly appreciate the treats families bring into us.

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Tags: Nurses, Clinical Analytics, ANALYZE