Looking up from my booth here at HIMSS, I notice convention staff picking up their pace, the cooling system is on high, and men are straightening their ties. Soon, hundreds of attendees will rush through the door. The exhibit floor is about to open.
While convention events are scheduled, in hospitals, patient events obviously are not. And clinicians must continuously monitor patient status from numerous devices to spot trends that may signal a change in patient condition, or even a life-threatening event. After clinicians are connected with patient data, monitoring it is the next key step in leveraging the data’s full value. Facilitating this simply, conveniently and meaningfully is a crucial function of a Medical Device Information System (MDIS).
Back to the cooler temperature. . . . does this necessarily signal that the convention hall is preparing for a crowd? Of course not. Similarly, a drop in a patient’s temperature can have many meanings. But when changes across multiple device parameters point in the same direction, this speaks volumes. A key goal of MDIS is to make it easy for clinicians to spot a trend.
Device integration itself, by virtue of eliminating the extra step of recording bedside data and inputting it into the EMR, frees clinicians to monitor patient data more consistently.
To streamline monitoring, a good MDIS also needs to meet a broad range of special criteria. It should support easy and convenient data validations so it does not tie up busy nursing time. Data should flow from all devices quickly and accurately to the EMR so that it can be accessed in a timely fashion. And the system should support all necessary parameters from all integrated devices as well as the preferred unit of measure.
If similar patient values are obtained from multiple devices, an MDIS should be able to distinguish among the sources if desired, or consolidate this information in some way. Above all, the MDIS should be flexible to enable new equipment to be easily added and device and location names to be changed as needed.
Of course another goal of the MDIS should be to streamline the job of the dedicated IT team working behind the scenes to ensure that the entire device data system functions seamlessly. Capsule achieves this with SmartLinx IQ, which provides operational intelligence and medical device analytics to the team behind the medical team.
To what degree does your hospital electronically monitor your bedside devices? Would it be helpful if this system could dive deeper into device data?