Medical Device Integration Blog

MONITOR: What's Trending Now?

Posted by Halley Cooksey, RN on Mar 13, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

Capsule-Icon-MONITORAlmost everyone is participating. The new world of social media connects vast numbers of people in every age, professional and ethnic group around the globe. In doing so, it has given rise to another phenomenon—the real-time tracking of trends—social, political, personal and much more. “What’s Trending Now” has become a commonplace headline in both traditional and new media outlets thanks to the easy access to broad social media data. As a society, we can’t seem to get enough of what’s on other people’s minds.

Just as social media aggregates posts, Tweets and Instagrams from individuals worldwide, a Medical Device Information System (MDIS) solution also aggregates data from devices of every type across the health care continuum. The result is providing an easier, more robust way to track the patient’s condition. It does this automatically and conveniently for the clinician in near real-time.

We clinicians have been tracking patient trends for decades for a more serious purpose—to deliver high quality patient care and facilitate the best outcomes possible. We continuously monitor patient status from numerous devices to identify trends that may signal a slight change in condition, or a life-threatening event. Sometimes we identify a subtle change in temperature; other times it is an obvious change in heart rate. In either case, as an astute clinician, we know in that “sixth-sense” way, something is going on with our patient and that we need to continue to monitor them closely. This often requires us to look at data from multiple devices and then make some sense out of it. Management and correlation of data can be challenging. A key goal of a MDIS is to mitigate that challenge.

The backbone of a MDIS is effective device integration. The integration of devices allows for a more streamlined approach to tracking information. It helps to eliminate the extra steps of manually recording bedside device data and then transcribing it into the EMR. In turn, this provides a consistent approach to monitoring and viewing patient data. Additionally, a well-designed MDIS should assist nurses by supporting their existing workflow. Let’s face it, as a nurse, I don’t want to know how all my device parameters are being supported, normalized and sent to the EMR in the correct unit of measure. What I do want to know is that I can get data from any device or monitor my patient is hooked up to and confidently know the information is correct, timely and requires minimal steps to validate it. I want the technology to work with me in a parallel fashion so that it almost seems like it isn’t even there. Finally, as a nurse, I need to know that the system can continue to meet the challenges of a dynamic care environment and will help me monitor my patient’s status so I always know what’s trending with them.

Have you ever been challenged by managing the data from today’s growing number of medical devices?

Do you think the addition of tablets and smart phones for patient information communication helps or hurts the situation?


Stay tuned for tomorrow's #AONE14 blog post:


Tags: Nurses, Medical Device Information System, MONITOR