Information technology produces vast amounts of data; however, in order to be truly useful, systems need to be integrated and data requires proper patient context. For example, vital sign measurements alone are not actionable without knowing patient demographics, history, and current observations. Vital signs can also contribute to the calculation of an early warning score to detect early identification of a patient’s decline. This information can be sent to a handheld nursing device as an alert or to a unit view in the EMR. In this example, multiple technologies - an electronic medical record, a medical device, a clinical calculator, and a nurse call system - are all integrated to provide actionable information to busy clinicians.
By definition, clinical informaticists “promote the understanding, integration and application of information technology in healthcare settings.” (1) Their position was born out of necessity as healthcare facilities implemented a variety of IT solutions that began to interrupt patient care. The clinical informaticist’s core challenge is to maximize the use of information technology, and at the same time, optimize clinical workflows, providing clinicians with information where and when it will have the most impact.
What, then, will support clinical informaticists in meeting this challenge?
Answers you might receive include “solutions that fit within clinical workflow and don’t add unnecessary time or tasks;” “solutions that work together for a complete picture of the patient;” or “solutions that provide multiple functions, ideally in a single workflow.” Each answer will require efficiency, interoperability, and the receipt of actionable information.
Here at Capsule, we’ve developed a solution to meet this challenge. SmartLinx Vitals Plus is a new category of patient monitor that aims to optimize the capture of patient vitals by performing multiple tasks and consolidating multiple applications all into a seamless bedside workflow. Monitoring … connectivity … documentation … early warning scoring … all in one device … all at the bedside … designed with clinicians for clinicians … you might even say that Vitals Plus was built with the heart of a clinical informaticist.
1. HIMSS – What is clinical informatics? http://www.himss.org/library/clinical-informatics/what-is
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