Medical Device Integration Blog

Slow Down To Achieve Expected Results with Medical Device Integration in Med-Surg

Posted by Ken Choquette on Oct 15, 2014 @ 03:00 PM

“Slow Down” may not be words people use when talking about device integration.  Not all device integration initiatives are created equal.  Achieving results within med-surg units requires a bit more clinical involvement than it does in a higher acuity unit. 

Frequently, organizations want to move too fast, which undermines the value of integrating devices in these units, frustrates the implementation team, and worse, destroys end user adoption.  Neglecting the clinicians’ workflow or not conducting a network assessment in the med-surg area could render the system as unusable.  Usually, this is the result of not involving the implementation team in the device integration roll-out and hence, they’re not understanding the issue(s) you are trying to solve.

The decision for device integration in med-surg is the “starting gun” to set goals and to set the finish line.  Start by finding a baseline. 

  • What are you trying to solve with device integration in med-surg? 
  • Who currently collects the data?  How is it collected? 
  • How is data entered into the patient record?  
  • How much clinical time does documentation take away from nursing? 

We know that these are not always the easiest answers to obtain prior to integration, but knowing the current state from start to finish will help an organization set the right expectations for how device integration can improve the efficiency and safety of the existing workflows – and better yet, quantify it.

By taking a little time in beginning of the project – by SLOWING down at the start – your implementation will stay on track and result in FAST adoption and a success story for all to share.

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Tags: Medical Device Connectivity, Medical Device Integration, Implementation, Medical Device Infrastructure

Maximizing the Benefits of Your Medical Device Integration Strategy

Posted by Michelle Grate, RN MSN CPHIMS on Jul 01, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

A successful strategy is crucial to helping guide decisions throughout an organization, making it critical that it be in alignment with the organizational goals that it is designed to support.  If the strategy is developed without a clear understanding of those goals, then resources, effort, and money can easily be misappropriated. 

When it comes to information technology, a strategy would not be complete without a thorough architecture covering all aspects of an enterprise. However, one of the challenges for developing that strategy is to look into the future and make plans for current infrastructures as well as potential emerging technologies.  A good enterprise architecture will assist in keeping the focus on growth and the necessary predecessors to get there.

With respect to integrating medical device data with the electronic health record (EHR), the strategy needs to look at the current and long term needs of the organization in order to maximize the investment of the medical device information system (MDIS).  Gone are the days when the ICU is considered the only location for integration of medical devices. 

The vast amount of patient data that can be collected and analyzed for real-time clinical decision support can lead to better outcomes. The more medical devices that are connected to the EHR and other information systems, the greater the amount of patient data that can be evaluated for clinical decisions.  Developing a MDIS strategy will help guide the organization's goals and plans over a long term period and keep the organization focused on their patients as they pursue expanding their use of medical device data.


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Tags: Medical Device Connectivity, Medical Device Integration, Implementation, Medical Device Information System, CONNECT, Medical Device Infrastructure

Who’s On Your Selection Committee?

Posted by Halley Cooksey, RN on May 14, 2014 @ 06:03 PM

For football lovers (which if you recall, I am not) the hopes and dreams of their favorite team winning a Super Bowl began to take form with the recently completed official NFL draft. My husband, the notorious arm-chair quarterback, is jazzed that his beloved Cleveland Browns have drafted Mr. Football aka Johnny Manziel.

I, on the other hand, feel ambiguous about it, but if it is one less play called from his recliner this year then I am psyched too! But I have to admit that from the non-football lover’s perspective, I find all the strategy that goes into making the right draft picks interesting. Whether it’s trading a first round pick for two or three second round picks, or aligning draft picks for a better position next year, all this strategizing got me thinking about how this relates to healthcare.

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Tags: Medical Device Integration, Implementation, Healthcare Technology

To Make the Most of a MDI Project, Know Your Hospital from the Inside Out

Posted by Capsule on Dec 10, 2013 @ 04:00 PM

Ever feel like the more your department budget shrinks, the more the demands on your time grow? In today’s healthcare environment, many have to do more with less, work harder and make smarter choices about how we go about meeting responsibilities. Smart choices are particularly important when all-too-scarce healthcare dollars are in play for a major technology initiative like medical device integration (MDI). That’s why it’s critical to take a long, hard look at not only at the type of MDI to implement, but also at what devices to integrate and how to plan for a positive impact on workflow.

Before Sentara Healthcare embarked on a major multi-phase MDI implementation, the organization took an in-depth look at their facility to determine:

  • the project’s specific goals
  • what equipment and IT infrastructure was currently in place
  • plans and goals for future technology
  • the needs of all clinical equipment users
Once these topics are addressed, you can move on to dealing with several important considerations that will help plan for the most cost-effective and efficient use of MDI:
  • Devices with high volumes of data. In particular, physiological monitors are used on most patients across the hospital and produce tremendous amounts of information on an ongoing basis. Automating this data flow will save clinicians hours of transcription time.
  • Legacy devices. Do you plan to replace these devices in the near future and does your MDI vendor support them in the meantime?
  • Technology expansion. If your hospital is likely to expand technologies in the near future, a vendor neutral MDI solution may be the best choice. Vendor neutral solutions support the movement of patient data regardless of the type or model of medical device being used or the information system you have in place.
  • Device parameters. Does your medical team need all the parameters and measurements from a particular device in the EMR? Probably not. Include only those that are necessary today to limit the traffic on your hospital network, but make sure others can be added easily in the future as needed.
  • Units of measure. Do all devices reporting to a particular EMR field share the same units of measure, such as Fahrenheit or Celsius? If not, pick a consistent unit, and convert your measurements for a standardized presentation in the EMR.
  • Data capture frequency. How often does the patient data need to be charted? The time interval requirements will vary among each care environment or application to which you plan to send patient and device data. One to five minute intervals may be acceptable inpatient charting, but immediate data delivery is required for a high priority device alarm to your alarm and alert system
  • Naming conventions. Make sure the name of locations such as hospital rooms, beds, and units is standardized throughout the facility and therefore in your EMR.

For more information about Sentara’s ambitious MDI implementation, read the recent case study in Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare (PSQH) magazine here.

Has your hospital integrated any medical devices into an EHR or other hospital IT system? Share your tips for maximizing the impact of a MDI installation.
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Tags: Medical Device Connectivity, Medical Device Integration, Implementation