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Medical Device Integration Blog

Timing is Everything - Especially with Vital Signs!

Posted by Michelle Grate, RN MSN CPHIMS on Aug 08, 2014 @ 12:25 PM


The age old saying, “timing is everything,” still rings true today with Clinical Decision Support (CDS). The most effective time to present a CDS alert is immediately at the point-of-care. But how effective is an alert if the data triggering it is entered hours after the actual event?

To achieve the greatest benefit from CDS, data needs to be entered in near real-time. This is why automated documentation of vital signs is essential, even with periodic vitals collection.

We have long tried to achieve the ideal scenario of real-time bedside documentation, but incorporating the necessary workflow is difficult. While many facilities have deployed auto documentation for continuous monitoring in the ICU or the OR, the med/surg environment, or any location where periodic vital signs collection is performed, is often overlooked or not evaluated for automating documentation.

But why? This is an important environment that can benefit by enhancing CDS with automated periodic vital signs collection.

For example, early detection of a patient’s declining condition in the med/surg environment can lead to early intervention and prevent untoward events. CDS is an essential element in early detection and vital signs are a key component of many CDS rules. When vital signs are not entered into the electronic record for minutes or even hours after they are taken, the opportunity to maximize the benefits of early detection is lost.

It is as simple as this: the sooner data is entered, the sooner the CDS rule can trigger an alert and the sooner the patient can benefit. All of this will help lead to better outcomes.

The med/surg environment should be the patient's next stop in a hospital before going home, not back to the ICU or to another critical care area. Maximize the benefits of CDS with automated vital signs documentation at the point-of-care. Capsule's SmartLinx Chart Xpress™ works with a variety of spot check monitors and sends validated vital signs to information systems in near real-time.

 

Do you have automated vital signs documentation with your periodic monitoring locations?
What are some other benefits you see to automating this workflow?
Read More

Tags: Medical Device Integration, Alarms and Alerts, Medical Device Information System, Medical Device Data, Med-Surg, Low Acuity

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