17 Mar 2020

Preventing Medical Errors with Patient Monitoring and Integrated Device Data

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Adoption of digital health tools has grown significantly among all physicians since 2016 when the American Medical Association (AMA) first benchmarked the integration of emerging health technology into clinical practice. New AMA research shows more physicians recognize digital health tools as an advantage for driving improved efficiency and safety in healthcare. Currently, however, it is estimated that less than 1% of medical device information is being used for digital health.[1]

By increasing the use of – and reliance on – medical device information, healthcare providers will gain more insights into patient health to possibly reduce medical errors and reduce the overall cost of care.

Related Reading: Continuous Patient Monitoring Can Boost Staff Efficiency and Reduce Risk in Non-Critical Care Settings

The Problem: False Positives and Missed Diagnoses

Healthcare providers have a responsibility to deliver efficient and effective care to patients, from point of injury to diagnosis and follow-up care. Yet this can be a challenge when false positives  prevent a holistic patient journey.

A false positive is a result that indicates a condition is present in a patient when it is not, and the aftermath of incorrect readings are quite costly. When put in perspective, anywhere from 80% of alarms are not actionable – they fail to supply providers with a valuable source of information.[2]

Preventing these hiccups may seem simple due to various innovations within healthcare over the past decade, but an environment of fervid alarm frequency and volume can result in serious negative outcomes for patients. Consequences can include missing true positive alarms, breach of monitoring protocols, and poor use of providers’ time.[3]

The Solution: Increasing Connectivity Across Networks and Devices

Effective alarm management starts with integrating data systems and applications in real time to create a 360-degree view of the patient. Streamlining data connects all departments, reduces risk and adds flexibility – so doctors can read patient records on any device from anywhere. As these records are now secured, human error in transcription and data/chart mix-ups is virtually eliminated. With all patient information easily accessible from streamlined data servers, better team communication is achievable, even during shift changes.

Electronic health records (EHRs) help streamline patient data, including demographics, medical history, allergies, and lab test results. They are also monumental in triggering warnings and mobilizing hospital staff when data deems necessary. In fact, a McKinsey report on big data in healthcare states, “integrated systems have improved outcomes in cardiovascular disease and achieved an estimated $1 billion in savings from reduced office visits and lab tests.”[4]

The Onset of Strategic Planning and Predictive Analytics  

Digital data has streamlined the ability of providers to perform sophisticated information analyses to achieve improvements in numerous healthcare areas, from clinical to operational. Healthcare analytics typically involve statistical and quantitative analysis of data to examine or track an area in depth, as well as facilitate explanatory and predictive modeling to suggest ways of solving problems and achieving goals. The results are intended to give providers greater clinical confidence through treatment and decision support based on data from similar patients. Ultimately, data tools help to significantly reduce the number of preventable hospital-acquired conditions, and adverse events by 17% – while avoiding the unnecessary mortality of approximately 50,000 people.[5] By taking advantage of predictive analytics, clinical decision support tools, and additional data-driven strategies, clinicians will be able to develop and sustain a culture of care and safety within hospitals.

Related Reading: How Clinical Workflow and Early Detection Technologies Transform Patient Care

Managing the Complexities of Medical Device Integration

Streamlining medical monitoring devices – where patient monitoring and documentation work together – means providers no longer lose critical time manually inputting patient records. With this consolidation, vital signs are sent to EHRs right from the bedside. As a result, direct facetime and care between providers and patients increases, time spent on charting and documentation is reduced, and the risk of false positives also declines. These digital advancements have also allowed providers to  perform detailed information analyses throughout numerous care areas. Predictive analytics fosters an environment of quality care where patient safety is optimized.

Technological advancements that integrate monitoring, vital signs and computing can often prove to be overwhelming for healthcare organizations. As such, look no further than the Capsule Medical Device Information Platform (MDIP) to support the needs of your hospital and leverage the unlimited power of device data. Capsule’s MDIP combines health data from over 900 medical devices and systems. The smart integration platform contextualizes all available data and transforms it into visible, actionable, predictive insights. Each layer of MDIP helps providers maximize the value of their data, resulting in more positive patient outcomes.

Learn how to anticipate and manage the complexities of device integration by reading Capsule’s brochure, Medical Device Data: Empowering Clinicians and Improving Outcomes

[1] https://capsuletech.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Capsule_Brochure-MedDeviceDataEmpower_final-web.pdf

[2] https://bmjopenquality.bmj.com/content/7/3/e000202

[3] https://www.philips.com/c-dam/b2bhc/master/whitepapers/alarm-systems-management/Just-a-Nuisance.pdf

[4] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/the-big-data-revolution-in-us-health-care

[5] https://healthitanalytics.com/news/patient-safety-hospital-quality-improve-17-three-years