At MU Health Care, medical devices capture a large amount of critical patient data. Traditionally, clinicians have manually recorded the data and entered it into the medical record. This “swivel chair” interface results in:
Delayed entry of data into the EMR — Local studies indicated wide variances in data entry times, ranging from 2 minutes to as long as 8 hours.
Increased clinician workload — Many workflows involved a two-step process in which clinicians recorded data on paper, and then entered it into the EMR at a computer workstation.
Increased opportunities for data entry errors — Studies published in the Journal of Healthcare Information Management indicate that manual data entry yields error rates as high as 13.5%.
Given these findings, we implemented medical device integration with the EMR using three approaches. In the first approach, we deployed traditional HL7 interfaces where the device vendor had already provided its own system of servers for processing data. This approach permitted the vendor’s system to efficiently process the data, and then flow selected data to the EMR.
In the second approach, we worked extensively with Cerner, to use technology developed specifically to facilitate the flow of data to the EMR. Cerner’s CareAware solution employs specialized adapters and servers to process and flow the data from a variety of medical devices. Drivers obtained from each medical device vendor facilitate the connections. This was the most commonly used approach, driving the integration of more types of devices than any other.
In the third approach, we deployed medical devices that already contained the technology required to flow data directly to the EMR, without the need for additional adapters or data conversions. This effort focused on the deployment of vitals sign machines, which connected wirelessly to the hospital’s network, and then sent the data to the record through application servers in Cerner’s data center.
IT personnel and clinicians worked closely together to determine what parameters could be derived from each device, and what data needed to be moved to the EMR. MU Health Care and Cerner partnered to prepare the EMR to accept and chart the data.
We formed the device integration team to bring together critical skill sets from both IT and Clinical Engineering. With a single management structure to combine these two disciplines, we began efforts to use Cerner technology.
Our team integrated FetaLink, VitalsLink, respiratory ventilators, dialysis equipment, cardiac output, and anesthesia ventilators into the EMR, as well as a Real-Time Locating System and other technological innovations, resulting in the following benefits:
Removed risk of error by automating the manual process, achieving labor efficiencies
Removed the 2 minute to 8 hour lag for getting data into the EMR reducing it to as little as 60 seconds or less
Flowed data to algorithms that enable bedside intelligence for clinical decision-making
With a dedicated expert team, and innovative and flexible connection options, we will continue to deliver integrated devices that improve efficiencies and patient safety.
Join Mike Bragg, Director of Tiger Institute Technologies, and Bridgett Robbins RN, Clinical Manager – University of Missouri Health Care, at the Cerner Health Conference for their presentation entitled Improve Safety and Care and Enhance Efficiency Through Advanced Device Integration on November 3, 2014 at 10:30 AM.
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