According to a World Health Organization report published in June 2011, developed countries follow better practices in the health care domain because they are more likely to integrate information systems to provide better care to patients. Medical Devices Integration is one such process, which plans to bridge the barrier between medical device data and hospital enterprise networks. It helps hospitals automate the collection of patient device data for transmission to the EMR and eliminate manual data entry, resulting in better health care facilities.
How Does Medical Devices Integration Work?
With the use of wireless technologies, data from patient monitoring devices is seamlessly integrated with information systems that help in tracking patients’ vital signs (blood pressure, oxygen saturation, etc). This data is transferred directly to each patient’s electronic medical record and the hospital’s healthcare information system, removing the dependence on manual entry. Not only does the process reduce the hassle of paperwork, it also helps in better prediction of the patient’s health status and provides a faster flow of information. Patient information is contained in a central data repository, which contains the metrics on the patient’s progress, providing a one-stop framework for analysis.
Medical Devices Integration: Basic Requirements
Collecting data from medical devices and integrating them with information systems is a specialized task that needs some aspects to be taken care of. Some of the requirements that need to be fulfilled for the process to work include:
- Technology savvy medical devices: The medical devices in the hospital must have the capability to transmit data in digital form to the EMR.
- Centralized server: All the data from the medical devices should be transferred to a central server that acts as the repository for all patient records. The server should provide facilities like the ability to review and edit data, and regularly create backups for the information on a temporary database.
A high speed wireless Internet connection is mandatory for the process to be quick and efficient. A good and secure connection ensures efficient delivery of data to the central repository, which in turn helps to improve the quality quotient of healthcare associated with each patient.
Benefits of Medical Devices Integration
More and more hospitals are employing Medical Devices Integration to automate the data flow to their servers and to improve the hospital workflow. Some of the major benefits of using medical devices integration system are:
- Improve quality of healthcare: Healthcare services offered to the patients are drastically improved by using the medical devices integration process. Regular and error free transfer of patient data to the central servers allows doctors to analyse information and predict the patient’s present condition better. This helps in customizing the treatment according to specific requirements.
- Increases efficiency and improves workflow: Automation of data collection from medical devices helps reduce errors that could occur due to manual data entry, thereby resulting in improved efficiency for the staff. Hospital workflow also gets standardized because of the automation process, which helps in assigning roles and responsibilities to employees better.
- Improves communication: Because all the data is available at one place, communication problems are less likely to occur. Also the tracking and reporting features in the information system make it possible to identify any deviation and/or non-conformance.
Health care organizations are continually evaluating new technologies that can improve the quality of healthcare and medical devices integration is one such process that promises to deliver. Medical device integration will result in enhancing the value of EMR and its adoption by clinical staff. Physicians can focus more on patient care by continually tracking the data from medical devices, which makes the process essential for patient safety and satisfaction.