Patient monitors: a segment poised for growth and innovation

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | May 19, 2016
Health IT Patient Monitors
From the May 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Also, the productivity that hospitals gain on the nursing side and having that information in real time are worth the investment. For physicians who come by to look at the EMR, they won’t have to wait 30 minutes to an hour for the technician to enter the vital signs. Welch Allyn’s Connex Spot Monitor, which received FDA approval in January, is designed to wirelessly transmit data directly to the EMR. The company has been integrating their monitors with EMRs since 2007, but this is the first time it offered a monitor that is designed for both acute care and physicians’ offices.

“It’s something hospitals are interested in because they understand how busy nurses are and the issues with accuracy if they are writing down vitals for a patient on a sticky note,” says Alton Shader, president of Welch Allyn. It’s a way to ensure that they have the most updated and accurate data in the EMR, which is critical since hospitals are increasingly using that data to create care plans for their patients.

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Mindray responded to the trend by offering simplified connectivity solutions including its eGateway, which serves as a “single pipe” from Mindray monitoring technology to the hospital’s EHR. The eGateway is based upon industry standards, including HL7 and the IHE PCD protocols, designed to support fast integration within the hospital IT environment.

In 2006, some of the early adopters started looking into device integration, but when the HITECH Act of 2009 was put into place it didn’t include integration so interest declined. However, more hospitals have started looking into this again over the past 15 months, according to Jeff McGeath, senior vice president at Iatric Systems. “Now people are still shopping, but they want to base it on what they need for clinical improvement and quality improvement measures, and not something to be handed to them through huge legislative incentive programs,” says McGeath.

Iatric Systems is a third-party company that assists hospitals when they want to integrate their monitors and EMRs. Halifax Regional Medical Center in North Carolina was interested in this because of the potential benefits, but the monitors kept dropping off of their wireless network. “The nurse would walk into the room and go to the patient and [the monitor] would say, ‘no network,’ and then they would have to reboot the monitor to reconnect it to the wireless network,” says Robert Gordon, senior IT leader at Halifax Regional Medical Center. “It would take up to two minutes for the monitor to reconnect and nurses aren’t very patient.”

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