How Connected Care Can Transform Patient Care

In today’s healthcare systems, technology has an ever-increasing presence. How can you take advantage of that technology’s potential to improve your patients’ experience? From electronic health records (EHRs) to continuous patient monitoring and smart medical devices, technology touches almost every point of patient care.

When connected to care teams, these technologies create a system that can help reduce errors, enhance collaboration and accelerate response time.1–3  Connected care is the result of weaving together numerous interoperable systems to make important patient information readily available to care teams.

The overall goal of connected care is to improve patient outcomes. Connected systems are able to collect and transmit the most up-to-date patient information. Care teams can then immediately access accurate patient information to quickly make informed decisions.

With almost 95% of hospitals using EHRs, many have taken the first step to introduce connected systems into their workflow.4 Hospitals can build on this foundation, integrate more products and technologies, and ultimately reach end-to-end connected care. 

For example, select continuous monitoring technologies can wirelessly detect a patient’s heart and respiratory rate in real time and alerts the appropriate healthcare providers if those rates go outside of predefined thresholds.5  As a result, patient issues may be identified sooner, which may allow acceleration of treatment and recovery times. 

Because 70–80% of patients show vital sign changes at least six hours before a critical event,6,7 continuous monitoring can help identify patient deterioration before crisis.5 Continuous monitoring has been shown to facilitate appropriate treatment which may lead to quicker recovery.5

EHRs and continuous monitoring technology are only the beginning. Many hospitals are already utilizing connected products and technologies, like smart bed surfaces and communication solutions, that work together to collect and transmit patient information. When these devices are part of a connected care environment, patient care teams may be significantly improved.1–3,5

Connected Care Case Study

In a recent study of over 7,500 patients, contact-free, continuous patient monitoring helped caregivers improve patient outcomes and hospital efficiency.5 

Better treatment

In the medical-surgical unit, contact-free, continuous monitoring led to5:

  • 67% reduction in cardiac arrest events in the medical-surgical unit. This was likely due to transfers to ICU units of patients showing signs of potential deterioration before an event.
Quicker recovery

After continuous monitoring there was5:

  • 45% reduction in ICU stay for medical-surgical transfer patients. This was likely due to transfers to ICU units of patients showing signs of potential deterioration before an event like cardiac arrest.
  • 9% reduction in medical-surgical unit length of stay. This was likely due to earlier transfers of patients to the ICU.

 

How can your hospital improve connected care? 

Steps for Connected Care Benefits of Connected Care
  • Accurate and complete patient information at the point of care
  • Facilitates efficient, coordinated care
  • Continuous collection and communication of patient status
  • Communication platforms can alert caregivers of predefined medical events 
  • Sensing technology can detect incontinence and provide trending information that can be used to help detect patient deterioration before complications occur
  • Data algorithms can help avoid data overload by identifying critical patterns
  • Data analysis can translate information to actionable insights
  • Alert systems to more quickly address patient needs in real time
  • Communication between care teams inside and outside the hospital

 

Summary

  • Connected care provides help to hospitals, caregivers and patients by: 
    • Supporting connections between systems to collect, transmit and make purposeful use of data 
    • Connecting care teams so they all have the most current patient information 
  • Continuous monitoring is one example of connected care that can enhance patient outcomes

 

How better connections enable better care 

Patient laying on Hillrom Centrella Bed

Centrella® Smart+ Bed & Compatible Devices

  • Alerts to risks of falls, incontinence events and caregiver determined heart and respiration rate changes that may signal deterioration, facilitating early intervention and reduced incidents
  • Smart bed technology that enables wired and wireless bed connectivity to make data visible, useful and actionable to aid in your patient safety initiatives

 

 

Caregiver with smartphone using mobile app

Voalte™ Mobile Solution

  • Connects caregivers no matter where they are, ensuring they have a continuous pulse on their patients and can respond quickly to patient needs 
  • Enables those working inside and outside the hospital to exchange information with each other and stay connected to their patients

 

 

Caregiver using the NaviCare Nurse Call

NaviCare® Nurse Call

  • Helps anticipate care to address patient falls and improve satisfaction
  • Reduces caregiver cognitive load through automated rounding reminders and virtual rounding that proactively identifies patients in an unsafe state 
  • Automatically turns bed exit alarms on or off based on patient risk, patient presence and caregiver location
  • Triages patient calls to reduce steps for the caregiver and wait time for the patient

 


References

1. Meccariello M, Perkins D, Quigley LG, Rocak A, Qui J. Vital time savings: Evaluating the use of an automated vital signs documentation system on a medical/surgical unit. J Healthc Inf Manag. 2010;24(4):46-51.

2. CareAware VitalsLink : Prepared by Cerner Corporation. 2013.

3. Fieler VK, Jaglowski T, Richards K. Eliminating errors in vital signs documentation. Comput Informatics Nurs. 2013;31(9):422-427.

4. Parasrampuria S, Henry J. Hospitals' use of electronic health records data, 2015–2017. Onc Data Brief, no 46. 2019. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; Washington, DC. Available at: https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/page/2019-04/AHAEHRUseDataBrief.pdf. Accessed January 23, 2020.

5. Brown H, Terrence J, Vasquez P, Bates DW, Zimlichman E. Continuous monitoring in an inpatient medical-surgical unit: A controlled clinical trial. Am J Med. 2014;127(3):226-232.

6. Rose MA, Hanna LA, Nur SA, Johnson CM. Utilization of electronic modified early warning score to engage rapid response team early in clinical deterioration. J Nurses Prof Dev. 2015;31(3):E1-E7.

7. Subbe CP, Kruger M, Rutherfor P, Gemmel L. Validation of a modified early warning score in medical admissions. QJM. 2001;94(10):521-526.