With so many people and things to look after in a health-care environment, a lot can go wrong - the worst being the death of a patient. Delivering optimal care while also controlling costs is the ultimate challenge across the health-care industry, yet many processes and procedures that underpin facility operations and ultimately patient services are still antiquated and archaic. Given the complexities and challenges facing health care, technology can help keep an eye on all "the stuff," so clinicians can pay more attention to patients. Situational awareness technology makes it easier to assess, prioritize and respond to alarms more quickly to improve workflow and therefore the delivery of patient care from admission through discharge. Besides emergency alerting, situational awareness also applies to business operations. With greater efficiency in all areas, costs will go down while quality goes up.
Situational awareness and response management
A code blue, an infant abduction, a fire - these are just a few of the emergencies possible within a hospital. But most alarm systems operate independent of one another, in silos. And because emergency code broadcasting is still a manual process in many hospitals, delays and omission of critical information can occur. But disparate alarm systems, including those for patient monitoring, can be integrated for centralized monitoring, alerting and reporting. It's also possible to broadcast emergency codes directly to clinicians via their mobile devices rather than use the PA system or radio network. The SARA automated alerting engine unifies all alarm and communications systems so detailed alerts are delivered through virtually any device - from smartphones to computer screens to public address systems. Live video from integrated security cameras also can be pushed to desktops. By giving SARA "eyes" through a capability called video paging, responders can see an event as it's unfolding to better inform response. Prerecorded videos, maps/floor plans and photos also can be included in video pages, as preprogrammed through SARA's modes and actions.
Lack of information or disruptions in its flow can
endanger lives, so we've developed a complete iOS-based mobile dashboard solution, including phone
and network, for use in acute care environments. The preprogrammed dashboards
trigger the appropriate alerts along with the subsequent acknowledgements to
indicate which clinicians or caregivers "own" those alerts. This
feature improves communication and workflow among those on shift because
there's no duplication of effort or searching for each other because every
alert, location and response is shown. And with SARA, clinicians and staff can receive alerts on their mobile devices, instead of
being tied to a nurses' station or alarm panel. Valuable time is saved, and
responses can be prioritized according to the situation, thanks to detailed
alerts instead of generic alarms.
Violent crime has increased in hospitals with most assaults occurring in the patient's room, according to the Emergency Nurses Association. When dealing with an agitated patient, family member or visitor in or outside the room, mobile duress provides clinicians and other staff with a discreet yet effective means of alerting others when help is needed. And because location data is transmitted as part of an alert to security and/or other clinicians and personnel on duty, response time is further reduced. There's a correlation between staff safety and job satisfaction and therefore patient care and satisfaction. That makes mobile duress an important consideration for any hospital serious about its mission and protecting those who carry it out.
A Florida hospital lost an entire supply of skin grafts because of a refrigerator malfunction. A freezer malfunction severely damaged a third of the world's largest collection of brain samples being used to study autism. These two headline-making incidents alone underscore the importance of environmental monitoring in acute care, not to mention that temperature monitoring/logging is a regulatory requirement. Environmental monitoring also includes air sampling, plus let's not forget HVAC systems for patient and staff comfort as well as to control energy costs, plus sensors for moisture/humidity in server rooms as well as smoke and cigarette busters. Given the serious liabilities and number of applications within an acute care environment, SARA should be used to detect a sudden change, when an acceptable threshold has been exceeded, or when a system fails so staff can investigate and remedy the situation before serious damage occurs.
Examples of how SARA can be used in acute care include:
Status Solutions has developed other situational awareness technologies to better serve patients and help clinicians. Our self-service solution can be used in acute care environments to serve as communication portals. For example, patients can use them to order meals and access other digitized content, while providers automate and streamline those back-end processes.