5 ways smartphones can be linked to hospital systems

A middleware strategy can better support caregivers overwhelmed with patient care alerts

5 ways smartphones can be linked to hospital systems

A new report from Spyglass Consulting Group finds that 90 percent of surveyed hospitals are making enterprisewide investments in smartphones and secure mobile communication platforms to drive clinical transformation and identify common communication challenges that clinicians face.

The surveyed hospitals identify common challenges nurses, physicians and other clinicians have confronted that a new smartphone strategy could rectify, notes Gregg Malkary, founder and managing director at Spyglass. In particular, clinicians are overwhelmed by overhead paging systems, regular pagers, landline phones, proprietary VoIP handsets, incoming voice and text communications and a continuous stream of device alarms, leaving little time for direct patient care. However, a next generation platform can use middleware to integrate newer communication systems with five core hospital legacy systems.

Nurse call systems

All surveyed hospitals that had deployed middleware were integrating with the nurse call system to generate and send a text-based notification to a nurse’s smartphone when a patient uses a call button to request a nurse.

Biomedical devices

Some 85 percent of hospitals were connecting communication systems with biomedical devices to monitor patients’ current condition and status. Unfortunately, 85 percent to 95 percent of the alarms are considered clinically insignificant and a distraction to the nursing staff, who often become desensitized to the alarms and may not respond when an alarm truly requires immediate intervention.

Electronic health records systems

Nearly 80 percent of the surveyed hospitals using middleware were connecting with the EHR through an HL7 interface to retrieve clinically significant information required for care team communications and collaboration.

Laboratory systems

Some 52 percent of hospitals were monitoring the lab system to identify abnormal lab results; when lab tests showed results that require intervention, the system is able to generate and send a text-based notification to the smartphone of the appropriate nurse.

Pharmacy systems

Nearly half of the surveyed hospitals with middleware were monitoring their pharmacy systems to identify physician STAT medication orders and sent a text notification to the appropriate nurse.

More Information

The complete report from Spyglass is available for purchase here.

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