Emma Fauss: Remote Monitoring Is No Remote Concern for Hospitals

Remote monitoring and virtual surveillance are quickly becoming a top priority at hospitals across the country. One of the main drivers is the growth of health systems where the main campus is looking for ways to remotely monitor its rural and sub-acute facility patients. Another driver is the desire to remotely monitor patients in higher risk units such as burn and isolation units.

Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) in Houston faced this need in 2014 after the Ebola outbreak in Dallas. It wanted to be prepared to address the needs of these special critically ill patients and decided to create the first pediatric special isolation unit (SIU) in the country. The goal of the SIU was to serve children with highly contagious diseases such as Ebola.

As officials went about designing the unit, they realized there were challenges to overcome. Specifically, in order to reduce patient risk and maintain safety of staff while providing care, clinical teams needed to view electronic health record (EHR) and patient monitoring data as if they were in the isolation room. This need created both technical and clinical workflow challenges. To solve them, TCH created a multidisciplinary team. The team outlined all the clinical workflow scenarios and the technological infrastructure required to meet them. The result of that effort led to the following key requirements for the unit:

  • Flexible, vendor-neutral, remote monitoring across multiple devices
  • Real-time streaming data including waveforms across devices
  • Data synchronization across devices
  • Remote video monitoring
  • Collaborative integration activities with multiple third parties
  • Data and remote views embedded within Epic patient monitor

Julie McGuire, RN, MSN from Texas Children’s Hospital, and I will speak about this project in detail at the upcoming AAMI Annual Conference & Expo in Austin. We will present the various workflows, the infrastructure, the product research process, the solution designed to fit the workflow, and the results. We also will discuss lessons learned and what you may want to consider when deploying remote monitoring use cases.

Julie and I will then conduct an interactive break-out activity where we will work with audience members to design a remote workflow specific to the needs of your hospital.

Please join us at the AAMI conference on Monday at 11:15 a.m. local time in Room 18B for our session Real-Time Cardiac Monitoring in EHR: Workflows for the FIrst Pediatric Isolation Unit in the U.S.

If you would like to be one of the first to submit your suggestion for our break-out activity, please send me an email at emma@mic.healthcare.  If you would like to schedule a personal demo at AAMI, have another question, and/or can’t make it to session, feel free to contact me any time with your questions and needs. Thank you. We hope to see you in Austin.

Emma Fauss, PhD, MBA, is chief executive officer of Medical Informatics Corp.

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