As the healthcare industry adapts to a value-based care model and an increasingly complex environment, the pressure is on for health systems to rise to these new ways of working. They not only must deliver care efficiently and effectively at every level of acuity, but they must also focus on simplifying workflows, providing clinicians with fast and accurate information and making the most of existing IT systems. This all must occur while enhancing the patient and clinician’s experience, improving health outcomes and lowering costs.

However, there are a number of challenges that providers face as they try to accomplish these objectives. For one, hospitals are never stagnant. With staff rotating in and out of departments for their shifts, patients being moved between areas and technology that is not fully integrated or updated in real time, there are many causes for variation in care, which can affect clinical performance and patient outcomes. Secondly, the problem of alarm fatigue is a huge concern for clinical staff. Sometimes, the monitoring and alarming systems designed to help patients can inundate clinicians, leading to alarms being disregarded because care teams cannot determine if they require action.

The importance of coordinated care

With the Philips Information Center iX (PIC iX) at the heart of the patient monitoring solution, the central monitoring system fits securely into a hospital’s IT environment to help clinicians meet critical challenges. PIC iX provides visibility into a patient’s clinical data virtually anywhere, anytime – at the bedside, during patient transport or via mobile apps and smart devices – to support clinician communications and streamline workflows. The system is highly integrated and securely feeds a steady stream of detailed patient data, such as vital signs, waveforms and alarms, into an electronic health record (EHR), enabling virtually gap-free patient records from admission to discharge – even during transport.

Additionally, PIC iX includes technology that can help clinicians triage and prioritise alarms, helping them to reduce the level of non-actionable alarms. Alarm Advisor, for example, keeps track of how a clinician is responding to each patient’s alarms and can make recommendations based on hospital policy, such as modifying alarm parameters. It also incorporates clinical decision support tools, advanced algorithms and early warning score trending to help clinicians identify a patient’s deterioration early – something that is central to avoiding adverse events that require transfers back to the intensive care unit.

Philips’ patient monitoring solution also includes PIC iX Data Warehouse Connect (DWC), which enables health systems to take advantage of the rich device data beyond the EHR. DWC is a continuous, high-resolution data-capture and storage solution that covers various devices, such as ventilators. Organisations can use this rich data set to execute quality-improvement programs, boost operational efficiency and conduct cutting-edge research. It also provides access to clinical expertise from Philips’ Advanced Algorithm Research Center to extract and mine data, and assist in delivering algorithms and predictive analytics for specific clinical and operational outcomes.

Working together

With patient safety as a top concern, health systems need to see medical device companies not only as providers of technology solutions in patient monitoring, but also as powerful collaborators who transcend traditional box-selling and prepare them for the future. Philips works with hospitals to help them customise and standardise their protocols and people, while also providing the ongoing consulting, training, service, and support essential for enhancing outcomes and driving clinical performance – for life.