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Connectivity Series: Philips Equipment

Written by Laurie Blount, Director of Medical Device Integration, Iatric Systems

Connectivity Series: Philips EquipmentAs promised, this is my second post in a series that provides details about our Accelero Connect team’s experience integrating specific manufacturers’ medical devices with your EHR. Last time, the focus was GE devices. Today, I’ll focus on Philips equipment.

If you already use Philips, you know there are many details to understand in order to integrate those devices with your EHR. The Philips network can have a variety of equipment in play, and figuring out how best to set up your integration can get confusing. So I’m going to give you some information, some common configurations we’ve seen, and include details about our Philips integration experience along the way.

Let’s start simple and break it down into some easy-to-consume chunks:

Gateways and Integration Solutions
Depending on which Philips monitoring equipment your hospital is using, you may have the IntelliVue Database Server (DBS) or the newer IntelliBridge Enterprise (IBE) solution. Both solutions integrate with Philips Central Stations capable of sending outbound HL7 ORU results from the devices integrated on the Philips network.

NOTE: For hospitals which still have the legacy integration solutions AgiLink and HAI, you may know that Philips stopped supporting that platform at the end of 2014. The IBE solution is what Philips recommends as a replacement.

Here are some additional details about Philips gateways and integration solutions:

  • Database Server (DBS) – This sits on top of the Philips network and can communicate to all Central Stations on the Philips network. Used as a gateway for integration outside the Philips network, it aggregates all ORU messages from the Central Stations and monitor groups and sends to an outbound target. For example, we’ve seen the DBS send ORU to Philips AgiLink, as well as medical device integration solutions such as Accelero Connect.
  • IntelliBridge Enterprise (IBE) – This is the newest Philips integration solution designed for sending data from Philips medical devices to an EHR or other outbound targets. IBE only works with Philips equipment. We typically see facilities that have purchased a variety of products from Philips (continuous monitoring, anesthesia machines, perinatal system, etc.) using the IBE platform. IBE can communicate directly with medical device integration solutions such Accelero Connect and may also be able to send Philips data directly to your EHR.
  • AgiLink – This is the legacy Philips integration solution for ORU outbound from Philips monitoring systems. As I mentioned above, it is no longer supported.
  • Hospital Admissions Interface (HAI) – Typically used in conjunction with AgiLink, HAI is the legacy Philips product for integrating ADT inbound to the Philips network, to assist clinicians with admitting patients to the monitor or Central Station. Like AgiLink, it is no longer supported by Philips. For hospitals needing to replace patient "pick list" functionality formerly provided by HAI, we’ve found that the IBE solution is the only way Philips will support receiving ADT into the newer platform.

Central Stations:

  • Philips IntelliVue Information Center (PIIC) – Versions of PIIC vary per hospital. The latest is iX, which was specifically refactored to integrate more efficiently with the IBE product. Historically, the term PIIC referred to only a Central Station, which usually services a hospital unit’s monitor group.

Monitoring Devices:

  • IntelliVue Continuous Monitors – Philips IntelliVue continuous monitoring equipment can be networked to a Central Station, DBS, or IBE. One Philips DBS can be used to communicate with one or more Philips Central Stations. You may have multiple Philips DBS servers in your environment. Each Philips DBS can be configured to communicate directly with your EHR through a medical device integration solution or IBE — more on that in just a moment.
  • VS3s and VS4s – Philips also manufactures low acuity monitors, the VS3 and VS4 product lines. These devices can be individually configured to reside on your hospital’s wired or wireless network and communicate directly with your EHR through a medical device integration solution such as Accelero Connect. All of the complexities of multiple device connections coming on and off the network at different times can be handled by a medical device integration solution when using these low acuity devices from Philips.
  • IntelliVue Guardians – Also used in a low acuity setting, the Guardian devices typically communicate via one Central Station when sending ORU messages to an integration solution.

Interoperability Options
We’ve seen IBE only address data from Philips products or the Philips network which it supports. IBE likely will not communicate with your smart pumps, nor with your low acuity monitors – for example, Welch Allyn CVSMs.

True vendor-agnostic and EHR-agnostic medical device integration solutions, such as Accelero Connect, can transfer data from Philips equipment to your EHR (with or without IBE), plus consume and pass data from other medical device manufacturers’ equipment — GE, Welch Allyn, Hospira, B. Braun, Nihon Kohden, Mindray, Fukuda Denshi, etc. — into your EHR. 

With Philips, there is a variety of ways we can accommodate interoperability needs. So here are a few examples of configurations we’ve seen at hospitals.

For ORU messages from Philips to EHR:

  • PIIC (old version) --> DBS --> AgiLink --> EHR
  • PIIC (old version) --> DBS --> Accelero Connect --> EHR
  • PIIC (old version) --> DBS --> IBE --> EHR
  • PIIC (old version) --> Accelero Connect --> EHR
  • PIICix --> IBE --> EHR
  • PIICix --> IBE --> Accelero Connect --> EHR

For ADT to Philips:

  • PIIC (old version) <-- DBS <-- HAI <-- EHR
  • PIIC (old version) <-- HAI <-- EHR
  • PIIC (old version) <-- DBS <-- Accelero Connect <-- EHR
  • PIIC (old version) <-- DBS <-- IBE <-- EHR
  • PIIC (old version) <-- IBE <-- EHR
  • PIIC (old version) <-- IBE <-- Accelero Connect <-- EHR
  • PIICix <-- IBE <-- EHR
  • PIICix <-- IBE <-- Accelero Connect <-- EHR

Without belaboring the point, the lists above are really an indication of how flexible Accelero Connect can be as an integration solution. So, depending on what configuration options you have for Philips at your hospital, we can discuss your EHR integration options from many angles.

I hope this has provided you with a deeper understanding of your options for integrating Philips equipment with your EHR.

To learn more, register for a webcast on Thursday, April 14th at 2:00 p.m. ET. I’ll discuss several hospitals where we’ve integrated Philips equipment and give a live demonstration of Accelero Connect. You can register to attend the webcast by clicking the image below:

Philips Connectivity Image 2016-03
For my next post in this Connectivity Series, I'll discuss integrating Welch Allyn devices with your EHR. In the meantime, I look forward to "seeing" you online on April 14th.  

Topics: Medical Device Connectivity, Medical Device Integration, Vital Signs, Vital Sign Monitors, Improve Clinical Workflow, nurses

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