Medical Device Integration

Interoperability and HIE

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Welcome to Our Medical Device Integration Blog!

Written by Jeff McGeath, Senior VP of Software Solutions, Iatric Systems

Welcome to Our Medical Device Integration Blog

On behalf of the team, welcome to the Iatric Systems Medical Device Integration (MDI) blog. This blog will explore the most important issues facing hospitals that are considering connecting their medical devices (vital signs monitors, ventilators, smart pumps, etc.) with their Electronic Health Record (EHR). We hope you find it a valuable resource!

Our Vision for this Blog

When bedside devices are able to share information with an EHR in real time, it opens up a whole new arena of safety and efficiency benefits. While many hospitals are eager to move forward, they’re often uncertain how to proceed. The goals of this blog are to:

  1. Provide information that will come in handy as you evaluate different approaches
  2. Help you make effective decisions
  3. Give you the opportunity to share your opinions and insights with your peers, colleagues, and with us

We’d like this blog to be a two-way conversation with collaboration and open dialogue.

While this blog is new, we’ve been working with hospitals on MDI projects for many years. Our backgrounds include nursing, pharmacy, medical device engineering, and hospital IT. Medical device connectivity — and the safer, more efficient care it enables — is our passion. We love sharing what we’ve learned along the way. Even better, we love hearing your experiences, your challenges, and your ideas.

What’s at Stake: Why MDI Matters

In many ways, medical device integration is still in its infancy. While Meaningful Use has led to a huge push for interoperability of hospital systems, MDI has been largely left out of the discussion. For example, in a December 2014 survey of Chief Nursing Officers, 57% of CNOs reported they currently do not interface any medical devices to their EHR. As a result, nurses still have to manually key in results, creating a huge gap in safety and efficiency that has no place in a modern hospital. It’s a broken system, and errors that can lead to adverse events are all too common.

In upcoming posts, we’ll examine the issues that make MDI challenging. We’ll also focus on how hospitals can succeed in connecting medical devices to their EHR in the most cost-effective way. The benefits (including reductions in errors and adverse events, immediate access to critical information, improved clinical workflows, and huge time savings for nurses) are too important to pass up.

What You’ll Find Here

We’ve got some really great posts lined up, and ideas for many more. Topics that we’ll be covering include:

  • Device types and manufacturers: What the integration involves, and why some devices are harder than others
  • All the geeky but important IT stuff required to make MDI work: Things like data mapping, code sets, different HL7 interpretations and versions, security and privacy issues, wireless network communication — you get the idea
  • IHE and its role in MDI: How compliance with IHE standards enables medical devices and EHR systems to share information
  • MDI in action: Clinical workflow improvements, real-time information sharing, and other MDI benefits in settings throughout the hospital in areas such as the ICU, med-surg, post-op, and the ED
  • Implementation strategies: Different players and their roles, how to make an effective implementation plan, and other tips to make the process go smoothly
  • Breaking news: Updates on advancements, regulations, key partnerships, things you’ll need and want to know
  • ROI: Why MDI is worth every penny, and how to make the case to hospital leadership

Upcoming posts will explore all these topics, and there may even be a few surprises. Most of all, our blog will emphasize lots of informed and practical advice — from us, from you, and from your peers. You’ll have the knowledge you need to make medical device connectivity a success at your facility. Your patients deserve it.

Good luck on your MDI journey — I hope to see you along the way! If you have questions or would like to learn more, please email me at [email protected].  

Topics: MDI, Medical Device Connectivity, Medical Device Integration

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