Patient-Specific Monitoring vs. Traditional Monitoring

Date: May 29, 2014

In today’s critical care environment, regardless of your age, disease or condition it is very likely that you will receive the same type of patient monitoring. This Traditional monitoring can include ECG leads that record cardiac rhythm and heart rate and SPO2 probes that capture blood oxygen saturation levels along with other vital sign measurements.

If you have ever seen one of these bedside monitors, they have the characteristic raw waveforms and vitals displayed for that patient at that moment. Care providers will use this information to diagnose and treat their patients. They use it to assess where the patient is and provide feedback for different therapies. The presentation of this raw data has remained relatively unchanged over the years since they were adopted. For example, the ECG waveforms on the monitor look the same as paper tracing back in the early 1900’s.

Care providers have asserted that there is more information hidden within the raw data. In fact many experienced care professionals have an ability to see patterns in the waveforms that indicate the direction a patient is trending. Historically this data has been immediately discarded due to storage limitations.

In addition to hidden information, healthcare professionals today face an overwhelming amount of data for each patient. Care providers seek to answer very specific clinical questions based on their specialty and the patient history.  Identifying patterns in the patients’ data quickly and effectively can mean the difference between a good or bad outcome.

Enter Patient-Specific Monitoring…

Patient specific monitoring is about tailoring the information that is provided by a monitor to the unique needs of a patient. It is the opposite of the one-size-fits all approach that we find in traditional patient monitoring.

We know that each patient has a unique set of needs and history. In order to deliver the best level of care, care providers need to be presented with information that is extracted from the raw data and presented when it is needed. Similar to how a GPS helps you get from point A to point B by providing you with the directions you need for each step along your route.

Types of patient-specific monitoring in healthcare:

1) Goal directed therapies for better outcomes – Setting targets for care providers that are associated with best outcomes.

2) Disease or condition specific monitoring for more efficient diagnosis and care delivery – Information and analyses for a patient are gathered in one place that address a specific clinical issue.

3) Workflow monitoring for process optimization – Tracking delivery of care across care teams and helping to customize alarm settings for a specific patient.

At the core, patient specific monitoring is about taking the technology that surrounds care providers, removing the noise, and providing the best information at the best time to optimize the care workflow.





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