Mike LeRoy, CIO at Detroit Medical Center, has an affinity for technologies that improve not only patient care and safety, but also clinician workflows.
DMC, which includes nine hospitals with a total of 1,800 beds, was innovating with IT for patient care years before the feds waved incentive dollars at healthcare providers. DMC, acquired by Tennessee-based Vanguard Health Systems in late 2010, embarked on deploying Cerner e-medical record systems in 2006.
DMC last year opened a "smart" unit, a 30-bed adult acute-care telemetry unit that links medical devices and clinical and workflow software to improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of patient care. In patient "smart rooms," vital signs and other data collected from bedside devices is presented to clinicians in real time and flows right to the patient's EMR, eliminating repetitive manual work.
DMC also is introducing "smart beds," which feature sensors that monitor patient movements and mattress pressure. Smart-infusion pumps wirelessly connect patient IVs with hospital pharmacy drug formularies. DMC also is equipping nurses and select doctors with VoIP smartphones that send telemetry alerts, such as when a patient is experiencing ventricular fibrillation. "Response time is seconds, down from minutes," LeRoy said.
With more data feeding into EMRs, information overload was a concern, so DMC rolled out dashboards that provide graphics-intensive clinical summaries.
DMC also is looking at how these smart technologies can improve nurses' workflows. "If a nurse has 10 patients, how does the nurse know what order to see patients, other than bed to bed?" LeRoy said. Dashboard icons and alerts direct care to patients who need it immediately.