One of the major challenges today of HIT (healthcare information technology) is the integration of the myriad bedside devices in hospitals with the EMR. It turns out that there is a name for this process -- biomedical device integration (BMDI) and also a solution for the problem from at least one vendor. Below is an excerpt from a recent article about this topic (see: Capsule and Sentara Healthcare Launch BMDI Project to Improve Patient Care and Recover Nursing Hours):
Capsule Tech...today announced that its DataCaptor solution has helped Sentara Healthcare connect more than 1,800 medical devices from more than 1,000 patient beds. As a result of a biomedical device integration (BMDI) strategy to improve patient care, Sentara Healthcare was able to reduce the nurses’ documentation time significantly by automating the delivery of the patient’s vital sign data into their electronic medical record (EMR)....Sentara Healthcare operates more than 100 care sites in Virginia and North Carolina and is a highly integrated healthcare organization. Sentara Healthcare began its BMDI initiative after implementing Epic’s EMR system as a way to maximize its investment. The healthcare system organized a BMDI team focused on device integration as well as a separate biomed department....The hospital identified device integration as a solution that would free nurses from the time-consuming task of manually transcribing patient vital signs data and inputting it into the EMR....The BMDI project has improved clinical workflow and satisfaction and allowed clinical staff members to focus more of their time on patient care. “....Sentara has already integrated anesthesia machines and bedside monitors for 23 operating rooms across two hospitals and is looking to complete a full enterprise roll-out to six more hospitals by the end of 2012,” said [a company spokesperson]." “As our partnership continues, we will be working with Sentara to test integration with dialysis machines, roll out to Radiology for MRI machines and evaluate mobile capabilities for Med-Surg nursing.”
Here's some details about the Capsule Tech (see: Capsule Tech names new president, plans hires):
Capsule Tech Inc., a medical device connectivity system maker, has appointed a new president amid a growth spurt that will have it increasing employee count by 20 percent this year and more than doubling its office space in Andover [MA]. Stuart Long was appointed president, North America....Long told Mass High Tech that Capsule is in the midst of a business boom, sparked by government high tech initiatives in medical areas such as patient charting and the advent of medical system standards. He said the company will increase its head count by more than 20 percent this year to 60 employees, and then another 50 percent in 2012 to 90 workers. The overall company employee number, adding the North American and Paris headquarters operations, is 120, with most R&D done in Paris and the U.S. running service, sales, marketing and product management.
I was doing well with this press release until I got to the last sentence in the first excerpt above: "[Capsule Tech plans to] roll out [interfaces] to Radiology for MRI machines." This statement does not make sense to me. I suspect that that it may only be an example of press release hyperbole. I will acknowledge that an MRI imaging system in radiology is a "device" but certainly one that is quite different than a patient monitoring device in an ICU. MRI systems have been successfully interfaced for many years by the imaging system vendors. I am having trouble understanding how a smallish French company such as Capsule Tech would envision entering this very mature radiology market with well-entrenched and highly successful incumbents that already provide such interfaces.