The power of medical device data: Going beyond the EMR

It is no secret that medical devices are able to accumulate extensive amounts of patient data. Oftentimes, this data is underutilized. Could there be a way to harness the power of medical device data to improve the delivery of patient care? We spoke with Kevin Phillips and Monica Demers of CapsuleTech, and they offered their insight.

Many feel the true power of patient information resides within the EMR. How do you see medical device data influencing our industry?

The power of medical device data is the ability to apply a largely untapped resource of real-time patient and device data to a host of additional information systems and applications to help improve and facilitate patient care, operational efficiency, as well as help manage medical device assets and infrastructure.

Historically, much of the focus in healthcare data has been on the EMR – whether it is CPOE, clinical documentation, meds, imaging, etc. So, typically, our clients start with connecting and sending medical device data to their EMR. Until recently, there’s only been limited discussion on what else this “real-time, status of the patient” information can do when integrated with other systems. 

Lately, client interest has started moving beyond the EMR to use medical device data for other applications such as alarm management, clinical decision support, patient surveillance, and clinical research systems. In this world of accountable care and population health management, it is critical that providers know the status of their patients, and be notified as soon as possible of an adverse event or the potential of an adverse event – even when they away from patient. Having timely and accurate medical device data propagated to multiple systems in parallel – not just the EMR – can increase the value of patient data being collected. 

We are most excited about discovering new problems to solve with the vast amount of data that never gets used for documentation. We’ve looked “under the hood” of medical devices to know what other types of data can be utilized. We see a wealth of data that, when you add some basic patient, user, and location context, it inspires some potentially powerful use cases that support clinical decision-making and operational efficiencies.  

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