The other day Health Data Management had an intriguing little story about some decision support software that presents user defined care protocols on Philips Medical Systems' Intellivue patient monitors. There's really not much more in the four sentence story. The story offers a couple links, to the home pages of PMS and Surviving Sepsis advocacy group - neither with a link to relevant ProtocolWatch information.

Poking around, I came across this page on the PMS site (and nothing on the Surviving Sepsis site). Apparently posted on February 14 with no associated press release, Philips offers much more about their new solution. Here's how it works:

Wherever a patient is being monitored on an IntelliVue patient monitor
with ProtocolWatch, ProtocolWatch automatically screens his or her
vital signs data in the background. When a parameter meets or exceeds
the criterion established for the definition of severe sepsis, a
ProtocolWatch window appears on the monitor screen. This window prompts
clinicians to check for other signs of sepsis not directly measured by
the monitor. If no other signs are present, ProtocolWatch resumes
screening. But if the patient meets two or more of the criteria,
ProtocolWatch starts the Sepsis Resuscitation Bundle.

In my recent article on Trends in Alarm Notification, applications like ProtocolWatch were discussed. One difference between those solutions and Philips is that Philips' is apparently a proprietary end-to-end solution.

ProtocolWatch only works with Philip's highest-end critical care monitors, the MP60 and up ($30,000 to $40,000 and up per monitor). The software appears to be sold directly by Philips, but no word on who developed the software. If the software is interfaced with other clinical information systems (results reporting and orders, for example) that capability is not mentioned.

You can be sure that I'll be looking for this in the Philips booth at HIMSS. Pictured right is a sample screen of the ProtocolWatch overlay on a patient monitor display. Click here for a larger version.