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:
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.
I work in an Emergency Room as a Technician. Nearly every room in the ER is equipped with an Intellivue monitor. I am writing to you on behalf of my patients: every day, countless patients complain of the beeping noises emitted by the Intellivue monitor they are hooked up to (they crack jokes about it not being as ‘intelligent’ as it should be). The reactions such noises evoke from the patients range from annoyance to severe panic due to the frequency and loudness of the beeping. While it is clear that the Intellivue alarms are meant to notify health care staff when the patient’s vital signs fall out of normal range, this goal is not being met: patients are often left alone with an alarm for long periods of time, and when they are attended to by a staff member, the monitor is only temporarily silenced (or the vital sign parameters are adjusted to accept the patient’s physiologic state). As it is, the alarms only serve to annoy the staff and disturb the patients. Many patients are hard of hearing and I fear that the loud beeping causes further damage to their ears. Is there a way to change either the loudness, style (perhaps melodious birdsong noises instead of beeping) or delivery of the Intellivue system (as in, have the alarm go off only at the nurses station, rather than right next to the patient)? Every patient I speak with about this issue whole heartedly supports my ideas to both eliminate stressful noises at the patient bedside and/or change the noises to the sound of birds singing (or another relaxing sound). With the alarms going off in patient rooms, nurses who are busy taking care of a patient in another room do not have a chance to turn off alarms in a timely manner. Having an ‘alarm central’ at the nurses station as the ONLY place alarms go off will allow the most available nurse/technician to attend to the patient behind the alarm. Currently, the main display of patient’s monitors at the nurse’s station, while including alarms, is ignored even more than alarms going off in patient rooms. Anything you can do to alleviate this situation would be most appreciated. Thank you for your consideration!