Special report: Continuous monitoring has continuous benefits

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | May 21, 2014
From the May 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

It can measure full ECG, heart rate, respiration, skin temperature and noninvasive blood pressure —which sets it apart from the Connex CSS. Since it’s worn on the patient’s wrist, they’re monitored even when they leave their bed.

“Our goal is — let’s take all vital signs, all the time, continually without disturbing the patient and getting the caregiver a dashboard of every patient, every vital sign on all patients,” says Manning.

Like the Connex CSS, the information can be viewed from a central station, on a mobile device or within the EMR.

Uniquely beneficial
When the nurse straps ViSi to the patient’s wrist, they can be continuously monitored in any location within the hospital. Whether they’re in their bed, in the chair by the bedside, walking down the hall, in the bathroom or on transport to a different department, the nurses can monitor them.

But it’s not the only monitor that has that capability. Toumaz Group’s SensiumVitals does as well (iSirona, a NantHealth subsidiary, is the exclusive distributor of the device in North America). But it’s different from ViSi because it’s disposable, doesn’t measure blood pressure, and only measures vital measurements for up to five days.

Toumaz Group conducted a six month pilot at Saint John’s Health Center in Los Angeles monitoring 270 general ward patients from October 2012 to March 2013 to investigate the clinical and economic effects of the technology. They found that it leads to the early detection of deterioration in 12 percent of patients.

The early interventions shortened hospital stays by on average six days and they allowed the hospital to avoid more expensive acute treatments. The average cost savings were $9,000 for each patient.

EarlySense’s contact-free monitoring is one of the things that makes Connex CSS unique. Monitoring heart and respiratory rate is important for obvious reasons, but keeping track of body movement is equally important.

Patient falls are the main cause of hospital- acquired injury and longer hospital stays, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The fact that it’s such a big problem makes it one of the nurses’ top concerns. “This is something they’re very in tune with, they’re always having to worry about it,” says Welch Allyn’s Perkins.

Pressure ulcers are another serious problem — about 1.3 to 3 million U.S. patients have pressure ulcers, according to ECRI’s 2008 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards. Additionally, CMS does not pay for pressure ulcers that occur in hospitals because they are believed to be preventable.

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