An Australian hospital has become the first in the world to use wireless monitoring technology hospital-wide, revolutionising its approach to the most basic process in healthcare – taking and recording patients' vital signs.
The trial of the Patient Status Engine (PSE) continuous patient monitoring platform has the potential to provide more time for nurses to interact and care for their patients and ultimately save lives by providing early warnings of life-threatening events.
Adjunct Professor Adam Scott, Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital Director of Cardiac Sciences, said all patients at the 20-bed Kilcoy hospital in rural Queensland will be monitored with the technology.
He added: "We're really excited here at Metro North. Kilcoy Hospital is a rural facility but it is the first hospital globally that is implementing continuous wireless vital sign monitoring across the whole of the hospital. This is a massive achievement for a small hospital in a rural town here in Australia."
It is estimated that around 100 million patient vital signs are recorded manually by nurses every year in Australia, taking anywhere between five and ten minutes every bedside check.
"Today, in all parts of the world, resources in healthcare are enormously overstretched. We're thrilled to be able to use the Patient Status Engine to focus on improving the patient experience and giving staff what they want – more time with their patients," Professor Scott said.
A patient will usually have their 'obs' checked every four hours so the capability for vital sign monitoring to be done wirelessly and continuously means that every second their temperature, heart rate, ECG, respiration rate and oxygen saturations can be looked at and assessed so the moment a patient starts to deteriorate an alert can be raised.
A patient being fitted with the Isansys Lifetouch wearable 'smart patch' at the Kilcoy Hospital.
Ben Magid, the chief technology officer at WH Tech Pty Ltd, the distributor of the Patient Status Engine in Australia, said: "We're extremely excited to partner with Kilcoy Hospital on this trial. The Patient Status Engine has the potential to be able to provide real time oversight of every patient simultaneously."
Keith Errey, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Isansys Lifecare, said: "As an Australian who has lived and worked overseas for many years to develop this technology, I am absolutely delighted to see the Patient Status Engine deployed at Kilcoy Hospital."
If the trial goes well, the technology could be used more widely, even allowing patients to recover at home whilst being monitored by hospital staff and could transform healthcare in rural areas.
"A quick calculation shows that if adopted across the whole country the PSE could provide a potential saving of around 15 million hours, a huge amount of time to give back to nurses to really care for their patients while at the same time, helping to address the looming crisis in nurse shortages in Australia." Mr Errey said.