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Data Integration Improves Houston Methodist Hospital Operations

Houston Methodist Hospital introduced Excel Medical's latest data integration solution to improve operations and patient care.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Excel Medical has announced that Houston Methodist Hospital is live with its BedMasterEx data integration platform, which integrates cardiac reports with the hospital’s Epic electronic health record (EHR) system.

Houston Methodist Hospital is using the technology to support 119 beds and 67 operating rooms in its main facility. BedMasterEx also supports the organization’s ICU and telemetry units.

Houston Methodist Hospital faced the challenge of capturing, retaining, and integrating high-value patient data from devices with inconsistent connectivity. The hospital was using two separate solutions to achieve one goal, which caused it to miss important data as it was being transferred through the network.

The hospital was seeking a solution that would streamline the collection, delivery, and accessibility of patient data within its Epic EHR interface. It is much easier for clinicians to enter and retrieve data from the same place with all the information available in real-time.

Many healthcare organizations struggle with data integration as the number of connected medical devices rise. The devices are all sending signals at different consistencies and in different unstructured data formats. This can make it difficult for integration solutions not suited to the environment to handle and process the data coming from all data sources.

Houston Methodist Hospital is using BedMasterEx in its ICU and telemetry units to minimize the risk of error with manual traditional methods, such as paper cardiac strips and other printed reports. The hospital is also using BedMasterEx to switch to digital cardiac reports and digital cardiac rhythm strips that can be immediately integrated into the EHR system.

Transforming manual data practices into digital formats allows clinicians access to data in real-time, giving them more time to speak with patients instead of entering and retrieving data.

Houston Methodist Hospital expressed the operational and patient care improvements brought on by implementing a more advanced medical device integration solution. The healthcare organization claimed that the technology is improving patient care by providing the hospital with more accurate patient documentation.

BedMasterEx contains four components that assist healthcare organizations in collecting and using data gathered from connected medical devices.

The first is bedside device integration, which consolidates all connected devices used in a hospital room. The solution works to automate the collection and documentation of patient vitals and other monitor data.

The solution also includes mobile vitals capture which uses BedMasterEx’s CarePanel technology to collect and integrate the data accumulated from vital monitors via wireless transmissions to the EHR.

Digital cardiac reports provide the hospital with digital cardiac rhythm strips to replace traditional paper documentation and integrates the data with the EHR in real-time. This eliminates the expense and physical space spent on paper documentation maintenance.

Cardiac monitor accesses the BedMasterEx client application with the EHR, giving clinicians access to patient monitoring vital signs and alarms quickly and easily.

Data integration has been a challenge for healthcare organizations since the implementation of EHRs. The growth in the number of connected devices over the past several years has only made data integration a more vital part of health IT infrastructure.

Manual methods of collecting and documenting data leaves too much room for error when dealing with connected devices. Large healthcare organizations can have upwards of 70,000 connected medical and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Clinicians monitoring a patient with more than 15 connected medical devices in the room can spend more time consulting the devices than interacting with the patient.

Data integration relieves the time constraints physicians have by giving them more time to listen and engage with a patient than consulting with data located on different apps or on different machines. Clinicians are able to simply consult a patient’s EHR to gain insight into their conditions, improving clinician and patient interaction.