The bed is integrated with a nurse call platform, providing patient-to-staff communication. Caregivers and staff wear RFID-coupled identification badges that use infrared, ultrasound, or low-frequency radio-frequency technology to provide room-level, bed-level, or better image resolution throughout the hospital and patient rooms.
RFID coupled with the nurse call functionality enables workflow metrics to be monitored, optimizing the response to patient care issues. Critical patient calls and alerts, such as “bed exit” or “rails down,” can be immediately directed to the appropriate and available caregiver through the staff-worn or handheld wireless devices, including voice-over-Internet Protocol phones and pendants. In emergency case alerts in which care providers are unavailable, the system can transmit an alert to the secondary caregiver who accepts the alert and attends to the situation.
In rooms with patients who need specialized care, such as the ICU, patients are typically monitored by a networked monitoring platform. This provides real visualization and continuous monitoring of the patient’s heart rate and ECG rhythms, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation, which could then be available in centralized monitoring and reviewing areas such as the wall of knowledge, war room, EMR archiving, and alarm management systems. These specialized locations combine information from many sources, providing a continuous and historical overview of the patient’s physiological status and condition. This monitoring platform integrates with the hospitals network infrastructure, wired and wireless, enabling continuous monitoring at all locations in the hospital.
The ICU commonly uses many life support, treatment, and monitoring devices or solutions to manage the patient. All are time synchronized and integrated through a connectivity solution that allows patient-centric data to be aggregated and archived in the EMR.
In rooms designed for noncritical patient care, such as the step down, med/surg, or labor and delivery rooms, patients traditionally only have vital signs spot-checked at four-hour intervals. This often leaves these patients at risk for complications of respiratory failure, hemorrhage, and falls associated with trauma and weakness. Telemetry and new technologies such as bed sensor pads provide an alternative, enabling the system to automate the vital sign collection. Alerts can be sent to a variety of mobile devices, resulting in a quicker intervention to prevent potential complications.