When Hillrom acquired Voalte™ last year, I was excited about the opportunity to connect the Voalte care communications platform with numerous Hillrom® solutions, from smart beds to nurse call to patient monitoring. Now that Hillrom is acquiring medical device integration (MDI) vendor Excel Medical, we have taken another giant step forward in helping our customers achieve true interoperability between numerous systems so they can deliver actionable information directly to their caregivers.
Excel Medical provides a vendor-agnostic platform for gathering, storing, analyzing and delivering patient physiological data from medical devices right to the caregiver’s fingertips. Imagine the potential of capturing data from all of your medical devices, pushing that data into your EMR, and using an FDA-cleared, predictive algorithm to deliver actionable clinical insights directly to the appropriate person at the point of care. If you’re a nurse on a Telemetry floor, receiving an alert on your smartphone and having the ability to easily communicate back to the monitor tech in a Central Monitoring Unit (CMU) helps you provide enhanced connected care for your patient.
“Caregivers are demanding more information,” says Eric Brill, our Director of Clinical Solutions at Hillrom. “It’s not enough to send a simple brady alarm from a bedside monitor to a caregiver’s device. With Excel Medical aggregating MDI data from multiple sources, we can send valuable clinical context along with the monitor alert, such as heart rate, SpO2 and streaming waveforms, to give the clinician a more complete picture of what’s going on with the patient.”
To deliver the right information at the right time, Excel Medical aggregates data from physiological monitors and medical devices. Surveillance tools enable caregivers to evaluate data from multiple sources and track trends that might point to patient deterioration. Imagine a nurse keeping tabs on his or her patients by viewing a surveillance snapshot of deterioration scores with one tap on a smartphone screen. You can see how this represents a huge shift from reactive to proactive care.
Voalte has integrated with Excel Medical’s BedMasterEx since 2015, so some of our customers are already delivering FDA-cleared, near–real-time waveforms directly to their caregivers’ smartphones. With cardiac telemetry and central monitoring units growing in the acute care setting, hospitals have a big challenge with communication between monitor techs and caregivers on the floors. To enhance patient care, out-of-tolerance alarms from a bedside monitor or telemetry pack are generated based on the patient profile and typically a visual on the central station. Excel Medical extends that reach by sending the alarm to a Voalte smartphone as a secondary alarm notification. From the Voalte smartphone, the caregiver can accept and escalate the alarm, view waveforms, and immediately connect back to the monitor tech in the CMU to complete a required verbal handshake and say, “I got this.”
At UCSF Health, for example, monitor technicians send alerts including waveforms from a centralized monitoring unit to nurses on the floor. (Read more about how UCSF Health expedites efficient communications between monitor technicians and nurses.)
The Hillrom acquisition of Excel Medical adds an MDI layer as a way to tie together data from smart beds, contact-free continuous monitoring, physiological monitoring, EMRs, nurse call and more. With the Voalte care communications platform as the endpoint for all that data, we’re offering a powerful combination that gives customers a giant leap toward a future where true interoperability supports high-quality care.
Trey Lauderdale is VP and GM of Care Communications at Hillrom.