Is Clinical Data the Holy Grail in Healthcare’s Digital Revolution?

Posted By Valerie Olague
Americas Business Group Lead

My Americas marketing team recently worked with Intermec and Fierce Markets to create a healthcare webinar that focuses on this question, along with how mobile devices power transformation in care, both within and outside of the healthcare provider’s four walls.

As you have heard from Microsoft many times, we believe that data is the new currency for businesses, and in the healthcare industry, the identification, storage and analysis of data can mean life or death for patients. The ability to quickly access patient information can significantly reduce the time it takes for healthcare professionals to care for patients, from admittance through discharge. And today’s embedded technologies and products are what power the various tools and devices used within healthcare scenarios.

These devices are becoming a critical part of healthcare solutions, including electronic health records and patient portals, which address some of the many challenges in healthcare today. And at the point of care, there are focused healthcare data management solutions that enhance patient safety (see “Five Rights Check” below) that leverage bar code imagers, mobile computers and printers.

According to the FDA, hospitals could eliminate 50 percent of their medication administration errors by scanning bar codes at the point of care to positively identify patients and the medication they are about to receive, and then match the information to the physician’s order.[1]

At the point of care, Microsoft and Intermec have a solution that collects and tracks patient information, which helps reduce medical errors, improves staff productivity and decreases costs.

This healthcare solution, part of an intelligent system, is the cornerstone for the successful execution of the “Five Rights Check”: Before administering any medication, the nurse or other caregiver performs checks to make sure the 1) right patient is receiving the, 2) right medication in the, 3) right dose by the, 4) right route (e.g. oral, intravenous) at the, 5) right time.

The solution includes mobile computing, bar-code scanning and printer products that help healthcare professionals collect and track patient information, reduce medical errors and improve staff productivity.

As part of an intelligent system that connects devices, data and systems, Intermec and Windows Embedded devices, such as the CN50 Mobile Computer, help healthcare providers advance collaboration, make more confident decisions and improve patient care.

Here are the components of an intelligent system for healthcare built on Windows Embedded:

  • Intelligent devices capture data securely and enable informed decision making at the point of impact.
  • Device types will range in form factor and use, depending on the industry and application. But they are all generating data which is no longer just stored on the device, but rather connected and shared.
  • After data is gathered, information flows to a corporation’s back-end system where it is processed and analyzed.
  • These systems can be either in the cloud or on-premise. It’s here that the data is being stored, shared and analyzed to drive intelligence.
  • Once the data is collected, the most important part of the cycle occurs: business intelligence. Now the data is translated into new insights that can be used to create value and improve customer, employee and partner interactions.
  • That insight can then be fed back through the corporation’s systems to drive new behavior and then ultimately back to the devices themselves to drive change at the point of engagement.

As this plays out over and over again, you see that throughout the steps in an intelligent system, data has an increased impact and value grows. Once an intelligent system is up and running, a corporation benefits through the creation of intelligence that can be used to drive business impact.

I recommend the free webinar, “Data at the Bedside: How Mobile Devices are Powering Transformations in Care.” You will learn how healthcare organizations are using mobile devices and technology to collect patient data, populate patient records and provide clinical decision support at the bedside.

[1] “Bar Code Label Requirements for Human Drug Products and Biological Products; Final Rule” Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration. Federal Register Notice, February 26, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 38) Page 9120. Viewable online.

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