Advanced Clinical Informatics Toolbox
Obtaining retrospective data after a sentinel event can be challenging. The lack of patient monitoring data which has continuous ECG, SPO2, and blood pressure, at least. While some patient monitoring systems have the ability to store patient waveform data, it is typically capped at 144 hours of data at best. Typically the data is stored in a proprietary format, thus access to the data is often difficult if not impossible.
There is a unique company that has developed a suite of products that affords the ability to store patient monitoring data long-term, and parse that data into every parameter that is monitored – including data from external devices such as ventilators. Excel Medical was founded by two of the leading engineers from Marquette Electronics – the company that invented 12-lead ECG analysis, and 12-lead ECG capture on a patient monitor. In the fifteen years since its inception, they have a loyal global customer base that includes “top ten” hospital organizations, and also world class researchers such as Tim Buchman, PhD, MD. The software is becoming less of a secret, as the company has expanded the BedMaster platform to include top-tier alarm management, device integration, and cardiac strip EMR integration. Some other unique uses of their software include:
Persistent Data Storage – From a patient safety point of view, the ability to go back in time a week, a month, a year prior to a sentinel event is pretty amazing. Excel Medical’s BedMaster platform does exactly that, with storage time only limited by allocated disk space. The software compresses the waveform data, making it manageable to store an entire hospital on disk forever. It becomes a virtual cockpit voice recorder.
Streaming Clinical Analytics – The platform not only store all of the waveform allowing retrospective display, but also stores the data in a SQL database that can be linked to any number of software analytical packages. Excel has an alliance with IBM InfoSphere Streams, and can be used with any prospective or retrospective analytics software. to create analysis scenarios that can also access HL7 data external to the patient monitoring system. So you can correlate, for instance, Troponin levels from lab results to real-time ST segment data across all ECG leads.
Device Integration – The BedMaster platform also provides the ability to interface virtually any peripheral device that has data export capabilities into the BedMaster ecosystem for interfacing, or “sandboxing”, for analytics. They also have a wireless hospital-grade tablet that will connect to your vital signs monitors and provide a wireless interface.
Alarm Management – As one might expect, the software also captures all alarm events. What is unique to the platform is the ability to capture, correlate, and display strips. This allows real alarm management for determining root cause of alarm events.
Remote Viewing – The BedMaster platform has a thin-client interface allowing the data to be viewed remotely on a mobile device.
Whats the catch? Currently the Excel Medical software products only work with GE and Philips patient monitors, but that covers 90% of the market. Otherwise there’s not much not to like. This technology will assuredly be of interest to patient safety professionals, researchers, and clinical technology architects as a unique method of tying salient clinical information to the electronic medical record system.