HIMSS Analytics: Few medical devices connect with EMRs

If you read FierceMobileHealthcare regularly, you'd know that many, if not most, mobile devices used in healthcare don't connect to much other than the Internet. According to a new white paper from HIMSS Analytics and communications IT firm Lantronix, the problem seems to extend to EMRs and in-hospital medical devices.

The paper, released Wednesday, says that just a third of the 825 U.S. hospitals queried report having active interfaces between devices such as defibrillators, physiologic monitors, vitals monitors and electrocardiographs and their EMRs. The results may be skewed by the finding that 71.7 percent of those with hubs for "intelligent medical devices" are interfaced with EMRs because just 11 percent of respondents reported using such hubs.

The shortfall in connectivity could affect efforts to achieve "meaningful use" of EMRs, the report says, because one of the "core measures" in the Stage 1 federal standards is the ability to record and chart changes in vital signs within the EMR. Instead, many organizations will have to transcribe readings manually, presenting an opportunities for error.

"The transfer of data directly from a medical device to the EMR can reduce potential medical errors and improve patient care because no manual transfer of data takes place," John H. Daniels, VP of healthcare organizational services at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society says in a press release. "Such data integration also improves workflow by saving time for clinical staff, a valuable benefit when looking at nursing shortages in healthcare."

Not a single one of the 825 hospitals included in the white paper use all 11 of the types of medical devices studied.

For a more in-depth look at the results:
- have a look at this Cardiovascular Business story
- read this Lantronix/HIMSS Analytics press release
- download the white paper (.pdf)

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