Real-time tracking, EMR access highlight hospital's SmartRoom rollout

Stamford [Conn.] Hospital, is installing touchscreen monitors in patient rooms through which clinicians can access and update patient records.

The hospital will use the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center/IBM-created system, SmartRoom. Stamford is taking a bit of a leap of faith with the three-year-old technology, as UPMC has tested the technology at several of its facilities, but hasn't done any full rollouts at any of its hospitals. It's deploying now at its Montefiore campus, but the effort won't be finished until early 2012, health system officials say. 

The system makes electronic medical records accessible on monitors in patient rooms, with clinicians able to update vital sign and other collected data while they're at the patient's bedside, hospital officials say. It also uses real-time location service (RTLS) tags to track clinicians as they enter and leave. The monitors display each worker's identity on the screen as they enter the room.

One intriguing function: The software synchs the patient's electronic record with the clinician's RTLS tag, and provides on-screen reminders about important tasks, such as changing a catheter, that need to be completed while the provider is in the room.

Patients themselves can use the monitors to view scheduled tests and procedures, as well as educational videos. They also can receive email and other communications from loved ones, Stamford officials say.

To learn more:
- read the Stamford press release
- get more detail from the Pittsburgh Business Times
- check out a description of the SmartRoom system from HealthLeaders Media