Wireless monitoring extends the reach of busy clinicians

In the words of CSC consultant Fran Turisco, wireless monitoring systems are becoming "a technological safety net for busy caregivers." In this month's Healthcare Informatics, Turisco and others tell of how such technology is becoming an extra set of eyes for hospitals as they increase their vigilance over medical errors. "If you can prevent a cardiac arrest by noticing that the vital signs are starting to go in the wrong direction, there's a huge amount you can do to help the patient's outcome and the cost of care," she says.

Hardly a new healthcare construction project begins anymore without wireless technology somewhere in the plan, even in critical care areas, where not too long ago CIOs would fret about electromagnetic interference. The new neonatal ICU at University Hospitals' Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland features an advanced wireless monitoring system that serves as a communications hub of sorts for the entire, 38-bed unit. The infrastructure even allows clinicians to monitor their tiny, vulnerable patients over a wireless video stream.

"Part of the model we have is a wireless ecosystem around notification and communication, and around preventative measures to provide clinicians with wireless alerts and give them the ability to respond before any type of incident occurs," division CIO Ryan Terry tells the magazine.

For more on how hospitals are harnessing the power of wireless technology:
- check out this Healthcare Informatics feature