Capturing vital signs is one of the routine tasks performed daily in almost all hospital units, including the emergency room. Pulse trends, body temperature, oxygen saturation and blood pressure frequently indicate infections and inflammations, or point to stressful situations a patient is confronted with. These factors are not only substantially relevant in terms of medical findings, but are also crucial early indicators.
In this context, regular and precise measurements as well as complete documentation are of utmost importance. The conventional recording of vital signs is, however, comparatively time-consuming. Additionally, manually transferring documentation into the electronic health record (EHR) or into the chart is prone to error.
This is one of the reasons why an increasing number of hospitals are opting for mobile monitors, which record and determine vital signs quickly and precisely before transferring the data into the electronic patient record. Devices, such as those provided by Cerner’s partner Welch Allyn, offer functionalities well beyond the recording of vital signs: in fact, they present further options for collecting other patient data, like information on pain levels and excretions, usually captured during the nursing staff’s regular rounds.
Measurements have become twice as fast
At the same time, the devices allow for routine measurements of blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation and temperature to be performed twice as fast, meaning nursing staff can use the time saved to perform other tasks. Nursing staff simply scan the patient‘s ID from the generated bar code, place the blood pressure cuff around the patient’s arm, apply the oxygen saturation sensor and start taking measurements – including a patient’s temperature and other significant parameters, such as the respiratory rate and the state of consciousness – before transferring the data directly into the EHR by pushing a button. It’s as easy as that. Unlike many products offered by Cerner’s competitors, the devices made available by Welch Allyn allow for accurate measurements of pulse and blood pressure values within seconds while inflating the cuff. Additionally, with the push of a single button, the manual transfer of documentation into the chart or record is replaced.
In particular, emergency departments benefit from secure and direct associations of data to the patient, since turbulent and volatile situations are not uncommon in these areas of care. At the same time, repeated measurements can be conducted smoothly. This approach also offers advantages beyond emergency care: in fact, patients treated at inpatient units benefit significantly from early warning scores (EWS), which are calculated automatically by Welch Allyn’s Connex Spot Monitor based on the data collected. If anomalies occur, the device displays a warning message, thereby informing the medical staff about patient-related risks, such as the early stages of infection.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that an increasing number of medical facilities have adopted Welch Allyn’s mobile solution for the recording of vital signs, as highly qualified staff are capable of so much more than inflating blood pressure cuffs.