Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 19, 2013

Scripps Green Hospital Piloting Mobile Vital Signs Measurement

At Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., 30 patients are participating in a pilot study to determine the effective of mobile vital signs monitoring.

The patients will wear the ViSi Mobile wireless device, which is manufactured by Sotera, to track their heart rate, electrocardiogram, pulse, blood pressure, blood oxygenation and skin temperature. The device will then constantly push vital measurements to nurse station monitors.

In most hospitals, nurses check patient vital signs when they go on rounds. They walk into each room, check wired monitors for vitals, record their findings and move on to the next room.

With the ViSi Mobile device, nurses can spend their rounds time talking to patients. Because the device creates alerts when patient readings fall out of specified ranges, nurses can catch potential problems between rounds to avoid treatment delays. 

The device isn't completely without wires. A chest sensor, blood pressure cuff monitor and thumb sensor connect to the wrist monitor, which transmits the vitals to the nurse station monitor over Wi-Fi. However, all of the wires are on the patient, so the patient isn’t tethered to a large external monitor.

"Continuous monitoring tells a much deeper story about what is going on with a patient, revealing early signs of trouble that can trigger life-saving intervention," said Mary Ellen Doyle, Scripps VP for nursing operations.

The Scripps Green study participants are patients in the medical-surgical ward. They are either recovering from surgery or receiving treatment for serious disease like liver disease and pneumonia. Patients have expressed satisfaction with the devices, especially since the devices give them more flexibility to move around.

The ViSi Mobile device also has applications for paramedics. Paramedics can attach the wires, sensors and wrist monitor at an emergency scene. The mobile monitor could then transmit vital signs to doctors long before the patient gets into an ambulance.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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