EMR 4.0: The digital transformation of the Emergency Department with RTLS
The unexpected arrival of the COVID-19 has brought many changes and obstacles to life as we knew it. In fact, one of the areas that has been most affected by the virus and where it has caused the most chaos is in the health area. The consequences are diverse and numerous: overloading of the system, lack of resources, increases in waiting lists as a result of cancellations of non-urgent operations,… Among these consequences is one which may seem positive a priori, but which has a double aspect. This is the ‘Emergency Department’.
The assistance to the Emergency Department, a sanitary area always with a high demand, has fallen during the months of confinement and even now during the new normality. In fact, according to a study carried out in a hospital in Madrid, the number of patients has fallen by 65.4% compared to the same period in 2019 (from March 14 to April 17).
A lower influx which, as we said, may seem positive. It would mean less need for personnel and resources, less work for professionals, who are already overloaded, and even less outbreaks and infections.
However, this decrease in the number of patients attending the Emergency Department has eliminated the mildest cases, but other types of cases are attending, those that need the maximum efficiency and safety possible: positive and possible positive in COVID-19.
The seriousness of the situation requires that the emergency protocol be as precise and reliable as possible, always maintaining a safe distance between other patients affected by other pathologies, as well as the safety of all personnel working in the emergency area (security, guards, nurses, doctors, etc.)
A safety and efficiency that would not only be positive when controlling and treating patients affected by COVID-19, but also when caring for patients of a fragile or vulnerable nature. In other words, those people who go to the emergency room alone and who on many occasions do not have the capacity to remain alert during the whole process and run the risk of going unnoticed to some extent in the chaos and usual bustle of the waiting rooms in the Emergency Department.
The evolution to EMR 4.0 through RTLS systems
At MYSPHERA we have always been aware of the need to have efficient health centres, where ‘digitalisation’ is our main working tool. A tool whose advantages are evident for both professionals and patients.
MYSPHERA, through IoT technology, has developed a solution based in the RTLS.
This solution provides four main benefits:
✔ Safe patient identification: Through smartphones or tablets staff can access all patient information, and even know what actions are underway with the patient.
✔ Instantaneous location: Thanks to the RTLS location system you can know where the patient is at any time, and even alert in case of wrong location.
✔ Traceability: Automated, real-time recording of patients, states and even equipment.
✔ Real time panels: Updated and real time information on patient status, both for medical professionals and family members.
✔ Data analysis: The digitalisation of processes allows for better data analysis and increased reliability.
Other applications of the system in the Emergency Department
Virtual Waiting Room: Without a doubt, going to the Emergency Department with a family member always generates anxiety. A concern that increases given the current circumstances. As soon as the patient begins to be attended, the family members waiting for news can experience moments of anguish and nervousness. This uncertainty, in turn, sometimes causes them to constantly go to the reception desk in search of news or to approach professionals for information. Professionals who cannot always answer their questions, as they are not always the ones treating that particular patient.
The Virtual Waiting Room of MYSPHERA is divided into:
▶ Panels / Information screens
▶ Relatives App
In this way it is possible to follow the patient’s status live, as well as to receive notifications and messages from health professionals.
Task creation: Both for cleaning and wards.
Bed association: Associate bed numbers with the patient’s home, so that it is possible to know the status and location of the patient and the associated bed.