By Jane Clabby
In May 2011, HP announced a financial commitment of $25 million over ten years to support a research initiative at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, ranked one of the nation’s leading pediatric hospitals by U.S. News and World Report. The goal of the collaboration is to improve the safety and quality of care for critically ill patients. In addition to supporting the expansion of the Packard Children’s Hospital, the investment produced a new real-time patient status system that resulted in more targeted care in 1 out of 3 patients in a trial period, HP reported in October 2011.
The Patent-Centered Dashboard collects data from electronic medical records and displays that data electronically, replacing traditional error-prone handwritten whiteboards. The electronic dashboard collects the wealth of data found in the medical record and uses it to generate patient status information. Color-coded lights indicate the urgency of patient treatment so that staff can act proactively to address life-threatening situations in the intensive care unit. The dashboard also improves compliance and will be rolled out in other hospitals as well.
The dashboard is designed to prevent human error which can increase the risk of patient death or unnecessarily prolong a hospital stay. Doctors and nurses can easily review patient status on a daily basis and update patient treatment. Several examples of where the dashboard has helped improve patient care include switching a patient from intravenous to oral medication, removing a catheter when the potential for infection was identified, identifying overdue procedures, and decreasing the use of unnecessary lab tests. These measures not only improve care but they can also reduce costs.