Continuous Patient Monitoring in Intensive-Care Units and General Ward
ICUs are among the most intensively monitored departments in the hospital. Continuous patient monitoring systems provide real-time data on a patient's vital signs, oxygen levels, and other indicators to help doctors make better decisions about care. But while this system is an excellent tool for preventing ICU admissions, it's just one piece of the puzzle. To deliver excellent care to ICU patients, it's essential to prevent ICU admissions in the first place. That's where preventive care comes in. But first let's define patient monitoring and its use cases of patient monitoring in ICU.
What is Patient Monitoring?
Continuous monitoring of patient parameters such as heart rate and rhythm, respiration rate, blood pressure, blood-oxygen saturation, and many more has become a standard part of critical care. Electronic monitors are widely employed to collect and show physiological data when accurate and quick decision-making is critical for effective patient care. Non-invasive sensors are increasingly being used to collect such data from less seriously ill patients in a hospital's medical-surgical units, labor and delivery suites, nursing homes, or patients' homes in order to detect unexpected life-threatening conditions or to efficiently record routine but required data.
Patient monitoring is defined as "repeated or continuous observations or measurements of the patient, his or her physiological function, and the function of life support equipment with the aim of guiding management choices, including when to discontinue life support." A patient monitor may not only alert caregivers to potentially life-threatening occurrences; many also provide physiologic input data required to regulate directly connected life support devices.
Use Cases of Patient Monitoring in ICU
At least five types of patients require physiological monitoring:
- Patients with unstable physiological regulatory systems, such as those whose respiratory systems have been inhibited by a medication overdose or anesthesia.
- Patients with a suspected life-threatening disease, such as a patient with symptoms of an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) or other cardiac symptoms.
- Patients at high risk of developing a life-threatening condition, such as those recovering from open-heart surgery or preterm infants whose hearts and lungs have not fully matured
- Patients in a critical physiological state, such as those suffering from multiple trauma or septic shock.
- During the labor and delivery process, the mother and infant
Care of the critically ill patient necessitates quick and correct judgments so that life-saving and life-protecting therapy can be administered as needed. ICUs have become commonly used in hospitals as a result of these requirements. These units almost always use computers for the following tasks:
- To acquire physiological data frequently or continuously, such as blood pressure readings.
- To communicate information from data-producing systems to remote locations (e.g., laboratory and radiology departments)
- To store, organize, and report data
- To integrate and correlate data from multiple sources
- To provide clinical alerts and advisories based on multiple sources of data
- To function as a decision-making tool that health professionals may use in planning the care of critically ill patients
- To measure the severity of illness for patient classification purposes
- To analyze the outcomes of ICU care in terms of clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness
Need Standardized Patient Monitoring Across All Departments
Inpatient expenses and patient errors are disproportionately attributed to critical care units. As a result, effective monitoring of patients is critical—not only to inform clinicians when a patient's condition deteriorates, but also to obtain, organize, and store data which offer physiological facts to aid in making good treatment decisions.
However, safely monitoring patients across several units and facilities is a difficult undertaking, particularly when units rely on a variety of point solutions with distinct interfaces that do not interchange data. That is why standardizing on a single advanced monitoring system is critical, especially when units rely on a variety of solutions that do not perform in tandem.
Standardization is important because it removes variation. Less variation results in better care. It can also save expenses, boost efficiency, and boost production.
Nonetheless, improved care starts in general wards to lessen ICU admissions. Early detection of patient deterioration is essential to intervene early or respond rapidly. Outside of an intensive care unit (ICU), physiological assessments are normally performed every four to eight hours. No system prioritizes the protection of general-care patients when they are not under direct monitoring.
Therefore, standardized patient monitoring is not only important in ICU but also across all departments of your hospital. Do you have a continuous patient monitoring system for your general ward? Here’s why you can trust ViSi Mobile.