Delivering data bedside in the ICU
Healthcare providers are turning to data analytics and standardization as they try to cut costs and improve on quality metrics. But most have yet to harness data to make realtime shifts in care.
Houston-based Decisio Health saw an opportunity to help providers see changes in patients’ vitals immediately and give them the chance to initiate care protocols that could lead to better outcomes. The startup developed the first Food and Drug Administration-approved web-based clinical platform and created easy-to-read displays that alert clinicians to problems as they emerge.
“My goal is to be the Bloomberg of healthcare,” Decisio co-founder and CEO Bryan Haardt said.
Spun out from technology developed at and licensed from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Decisio took a clinician’s approach to data. According to Haardt, the company wanted to change the retrospective nature of analytics to make a bigger impact on patient care.
“We looked at that and said maybe a better way would be to start at the source, which is the patient, and instead of top down, go bottom up and really impact the utilization of analytics in real time by doing it at the point of patient care,” Haardt said.
Haardt said he hoped Decisio’s platform could help clinicians reduce variability of care and improve patient outcomes. The platform can work on any mobile device or system and provides a customized bedside or smart-device display for clinicians to use. The monitors can display vital signs, glucose readings, test results and graphs that clinicians need to track patients’ progress. The information is color-coded: green for normal results, yellow for slightly abnormal and red for grossly abnormal. Physicians can also enable “bundles” if a patient might be developing sepsis, a urinary tract infection or other concerns, which gives a time-stamped checklist of care protocols.
Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, a Houston hospital affiliated with the University of Texas system but with no investment interest in Decisio, is the first hospital to try the technology.
Wallace Halum, a Memorial Hermann shock-trauma charge nurse, said the interface has helped reduce preventable medical errors and made handoffs during shift changes much easier. “You can literally walk into a patient’s room and, along with a report and physical examination, you can have a really good idea of what’s going on with this patient,” he said. “That was something that before this dashboard you really couldn’t do.”
Halum was involved in the implementation at Memorial Hermann. Before using the dashboard, nurses and other clinicians charted trends in patient data by hand, and it could be hard to catch acute conditions and determine the proper course of care. Now, the information is documented and easily visible on the platform, and Halum said the shock trauma intensive-care unit has seen patient care improve.
“Really, it’s all documentation,” he said. “You have to have certain things documented to make sure you’re doing the right things for these patients.”
In the two years Memorial Hermann has been using Decisio’s software, there has not been a single adverse event associated with the software reported to the FDA, Haardt said. The technology uses a hospital’s cloud or physical servers to store patient data, minimizing the risk of security breaches or data violations.
Decisio has taken a methodical, slow approach to its rollout since it received FDA approval in January 2015. It went live at a second site, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, last week. The medical center’s neuroscience ICU will use Decisio’s technology to display neurological information for clinicians.
“I think Decisio is unique in how it presents info to keep the provider aware of what’s going on,” said Dr. Jay Johannigman, chief of trauma and critical care at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. “The provider at the bedside is assaulted with so many different information streams that making sure you actively survey all of them at a given time while serving a large number of patients is next to impossible.”
Decisio says the platform will be in use at more hospitals soon, thanks in part to an implementation partnership with Slalom, a Seattle-based consulting company.
“We’ve been very conscientious to make sure that we don’t drink out of the fire hose,” Haardt said. “We have a very, very, very large pipeline and product backlog for this stuff.”
“My goal is to be the Bloomberg of healthcare.” BRYAN HAARDT