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Intelligent Ward System to Optimize Hospital Workflow

“Intelligence is the current trend,” says Chiu-Hsiang Lee,deputy dean of the Nursing Department at Chung Shan Medical University Hospital. “Since 2016, the hospital has successfully upgraded to intelligent services for more than 400 beds so far.” The Advantech iWard solution for information integration improves the immediacy of use,helps medical care workers improve their work efficiency,and enables patients to receive better medical care through “humanized and intelligent” services when they are hospitalized.

Making traditional wards intelligent improves the efficiency of health education and management

The Chung Shan Medical University Hospital has spent over two years upgrading all the existing cots into intelligent wards. Unlike ordinary hospitals, which only upgrade the VIP or personal wards, the Chung Shan Medical University Hospital has introduced the bedside Patient Infotainment Terminal (PIT) system to all wards.PIT helps reduce the time the medical staff spends on training patients and family members and allows them to focus less on information delivery and more on treatment and care. The introduction of Advantech’s iWard System has undoubtedly provided great help in strengthening health education and improving management efficiency.

Chiu-Hsiang Lee pointed out that in the past, the hospital used to print out the healthcare pamphlets,give them to the patients and their family members, and assign a caregiver to provide relevant instructions on the health education. Once the caregiver was replaced, the health education information was also likely to get lost, so the nursing staff often needed to repeat the same service.With PIT, the hospital can directly input the health education information into the computer to display on the bedside, so that all the family members accompanying the patient can view it as well, not only consolidating the health education more thoroughly but also significantly reducing the time spent by caregivers in this respect.

The intelligent ward system also provides customized health education services. For example, patients with high blood pressure need to avoid and prevent falls. The nurses can use the bedside screen to directly explain to the family members on how to prevent the patient from falling and provide them with safety information.According to Chiu-Hsiang Lee, since the use of PIT and iWard, the “incidence of falls in the four units currently on the line has dropped from 0.14% to 0.10%.” This shows that the individualized bedside care system can effectively improve the communication between medical staff and patients and their families.

In the past, it would take a long time for the explanation and consultancy on medication, which can now be displayed on the bedside screen through them edication information function of the PIT system, so that the patient can learn of his or her medication methods.This results in a great reduction of time for the nursing staff. Meanwhile, the PIT system can also display on the screen extraneous information such as conditions, history of allergies, things to avoid during treatment, etc., so that the medical team can better understand the patient’s specific situations to best meet the needs of the patient.

In addition, the adoption of intelligent dashboard at the nursing stations makes it convenient to transmit information. It saves the medical staff and scribes writing time, and reduces the amount of paper used. It also makes it possible to carry out the health education at the bedside, thus reducing the use of teaching materials and directly saving related costs for the hospital.

The iWard system also helps the management as well. After connecting the in-hospital systems, the iWard helps the hospital to better understand data, hospital bed placement and arrange cleaning tasks more efficiently after a patient is discharged from a hospital. As a result,the cleaning time is reduced from 30 minutes to about 22 minutes, allowing the next patient to be admitted sooner and smoothly, reducing the patient wait time.

Improvement of immediacy and the increase of patient satisfaction

For patients, the Advantech iWard solution provides convenience. The PIT system allows patients to receive more immediate care. In the past, patients seeking the assistant of nursing staff for supplements of fluid for intravenous infusions, assistance in bowel movements,etc., needed to contact the nursing station through the traditional call bell, tell the staff their bed number and the details of their needs, and wait for the nursing staff to inform the nurse in charge. The average length of this process was up to 6.6 minutes, which is now shortened to 5.4 minutes, by using the PIT system. The PIT system not only saves the extra steps in communication, but can also directly contact the nurse in charge to reduce the cumber some communication in between.

Chiu-Hsiang Lee also mentioned that patients have the right to know and the obligation to help confirm medical content. The “Medicine Information Display” of the PIT system allows patients to self-check the medications,display personalized medicines, and improve medication safety. In terms of medical treatment, if a doctor arranged an X-ray examination of a computed tomography (CT) scan in the past, a family members would be asked to go to the nursing station to check the results and relay the results to the patient, who could then get a general understanding of his or her condition indirectly. Alternatively, the doctor might to go the ward to tell the patient his or her own condition. In both cases, the patient still got an in director direct understanding of his or her condition. Now, the results can be directly displayed on the bedside screen by the use of the PIT system, allowing the patient to learn more about his or her own condition.

In addition, Advantech’s iWard solution combined with the PIT system also functions to assist family members. As the family members may rotate to take care of the patient,some information may be lost during the handover process.Now, through the display of the bedside screen, the family members can avoid such losses and better understand information. Also, they will be more aware of the patient’s movements for examination and rehabilitation. Meanwhile,the patients do not have to worry about the confidentiality of their illness, which can be fully protected through the card function of the iWard system.

Intelligent medical care has become a new trend

Chiu-Hsiang Lee said that the hospital-based medical information system in the past has now evolved into a patient-centric care system, allowing patients to participate in medical care treatment programs. As it is a major trend to enhance the health care indicators for hospitalized patients, the Chung Shan Medical University Hospital decided to choose Advantech as their supplier in the design and construction of intelligent medical care system,as Advantech is very trustworthy in the hi-tech industry.

Interestingly, Chiu-Hsiang Lee mentioned that some patients expect that entertainment functions should be added in the PIT system, such as video games and Internet surfing. Not only does the feedback show that the application rate of the system is catching hold, but it also shows that intelligentization is a new trend that the medical industry cannot avoid.