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Alegent Health reports clinician usability benefits from collaboration with Siemens and Motion Computing

Siemens Healthcare USA : 26 February, 2008  (New Product)
Siemens and Alegent Health, the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa, have released results of a clinician usability study that was recently deployed at Alegent Health's Lakeside Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
The results from the study revealed: significant increases in end-user satisfaction; quality of care improvements as a result of increased ability to document at the point of care; increased clinician productivity due to increased mobility; reduced device performance issues and improved workflow; and projected cost savings.

The study examined the usability of the Motion Computing C5 MCA (Mobile Clinical Assistant) with Siemens Soarian and Siemens Med Administration Check (MAK).

The Motion C5 MCA is a tablet PC created by Motion Computing with support from Intel that includes features such as integrated barcode and RFID readers for patient identification and/or electronic medication administration, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. Siemens actively contributed input to the development of the Motion C5 MCA to enhance the clinician end-user experience for those who are also utilising Siemens solutions.

During the study, clinicians accessed Soarian, Siemens next-generation, workflow-engineered healthcare information system, and Siemens MAK, which automatically validates and documents the medication administration process through barcoding technology to help reduce the potential for errors and improve care, via the Motion C5 MCA devices while treating patients at the bedside.

Alegent Health initially ventured into the wireless arena in conjunction with the rollout of Soarian and MAK. To access these solutions, nurses first used PC-based Workstations-on-Wheels (WOWs) at patients' bedsides. However, the nurses discovered that the WOWs were heavy and that the units had to be moved from room to room more than 80 times during each shift.

The WOWs were expensive, with a short battery life that caused abrupt and frequent loss of data, and the subsequent need to repeatedly log in to the computer consumed over 48 minutes of nursing time. Additionally, data availability to other members of the healthcare team was affected by data latency issues - defined as the time delay between the moment data is collected and the moment it is available in the electronic Medical record (EMR).

In response to nursing concerns about the various medication administration workflow issues, Alegent Health adopted the Motion C5 MCA and entered into a clinician usability study to determine if the Motion C5 MCA could improve care delivery, enhance clinician productivity and workflow, increase clinician satisfaction, and reduce delays and information availability within the EMR.

The results compiled at the conclusion of the study are as follows:

- Lower risk of error: medication administration - Clinicians at Alegent Health noted a total of 15 near ‘misses’ out of a total of 1,853 doses, indicating that the Motion C5 MCA devices were an effective tool for medication administration management, when coupled with an automated medication administration solution like MAK.

- Risk of error: data latency - The study showed that data latency averaged one hour and 37 minutes when using the WOWs and just 17 minutes when using the Motion C5 MCA. For RN-acquired vital signs, data latency averaged two hours and 40 minutes, compared to less than one minute when nurses used the Motion C5 MCA for point of care documentation.

- Workflow enhancement - Nurses at Alegent Health were able to reduce the typical workflow process for collection of patient vital signs from 10 steps to four steps, thereby reducing the potential for transcription errors. Because clinicians had their own Motion C5 MCA devices, they were able to transcribe in real-time closer to the point of care, increasing the likelihood for accurate and complete data.

- Improve nursing satisfaction - Following the study, an anonymous online survey of staff nurses revealed a 62 percent increase in overall satisfaction with the new Motion C5 MCA and mobile workflow process. Numerous factors contributed to the increase in clinician satisfaction such as overall mobility, ease of data entry and access, and the ability to move around more easily in constrained areas.

- Cost savings - Although it was not a primary focus of the study, one of Alegent Health's overall objectives is to reduce the relative cost of acquiring, maintaining and operationally supporting its end-user device computing infrastructure. A simple cost of ownership comparison was made analysing upfront acquisition costs, annual operating expenses, forecasted annual failure rates, and practical useful life of Motion C5 MCAs compared to the previously acquired WOWs. Extrapolated over a three-year useful life, the Motion C5 MCA was found to provide substantial savings compared to maintaining existing WOWs.

'Few innovations have the potential to transform workflow, boost clinician productivity, yield savings in time and money, and help to improve patient safety,' explained Michael Westcott, MD, FACEP, chief medical information officer, Alegent Health. 'Through the combination of Soarian and the Motion C5 MCA, we have achieved all of these goals and plan to expand the program to other facilities in the future.'

'Through the positive results of this study, Alegent Health has continued to solidify itself as a leader in quality healthcare delivery and healthcare IT usage. Mobile solutions are being explored by many healthcare institutions due to the increasing need for caregivers to be able to access crucial, up-to-date patient information when and where they need it most - at the point of care,' said Janet Dillione, chief executive officer, Health Services, Siemens Medical Solutions. 'With Soarian, Siemens addresses these mobility needs by being one of the only companies in the industry offering a complete health information system (HIS) across clinical and financial applications that can run on any thin-client device that supports its web browser requirements, such as wireless laptops, notebooks, tablet PCs or PDAs.'

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