Improving Patient Care with Real-Time Data

Blog / Improving Patient Care with Real-Time Data

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    Sheraz Sarwar
    Sheraz SarwarFebruary 11, 2022

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    On the surface, real-time patient data is just data that is available as soon as it is collected. Implemented in hospitals and care facilities, however, real-time data could change the face of patient safety and care.

    In the healthcare sector, real-time data could be delivered by machines that monitor vitals or other health care information. It might also be data that is taken by a physician at the bedside. Either way, real-time data systems prioritize the reporting of critical information instantly, rather than later.

    Currently, hospitals are so overwhelmed that patient data is only updated when a nurse or physician has available time. This leads to delays in care, and a higher chance of deterioration for a patient. Real-time data ensures patient data is as up-to-date as possible. Ultimately, patient safety and care is the priority, and real-time patient data could be the answer to many inefficiencies in the hospital workday.

    Real-Time Patient Data

    Early Identification

    Real-time patient health data enforces constant patient monitoring. Despite best efforts, physicians are overwhelmed. A system like real-time data can help them to keep on top of patient care, even if they cannot be present. 

    Consistent updates on a patient's vitals or other necessary data can help to identify unrecognized patient deterioration. Therefore, the patient receives help or care, before they begin to fall more unwell. The primary aim of a healthcare facility is to ensure that patients get better, and real-time patient data goes a long way toward that goal.

    Well-managed patients are better for the healthcare facility too. They require fewer resources for their care, leaving resources available for critical cases. 

    Real-time analytics data is also critical for the identification and management of virus or disease outbreaks. Unfortunately, hospitals and health facilities can be a hotbed of new viruses. MRSA is just one example of a common hospital bacteria. An outbreak of MRSA can debilitate a hospital. Patients must undergo control measures, and contact should be to a minimum. Managing the resulting illness stretches hospital resources even further. 

    Regular updates on all patients can help physicians to spot potential viruses or bacteria, before they turn into an outbreak. Initial care can be provided to the infected patient, and all other patients remain healthy. Reducing the risk of infection or deterioration improves care for all patients.

    Time Management

    As mentioned, real-time analytics data helps to keep patient health steady, where possible. This means that physicians are free to work with patients that are critically ill. 

    Regular check-ins are a time-consuming part of a nurse or physicians day. They are extremely important in monitoring a patients health. However, depending on the number of patients on the roster, they can take up more time than they need to. 

    Real-time patient data systems combined with vital monitoring machines can help to remove this step, where possible. If a physician can even half the physical visits for each patient, they are available for more urgent cases. 

    Physicians must input patient data manually in most healthcare systems across the world. For each check-in, they spend just as much time filling in information onto paper or electronic systems. 

    If the hospital is busy, this information may not be recorded for quite some time. The information could be inaccurate, or important data could be forgotten in the meantime. Ultimately, this is detrimental to the facility and the patient.

    Depending on the implementation of real-time analytics and data systems, they could allow for monitoring of availability, too. These systems allow administrative staff to see what each nurse or physician is working on, and distribute work accordingly. The hospital can run more smoothly, and staff feel less pressure. 

    Resource Management

    Just as staff can be managed more effectively, so can hospital resources. Keeping track of patients and their treatments provides a log of resources in use. 

    For example, real-time analytics and data systems can instantly log records for MRI scans, x-rays and more. Therefore, hospital management systems can identify schedules and what is currently in use. 

    Real-time patient data systems can help to build a management system for beds, operation rooms, machines, critical equipment and more.

    Better resource management improves efficiency across a healthcare facility. Organized care is better for patients and provides a smooth experience for all within a hospital or care facility.

    Pro-Active and Preventative Care

    Real-time data can encourage preventative care, rather than reactive care. This overall improves the health of those within a facility. Ultimately, preventing deterioration or illness is a far better approach for patients and healthcare systems. 

    Healthcare resources are overwhelmed across the world. Preventative measures utilize fewer resources than other treatments. Patients would rather address their health concerns early on, before getting seriously ill, too. 

    Real-time patient data, including vitals, can help to identify the next stages of an illness. Ideally, providing treatment before the problem snowballs. Combined with innovative health tech like machine learning, and AI, real-time data contributes to the generation of a strategic treatment plan

    The inventive tech trawls patient data, identifies illness based on real-time data, and generates an individualized plan for preventative or reactive treatment. Whilst tech like this is in the early stages, it demonstrates a real drive towards preventative care in the healthcare industry.

    Real-Time Patient Data

    The Future of Real-Time Data

    Real-time data is still a relatively new healthcare solution. Widespread implementation of tech solutions like this is challenging. Healthcare systems around the world lack interoperability. There are also considerable challenges with funding, as less developed countries struggle to maintain public health systems.

    However, innovations like real-time data demonstrate the drive to improve patient care. In the future, discussions centre around in-home real-time patient data. This further extends the provision of patients, beyond hospitals and emergency care facilities. 

    Elderly patients within care homes are one group that could benefit from this technology. Often, illnesses in care homes can go unnoticed until emergency care is needed. Real-time data systems could help to monitor the residents’ overall health, and catch illnesses before they exacerbate. Similarly to hospitals, real-time data can also catch the spread of viruses within the homes.

    This same technology could be used to monitor patients with long-term illnesses. For example, diabetes monitors that provide constant updates to healthcare systems could be an effective way to manage the disease, before symptoms get worse. 

    Ultimately, the newest health technologies, from Artificial Intelligence to real-time data entry, prioritize the needs of the patients in an over-subscribed health care system.

    At Vertrical, we build innovative and compliant digital health care solutions. We understand the challenges that the healthcare industry faces, and are keen to alleviate the pressure. We have teams of experienced engineers, project managers, business analysts and more. Get in touch today to discuss your digital health projects.



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