Advancing Interoperability with an Innovative Solution for Perinatal Care Monitoring
Chris Bloodworth, Director of Product Strategy, Clinical Solutions at MEDHOST, has led MEDHOST’s integration with labor and delivery software, OBIX, to help nurses to work more efficiently in every aspect of a patient encounter. Implementing systems like these, that offer a single point for data entry — as well as a system for notifications and vital measurements — can save an OB nurse up to 8 minutes per patient, enhance patient safety, and improve quality of care.
Click here to hear from John Murray, National Accounts Manager for Clinical Computer Systems, Inc. (CCSI), on how this integration has helped develop applications that make it easier for nurses to document information at a patient’s bedside and provide a higher level of care.
Health IT on the Record, presented by MEDHOST, explores how innovations in health information technology impact every aspect of a health system, from multi-hospital networks down to individual patients.
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TranscriptShow Full Transcript
Chris Bloodworth: We need to be able to get the most productivity out of the hours that we have while still providing for patient safety and quality of care as well as the accuracy of capturing the data.
Host: That’s Chris Bloodworth, director of product strategy and clinical solutions at MEDHOST. In this episode, she paints a picture of how MEDHOST’s integration with labor and delivery software OBIX has helped nurses to work more efficiently in every aspect of a patient encounter.
Chris: You know, your patient and patient’s family depend on you to provide the best quality care, to educate them, to make sure that they’re on their path for wellness.
Host: This is Health IT on the Record, presented by MEDHOST, a show that dives into how health information technology innovations impact every aspect of a health system, from multi-hospital networks down to individual patients. Chris shares how having a single point for data entry as well as a system for notifications and vitals measurements can save an OB nurse up to eight minutes per patient, enhance patient safety, and improve quality of care. Enjoy the conversation.
Chris: Hello. My name is Chris Bloodworth. I’m the director of product strategy over clinical applications at MEDHOST.
Host: Chris, thanks so much for taking the time today. So on the agenda, we’re going to be talking primarily about an integration between MEDHOST and OBIX. We’re going to talk about how that’s provided clinical benefits and operational efficiencies, I suppose you could say, at Cibola Hospital. We’re going to talk about really the what this is all about, how this specifically can make a difference for nurses, for providers, how they’re supporting baby and mom. And most importantly, we’re going to talk about the why and why your team is working on this and so many other things.
So before we really get to that, I’d love to kick things off of just adding a little context by talking with you first, a little about your background. And then we’ll get back to that in a minute. So I know you’ve got several years you’ve been at MEDHOST. But before that, take me back to what you were doing.
Chris: So I’m a nurse. I’ve been a nurse for many years in a hospital setting. I’ve worked floor nursing. I’ve worked in the OB. I’ve worked in the OR. I’ve been in management. I’ve been in clinical informatics. Any job that a nurse does in a hospital, I’ve probably done it.
Host: That’s a lot of time on your feet. I know you’re like a master juggler. I’ve never been a nurse. I don’t know what that’s like. But for someone, how do you describe, just like in a nutshell, all the things that you’re having to do?
Chris: Yeah. Nursing is hard work. Your patient and your patient’s family depend on you to provide the best quality care, to educate them, to make sure that they’re on their path for wellness.
Host: Right. Now, I know you said you did a lot of different things, but you did have a focus on mom and baby, as a nurse, right?
Chris: I did. I worked eight years in an OB, worked in the labor and delivery department, postpartum, and newborn nursery.
Host: When you really zoom out and look at the kind of work you’re doing, director of product strategy, clinical solutions, just kind of thinking on a big scale, what are the kinds of problems that you’re looking at? Just generally speaking, what are the kinds of things – kind of getting now to the present day, what are the things that you’re looking at? Kind of take me through that real quick.
Chris: Yeah. So we want to be able to provide products that help nurses and providers work efficiently. It’s a very busy time, and we need to be able to get the most productivity out of the hours that we have while still providing for patient safety and quality of care as well as the accuracy of capturing the data.
Host: You just talked about efficiency as one of those problems that you’re trying to work to improve. And so the context around today, we’re going to be talking about the integration between MEDHOST and OBIX.
So just to paint a picture, what does that really mean? Why does that really matter, especially through the eyes of someone who’s been a nurse? You’ve been in those shoes. You understand the problems and the challenges between baby and momma and all the things that are being juggled. Can you kind of paint a picture with that?
Chris: Sure. So if my task is making sure that mom and baby receive quality care, I need my focus there. I don’t want to be focused on documenting something and then having to document it a second time. And I need access to the data in real time. I don’t need to spend time or want to spend time searching for information. I want it to be available to me quickly, and I don’t want to have to look in different places for that information. I’d like to have it all together in one quick place where I can review it, act on it, and then get my focus back to mom and baby.
Host: So the danger is if you are not only having to spend more time on a computer, the accuracy – there might some variance because there’s so much stuff happening. So the example we’re going to use, a real example, is Cibola Hospital. So you made this integration, MEDHOST and OBIX, here at Cibola Hospital. So what were the main objectives with that? And then what were some of things you could see came from that?
Chris: Sure. So MEDHOST is a full-suite EHR system application. We provide software and services to facilities for every aspect of the patient encounter, so from the registration to nursing care, provider care, pharmacy, lab, even billing and patient engagement. So we do very well at that.
What we didn’t have in our system was the perinatal surveillance and alerting system. So partnering with OBIX allowed us to have a new valued partner who is a leader in the industry in perinatal data management systems. They provide not only comprehensive perinatal documentation, but they also have data storage and archival. They’ve got a very strong perinatal surveillance and alert system, and then electronic tools for their fetal strip monitoring to help identify potential problems that mom or baby may be getting into.
So the integration allows us to provide for our customers a single point of entry for documentation. So no longer will nurses in the OB have to log in to the MEDHOST system to do some charting and then log in separately to the OBIX system to do some charting. Through a single point of entry, they can chart in either application.
Host: So there’s kind of two primary benefits I’m hearing. There’s more of the clinical benefit side. There’s then more of the operational efficiencies, I suppose you would call it, that are happening. Do you want to maybe look at each of those individually and just kind of unpack those further and why that’s important, why that matters?
Chris: Sure. So some of the additional integration points that we have established with OBIX, the first one being an ADT interface – admission, discharge, and transfer – and basically this is registration of the patient. That occurs in the MEDHOST system today. And prior to the integration, the OB nurse would have to go into the OBIX system and enter all that patient information again and put them in an OB bed.
Now that we have the interface, once the patient is registered in the MEDHOST system, that information flows into the OBIX system. And that patient is already in that OBIX software by the time the patient gets to the floor. So that time that that nurse would have had to –
Host: When you say, “The patient gets to the floor,” what do you mean by that?
Chris: To the labor and delivery department. So from checking in at the front desk, by the time they get back into their labor and delivery bed, that information has already moved or been interfaced into the OBIX system. So now the nurse doesn’t have to spend that time putting all that information into the system. So we’ve just given that nurse back five or seven or eight minutes of her day.
Host: And that compounds, right? I mean, for someone who’s not been a nurse, having that multiplied, what does that enable the nurse in the hospital?
Chris: That’s more attention you give to your patient, not data entry into a computer. So nurses are very hands on, and they’re very focused on patients. The less time I have to spend interacting with the computer and I can focus my attention on the patient, the better. So another great integration point is with a lab interface.
So as labs are ordered in the MEDHOST application – the OB doctor enters the order for a lab and is resulted in the MEDHOST application. The OB nurse may be focused within the OBIX application. Without the integration, she has to or he has to log back into MEDHOST to continually check to see, “Is that lab result available yet?” With the integration, we put a status or an alert on the OBIX tracking board that let’s the nurse know that that lab has been resulted, so no more time spent logging back in and checking. I can wait until I have the alert and then go look for the information.
Host: Health IT on the Record is brought to you by MEDHOST. With over 30 years of experience partnering with providers nationwide, MEDHOST is helping evolve better solutions for healthcare management through innovative workflows and technologies. For more information, visit www.medhost.com. Let’s jump back in.
Host: When you were saying earlier, taking someone from entering the hospital, all the way following her to the floor into the labor area, I’m curious to hear that second part of the process, so as labor is occurring, the nurse’s role working with mom and baby, working with all of the moving parts. I would like to hear a little bit more about some of the different integrations and kind of how it enables you as the nurse to be more effective. Are there one or two other areas you can dig into?
Chris: Sure. So as I’m caring for the patient, one of the data elements that I’m collecting are the maternal vital signs as well as fetal heart rate. Most facilities have maternal fetal monitors that are capturing blood pressure, pulse, pulse oximetry, fetal heart rate. That information then flows directly from the monitor into the OBIX application.
The problem without the integration is that information all is in the OBIX application, and the provider is placing orders and making notes within the MEDHOST application. So the interface or the integration of the vital signs, once the device sends those data elements to the OBIX application, we’re also receiving those in the MEDHOST application. So as the provider comes on the floor and is reviewing his notes, he has access to those vital signs real time and doesn’t have to wait on a nurse to be able to report to him what the vital signs look like or what the fetal heart rate has looked like.
Chris: Another place where we are interfacing is with medication administration. In the MEDHOST application, we have the ability to do some patient checking for the five rights for medication administration. We have the right patient, the right medication, the right dose, the right route, the right time. The provider is entering those orders in the MEDHOST application, and these are made available on the medication administration record within MEDHOST.
If I’m doing my documentation in OBIX, I then have to go into MEDHOST to see what medications can be administered. Once I administer this medication and I document that in MEDHOST, we are now sending that information across into the OBIX system. And that’s very important because now I don’t have to document that twice. I don’t have to put it on my medication administration record in MEDHOST and in my patient chart for OBIX. And the documentation of medication administration is very important in an OB setting. Specifically, with this interface, OBIX puts that information in real time on that fetal heart strip.
So as a nurse or a provider is reviewing that fetal heart strip to understand trends and the maternal contractions or trends in fetal heart rates, they can see the effects of the medication on mom and baby. So that’s one place where, again, that integration of data reduces that nurse’s need for dual documentation and gives real-time access to the information to all users.
Host: Well, Chris, I think that answers all the questions I had for you today. I really liked how you could zoom it way out, look at the big picture, which includes really the what, how this all works, and really most importantly why this matters and why enabling this integration with MEDHOST and OBIX, how and why it can make a difference. So I really liked the big picture. I liked how you also zoomed way in on a granular level. You really understand this, the pain points that nurses can feel and the providers can feel.
So I really enjoyed talking with you today. Thank you so much, and I look forward to hopefully revisiting other exciting projects that you’re doing over at MEDHOST.
Chris: Thank you, Clark. I appreciate you having me on today. We are very excited about this partnership with OBIX and always looking for ways that we can solve problems for our customers.
Host: Thanks for listening to Health IT on the Record, presented by MEDHOST. For more stories and content like this, be sure to visit medhost.com/resources. Thanks.