Scripps Health has launched a pilot study using the ViSi Mobile wireless device to continuously track the vital signs of a group of patients at Scripps Green Hospital as part of a system-wide effort to evaluate and adopt the most promising new digital health technology.
The ViSi Mobile study is designed to determine whether nurses and patients are comfortable using the FDA-approved, non-invasive wrist monitor made by Sotera Wireless of San Diego.
“Wireless health technology has an important role to play in a patient-focused health care system that delivers the right care at the right place and at the right time,” said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “Through pilot studies such as this one, we are evaluating the latest mobile health devices at our hospitals to see where they can help improve patient outcomes, increase efficiency and lower costs.”
The ViSi Mobile measures electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, blood oxygenation and skin temperature. The data are displayed on the device’s small screen and relayed wirelessly to a nursing station computer where they can be monitored in real time through an on-screen dashboard.
The Scripps study involves up to 30 patients who are being fitted with a ViSi Mobile during their stay in one of Scripps Green’s medical-surgical units. Patients in these units are recovering from surgery or are recuperating from pneumonia, liver disease and other illnesses.
Normally, a nurse checks patient vital signs when conducting routine rounds every one or two hours. The ViSi Mobile delivers that information on a constant basis for each patient who is being monitored. If a patient’s vital signs move outside safe ranges, on-screen alerts appear on the nursing station dashboard to warn nurses of the potential problem.
“Continuous monitoring tells a much deeper story about what is going on with a patient, revealing early signs of trouble that can trigger life-saving intervention,” said Mary Ellen Doyle, Scripps vice president for nursing operations. “By testing the most promising wireless technologies and bringing them into our hospital, we are keeping our focus on patients and the quality of care that we deliver to them.”
One patient in the study, William Romo of San Diego, said the ViSi Mobile seemed far more convenient to use than larger machines that use cumbersome leads. “I like that I don’t have wires attached all over me,” he said.
A second pilot study is planned for early 2014 to evaluate the ViSi Mobile on another group of patients at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. Scripps will decide whether to deploy the device permanently in its hospitals after the studies at Green and La Jolla are completed.
“Scripps Health is recognized as one of the leaders in health care and is clearly aligned with our vision to improve patient safety,” said Sotera’s Gary Manning, who is vice president for global sales and market development. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to be working with Scripps to jointly enhance care delivery.”
Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.