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Medical Device Connectivity

Can medical device connectivity improve patient outcomes and help reduce costs?

Increasing time available to spend on patient care can contribute to improved patient outcomes. In addition, initiatives such as Meaningful Use, ACOs, and Medicare and Medicaid incentives/penalties are increasing the need for medical device connectivity.1       

Medical Device Connectivity Can Help Improve Patient Outcomes

Medical device connectivity, also called interoperability or clinical device integration, has the opportunity to help improve patient outcomes by reducing:

  • Errors that can contribute to drug errors and misdiagnosis
    • Reports say that an average of 24 data errors2 are made daily in a typical hospital. By reducing the number of errors, patient safety can be increased and less time spent correcting data errors can equate to more time spent caring for patients.
  • Clinician time spent manually entering information
    • One publication estimates that connected medical devices can save an average hospital more than 100 hours2 of nursing on a daily basis, leaving more time for patient-centric care.

Potential Cost Savings with Medical Device Connectivity 

A study by the West Health Institute3 reports that hospitals could save about $30 billion per year with connected medical devices, including those such as diagnostic tests, smart pumps, ventilators and vital sign monitors. Other examples for cost savings include:

  • One study estimates decreasing misdiagnoses can contribute to $2 billion4 in savings for the health care industry overall.
  • And, reducing data entry time is projected to save the health care industry $12.4 billion per year.4

However, device connectivity is not without challenges. A survey conducted with 4,000 Chief Nursing Officers identified cost as the number one barrier (52%).5 The report by the West Health Institute cites the average cost of clinical device integration as a one-time investment of $10,000 per bed.4 

While the benefits outweigh the costs, interoperability remains elusive for many organizations. Even physician practices, ambulatory surgery centers, and other health care organizations can benefit from clinical device integration. Device connectivity has been considered challenging and costly, but it doesn't have to be.


Building Connectivity and Continuity

Learn how athenahealth® can help with connectivity to improve patient care.
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