Patient Device Association: Closing the Gaps

Participating Organizations: B Braun, Epic, GuardRFID, InnoVision Medical Technologies, SPOK

In today’s fast-paced healthcare environment, patients and medical equipment are constantly on the move. Staffing ratios and documentation guidelines spread nurses focus thin. As a result, establishing device associations to a patient can be burdensome and often missed. Julie, a 37-year-old sepsis patient, begins to recover in the ICU. Since patients are waiting in the ED for an ICU bed, Julie is rapidly transferred to a step-down unit when a bed is available. The medical devices at her ICU bedside need to be disassociated from Julie, and the devices in the step-down unit need to be associated with her. This use case highlights how the new Point-of-Care Identity Management (PCIM) standard facilitates automating the association process and reduces errors and omissions. Point-of-Care Identity Management seamlessly associates devices to patients to ensure accurate, timely data flow. This use case demonstrates how patient-device associations are established, both by manual scanning through the Association Reporter and Manager or by automatic association through real-time locating systems (RTLS) technology. Even when a rapid transfer and stat med order causes the nurse to manually program the infusion pump outside of the automated workflow, the infusion pump is associated with Julie. Throughout her care journey, bedside medical devices are correctly associated with Julie, which ensures messages and data contain the appropriate patient identification and can flow directly into Julie’s electronic health record. Alerts from associated devices are managed to assure an on-duty nurse gets the alarm in a timely manner to respond to the patient’s needs. Ensuring seamless and accurate patient device association is essential in promoting continuity of care, responding appropriately to alerts, maintaining accurate and comprehensive medical records, and above all ensuring patient safety.