iSolutions created a FileMaker database, named ‘VAST’, to assist Lee Medical in sending nurses to healthcare facilities. Originally, the solution was used via laptops with WiFi connections. Once FileMaker Go was released, iSolutions worked with Lee Medical to prep their database to be deployed using iPads. (http://www.businessinsider.com/tech-and-your-biz-how-an-ipad-app-helped-a-hospital-reduce-infections-2011-12)
While U.S. hospital-acquired infections are on the rise, the prognosis is good in one important area: bloodstream infections. These are often caused by mismanagement of IV catheters in patients’ veins and by poor catheter insertion.
The good news is that Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI) are preventable, according to the Center for Disease Control, and the vascular access specialists at Lee Medical (www.leemedical.com) are proving it.
Built around the practice of “using the right device at the right time,” Lee Medical is an outsourced service whose nurses not only use the appropriate medical devices, they also use Apple iPads running FileMaker Go to help drive down the troubling frequency and cost of CLABSI. Lee Medical contracts with about 60 hospitals and other care facilities in Tennessee for use of its proprietary software solution, VAST®, built with FileMaker Go for iPad.
Vascular access devices (VADs) are essential for everything from delivering drugs and nutrition to administering pain control and anesthesia. But if a catheter VAD is not properly inserted and maintained throughout its lifespan, it can become an on-ramp for germs.
An important key to infection control is the continuity of care provided by skilled practitioners maintaining the device using a regimented discipline,” notes Michele Lee, president and head of clinical operations at Lee Medical. “Our specialized teams are all highly trained in best practices and know which devices work best in specific situations. We have a track record of less than 0.5 infections per 1,000 catheter days as compared to many hospitals that report infection rates between 2 and 18 per 1,000 catheter days.”
Hospitals are on point to get their infection rates down, as government regulations now deny reimbursement for treating hospital-acquired infections, including CLABSI, which cost on average $91,000. And the Center for Disease Control estimates 250,000 central line-associated infections occur in the U.S. annually with a mortality rate of 25 to 35 percent.
From a public safety as well as business standpoint, transparency is mandatory, since all hospitals are required to annually publish infection rates. “While hospitals are motivated to protect the erosion of their bottom line, there is also a moral imperative to eliminate these preventable infections. Costs are quantifiable, life is not,” says Michele Lee.
Now, with FileMaker Go, VAST, and iPad implementation, Lee Medical is able to provide real time patient and catheter surveillance. Nurses are enabled to chart and monitor all patient and device-related information for the lifespan of the catheter regardless of the patient’s location. FileMaker Go for iPad is supporting a system that results in healthier patients, reduced pain and suffering and millions of dollars in annual savings for healthcare providers.
FileMaker Go and iPad streamline safe service
Lee’s teams of nurses rely on FileMaker Go for iPad as soon as they are dispatched to a service call. On site, they securely log in to capture patient information, gain real-time access to medical records from the central FileMaker database, review orders and get to work.
Each specialist must capture and track data pre- and post-procedure. The touch interface of the iPad simplifies data collection, eliminates errors, and improves workflow efficiencies.
Electronic medical records related to vascular access never actually reside on the iPad, but rather, are securely stored in the centralized FileMaker Server database, assuring all patient privacy regulations – including consent and compliance standards – are complied with.
With the affordability of the iPad, a system that can scale by simply training and equipping more nurses with iPads and FileMaker Go, and the ubiquity of 3G connectivity (independent of Wi-Fi networks), this innovative FileMaker Go solution empowers Lee Medical to differentiate itself in a complex and competitive medical environment.
The central database resides on FileMaker Server software and securely connects, in real time, with a huge array of complex legacy systems across multiple medical facilities. It updates catheter inventory, populates highly structured billing screens and generates invoices instantly. Clinicians can review patient data within minutes of a procedure from any location via 3G or Wi-Fi.
In addition to the clinical benefits this system delivers, it helps streamline Lee Medical’s business model. Back-end data interfaces seamlessly with previously siloed layers of administrative and operational information at care facilities. Timely, proactive handling of complex billing procedures keeps revenue streams unobstructed. The FileMaker Go solution will easily scale to meet the demands of a company that is growing rapidly.
“What’s important is the continuity of information about each device and patient as they move from facility to facility,” says Michele. “The ability to monitor specific risk factors empowers our nurses in the prevention of infection. Instead of removing the catheter and reinserting a new one every time a patient moves from one facility to another, we can reduce infections by providing continuity of care coupled with the constant surveillance provided by VAST. That’s often a big factor in preventing infection, and the information about each patient and device is stored and available indefinitely in FileMaker Pro Server.”
Fast, Cost-effective development
Replacing a former laptop-based solution, the iPad solution was built by technology partners iSolutions at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional programming techniques. The first day FileMaker Go appeared in the App Store, Charles Lee, Chief Executive Officer, downloaded it to explore the possibility of using it within Lee’s practice. “Within hours, I pulled up a prototype of our new solution,” he says. Within two weeks, the VAST application was basically operational on the iPad.
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Charles and Michele Lee are convinced their firm is positioned for further innovation, expansion, and success. “Developing this FileMaker Go solution for the iPad is absolutely the least expensive, most effective way to stay ahead of the technical curve in the rapidly changing and complex world of medicine,” Charles says. “Healthcare executives are amazed that a small company like ours has come forth with such a game-changing product.”
“FileMaker’s knack for innovation keeps us thinking that we’ve not yet taken the process of vascular access management as far as it can go,” says Michele. “By running FileMaker Go for iPad, we have been able to achieve a dramatic breakthrough and the end result is a much needed value proposition for healthcare: improved quality at reduced costs.”