Blog - Medical Informatics Corp

From alarm management to improved patient care: HIMSS 2017 Education Session Takeaways

by Emma Fauss, CEO

As always, HIMSS is an exciting time of year. A time to see the evolution of technologies, to catch up with colleagues and friends, to speak to healthcare executives about their initiatives and challenges, and, more than anything, to learn.

This year, we were excited and honored to witness Dr. Fernando Stein, 2017 AAP-president elect, and Joellan Mullen, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, present their alarm management project during the general session. Their presentation, Patient-Centric Alarm Management for Improving Care Quality, was held on Wednesday, February 22nd. Over one hundred attendees gathered in the room to hear the lively talk filled with vignettes and truly compelling takeaways.

Dr. Stein’s introduction to the alarm problem

Dr. Stein started out with his usual humorous undertones and engaged the audience right away. He showed a “Status Quo” slide and talked about how every nurse on the unit avg alarms in PCU per daywas receiving 250 alarms per shift or 1 alarm every 3 minutes for 12 hours!

You could actually hear gasps in the room. Everyone knows alarms are a problem, but hard numbers like these make the problem so real. More importantly, when you take a step back and think about those numbers and the impact on patient care, you know that things have to change.

The solution and results

Dr. Stein turned the session over to Joellan so she could talk more about how she, the nursing staff, and the entire TCH team tried to resolve this problem. She talked about their steering committee, their PDSA cycles, their data collection process, and their use of MIC’s alarm dashboards. She provided step-by-step details on Phase I of their process – from baseline analysis, to alarm analysis, to policy and protocol changes. She presented detailed slides on a variety of results including an initial 10% reduction in alarms per bed per day, a 13% reduction in total alarms in the unit, and no adverse effects.

Joellan then discussed TCH’s shift to patient-centric alarm management and the creation of a daily patient-specific alarm rounding process led by the nursing staff using MICs PatMon Alarms dashboard. Joellan talked about how this change resulted in an overall reduction in alarms in the PCU by 28.51% and decreased time in alarm by 29.40%.

Finally, Joellan closed the session by talking about how they can use the dashboards to not just track all events, but investigate each event. This ability, combined with more meaningful alarms, has resulted in measureable improvements in patient care. For example, Joellan’s unit has been able to decrease unplanned intubations from around 4-5 per month to 2-3 per month as a result of the daily alarm management process and views into the data that MIC provides.

My sense of pride and accomplishment

As the CEO of MIC, I am grateful and proud to have been a part of this project. When we created our alarm management dashboards, we wanted to go beyond just providing information on alarms, to providing tools that made alarm data meaningful and actionable. We also wanted to ensure that the data we provided included patients that were still in the bed. Why? Because alarms aren’t one and done. Changing alarm limits is the first step but your patient population is always changing. Unless you create a mechanism for patient-centric alarm management, long lasting change doesn’t occur.

As Joellan closed the presentation she said “patient-centric and real-time analytics can change the conversation, empower hospital staff, and improve patient care.” This was music to my ears. You see, the word that we use every day at MIC is “empowerment”. Our goal is to empower the care team to make better, faster decisions and save lives. So hearing Joellan use this word, and seeing all the accolades that TCH has received for this project, is proof that we are delivering on that vision.

Next Steps

Joellan mentioned to the audience that the success of the project is leading to deployment in other units. She also mentioned that they are also deploying other MIC apps such as PatientHx to dive even further into events, protocols, and trends, as well as MIC’s remote monitoring and predictive analytics apps. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with TCH to help them realize all their goals and more. In addition, we are actively working with many other forward thinking institutions to realize similar results. Together, we believe we can change healthcare. Together, we can “save lives, bit by bit.”

Want to Learn More?

Contact us if you would like copies of the presentation slide deck or if you would like to discuss your current initiatives and see our alarm management and other apps for remote monitoring and predictive analytics in action.

MIC celebrates advancements in machine learning at Rice University

Machine Learning at Rice

This week, over 400 engineers, scientists, and mathematicians met at the BioScience Research Collaborative building at Rice University to discuss the advances, promises, and challenges of machine learning. The day was a remarkable display of the cross-disciplinary impact that this growing field has had in finance, energy, law, and healthcare.

What was the format?

ML@Rice was jointly hosted by Rice University’s Ken Kennedy Institute and the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Computational & Applied Mathematics. A mixture of academics and industry professionals held talks ranging from theory to commercial application, and the local ML community showed off some of the latest advances in the field with an afternoon poster session. Jointly hosted by Rice University’s Ken Kennedy Institute and the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Computational & Applied Mathematics,

What our co-founder had to say

As part of the workshop, MIC’s co-founder and CTO, Dr. Craig Rusin, was invited to speak about the use of machine learning in healthcare. Each speaker presented their own experience using ML in their work. Craig spoke about using ML to save lives. He explained the difficulty in obtaining the data that he needed for his medical research, and how Sickbay allowed him to gather this data and then use it to train an algorithm that predicts cardiac arrest 1-2 hours in advance.

Other speakers

As the day proceeded, speakers repeatedly demonstrated the breadth of machine learning’s applications in their fields. For example, in healthcare, Genevera Allen described the new statistical models that her research group created to calculate the relationships between various genomic data sets. A few hours later, Dr. Hardeep Singh provided the audience with a wish list of advances that incorporate social science into learning from the EMR to provide better diagnoses and follow-up.

My takeaway

Despite the broad range of the industries addressed by the workshop, common ground was reached surprisingly often. During a late afternoon panel of industry experts, we learned that restricted data access limits progress not only in healthcare, but in oil and gas. While privacy concerns and trade secrets are rightfully held as important reasons for maintaining data silos, advances in secure and large-scale machine learning by researchers like Anshumali Shrivastava point the way towards better algorithms trained on larger, richer data sets shared securely from multiple sources.

MIC’s future plans

Of course, MIC has collected one of the largest, richest physiologic data sets in the world. And we are just getting started. We are proud to be a part of the ever-increasing ML community in Space City, and are already thinking about our plans for the next ML@Rice.

If you’d like to learn more about how we use machine learning to save lives, Contact MIC today!


Raajen Patel
Product Manager

MIC Collaborates with AT&T Foundry For Connected Health Event

The AT&T Foundry For Connected Health celebrated its grand opening inside TMC’s Innovation Institute on June 7th, and Medical Informatics Corp (MIC) was honored to play a role in this day of recognition. Our virtual patient monitoring station was demoed and we were able to begin networking with our new neighbor.


What Is The AT&T Foundry For Connected Health?

The AT&T Foundry is an innovation institute. It provides resources necessary for cutting-edge innovators to quickly develop and take to market products that make the world a better place. It fosters collaboration, encourages big ideas, and has the power to make things happen.

“The goal of the AT&T Foundry is to bring ideas from concept to commercialization faster than previously possible, and nowhere is that mission more important than in healthcare,” said Igal Elbaz, Vice President of Ecosystem & Innovation at AT&T.

The Foundry For Connected Health focuses entirely on Healthcare Innovation. It’s located within the TMC Innovation Institute (same location as the MIC headquarters), and will work alongside MIC and other TMCx companies to improve care.

Read the Announcement from AT&T

Why did MIC Participate in this Event?

MIC is trying to create a paradigm shift in healthcare that transforms the way care is delivered. Digital health and innovation is the key to making that happen and creating solutions that seamlessly connect to one another is the only way healthcare will finally get up to speed with the other industries.

“Ultimately, we have a shared vision. Both AT&T and MIC are focusing on the commercialization of solutions that we believe will dramatically improve healthcare for everyone. The fact that AT&T sees us as a leader in digital health innovation proves we’re doing something right. It was an honor to demo our products during this event, and we look forward to the collaboration to come,” says Emma Fauss, CEO of Medical Informatics Corp.

For your own private demo, Contact MIC Today!

How MIC Helped Texas Children’s Hospital Win the ECRI Health Devices Achievement Award

We’re proud to announce that Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) won the ECRI Health Devices Achievement Award.

This outstanding accomplishment was a result of our collaborative effort with them to use patient-centric alarm dashboards at the point of care for ongoing alarm noise reduction and improved care, experience, and team communication.

The Objective

TCH reached out to us a few years ago to discuss alarm management. They were looking for a way to meet National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG), make alarms actionable, improve patient experience, and reduce alarm fatigue.

The Approach

Our teams worked together to perform a baseline analysis to determine their current state and came up with actionable recommendations for initial alarm noise reduction.

Over the course of 3-6 months, TCH accepted those suggestions and implemented them one by one using a PDSA deployment strategy and our Alarm Watch alarm analytics dashboards to test the impact.

They also used Alarm Watch at the point of care within their daily workflow process to manage staff assignments, look for ongoing improvements, and access patient-centric decision support tools to make informed decisions about alarm limit changes.

What became quickly evident to TCH was that these dashboards not only helped them reduce alarm noise, but also gave additional insight into when and if care plans needed to be modified. In fact, they found that 50% of the time they would change alarm limits, but for the other 50%, they actually made changes to patient care.

The Results

Through ongoing collaboration, TCH was able to meet NPSG goals in less than six months and continues to see a reduction in alarm noise.

However, the greater impact of this project has been on their shift in culture to a team based approach around alarms.  The conversation is no longer about “alarm management” – it is now about “patient care”.

The dashboards we created with TCH helped give them the tools they need to improve care team communication, as well as the tools evidence nursing staff needs to back up their recommendations.  The doctors can now see all the alarms that the nurse has been complaining about.  More importantly, the team now has the decision support tools to do something about it.  And being able to doing something about it, has led to improved patient experience and improved care and outcomes.

We believe this last point was the reason TCH received the ECRI award; because they were able to demonstrate using technology to improve care and safety for individual patients.

Want to Learn More?

You can start with an article about the ECRI award in Health Facilities Management. Or, for more complete details on the project listen to the AAMI webinar replay from this fall featuring Samantha Jacques, former Director of Biomed at TCH.

If you would like to discuss your alarm management project and see Alarm Watch in action, Contact us today.

4 Curious, Tireless, Problem Solvers Have Joined Our Team

I’m proud to announce and celebrate our new growth.

We’ve made four exciting hires in the past few months. Each one has a unique and diversified background, bringing our culture to new heights.

The bios below will give you a sense of who they are, what they stand for, and why they joined MIC. You can click their names to learn more.

Meet Heather Hitchcock, VP of Marketing

When I met Heather, I was blown away by her energy and enthusiasm. She told me one of her former CEO’s called her a “tornado of positive energy,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Her 25 years of healthcare sales and marketing experience was a plus, but it was her creative approach to marketing that caught my eye. Heather believes marketing is educating people about the problems you solve, finding people who have that problem, and discovering if they believe your solution can solve it.

She loves marketing, because if you look at it from this angle, you’re really just helping people.  This philosophy embodies why Craig and I founded the company, and the reason every member of the MIC team is here.

Why Heather Chose MIC

“Sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect opportunity – a job where you can’t wait to get up in the morning and start working, where you love collaborating with your colleagues, and where you feel like you’re making a difference.

I’m happy to say I’ve found that at MIC.

I couldn’t be more excited to help bring their technology to life. To help spread the word of how it’s one of the first healthcare IT solutions with the ability to transform healthcare and save lives. To prove to the industry that it isn’t vaporware; that it’s a substantial, proven software platform with the intelligence behind it to deliver on its promises.

I am also so excited to have the opportunity to continue to learn each and every day by working with some of the most intelligent, compassionate, and dedicated individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.” – Heather

Meet Sacha Csicsery-Ronay, UI/UX Developer

With over 10 years of experience in music production, social gaming, and interactive software development, Sacha Csicsery-Ronay brings a diverse background to MIC and a whole new life to the UX of our products.

Sacha has the ability to push past the status quo of healthcare designs and create something that looks like the innovative software products consumers use today. When I saw his previous work, and his ability to achieve the look of Google and Apple products, I knew he’d be a valuable addition.

Why Sacha Chose MIC

“I love working with passionate, opinionated, and incredibly intelligent people. Every day I become a better and more knowledgeable person by being around the MIC team; a team that’s dedicated to making life better for people on a grand scale.

I am excited to use my skills on a product that can actually save lives.

As a UI/UX Developer, I want the Sickbay Platform to offer an intuitive, inviting, and elegant user experience.

My primary goal by the end of the year would be to have a cohesive suite of integrated applications available, with intuitive interaction flow between them. And my ultimate goal is to make the product look and feel as amazing as the underlying technology.” – Sacha

Meet Raajen Patel, Analytics Developer

Raajen Patel uses math to solve real problems and over the years has found himself working with space cameras, oil wells, and cephalopods.  His machine learning skills will help us further develop our products based on real user needs and requirements. I couldn’t be happier to have him on our team.

Why Raajen Chose MIC

“I jumped at the chance to help treat people who are suffering from an illness. I am especially excited to work alongside my fellow MIC colleagues. Everyone brings a unique skill set to drive innovation, collaboration, and accomplishment.  We work together to solve problems and reach incredible goals. My goal is to work directly with physicians to further improve our research tool and ensure its usefulness exceeds all expectations.” – Raajen

Meet Christian Pesantes, Developer

Christian is a new graduate with a BS in Computer Science and a Math minor. During his time as an intern, he demonstrated great passion for programming and perseverance to overcome any obstacle. He is self-motivated, eager to learn new things, and always on the look-out for ways to improve himself and his contributions to the team. Christian’s skillset and determination makes him a great asset for MIC.

Why Christian Chose MIC

“I always told myself that my eventual job had to satisfy 2 major personal requirements: first I wanted to learn a lot by helping solve complex problems and second, and most importantly, I wanted my work to make a difference in the world. So, I was naturally impressed and excited when I met MIC during a presentation they gave at the University of Houston. MIC develops technology that saves lives; I couldn’t be happier to be part of this.” – Christian

What These New Hires Mean To MIC

The expansion of our team is exciting. It makes me proud that such talented individuals want to be a part of what we’ve built; I feel like it is a true testament that we’re doing something right. And we’re not done.

MIC is planning to make additional hires throughout the year, specifically in the sales and technology space.

More importantly, we’ll be leveraging all these great minds to develop and bring to market more clinical apps throughout the year to support additional clinical needs around virtual patient monitoring and predictive analytics.

These apps will transform our research based and alarm optimization solution to a true Clinical Intelligence Platform.

Visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn about future announcements, speaking engagements, and educational webinar sessions.