The integration of technology into healthcare has helped clinicians and patients be able to keep a better track on one’s health. While having alerts go off if there is a medical issue is a good thing, others are experiencing alert fatigue and are questioning if these surveillance tools are making things better. According to a new KLAS study, these clinical surveillance tools are improving the workflow of clinicians as the technology is continuing to mature.
Alert Fatigue is Worth the Risk
One issue that is of a growing concern is an over-load of medical alerts that the medical field is trying to cope with, which have raised the question of whether experiencing alert fatigue is worth it. Based on an article that appeared on the Healthcare IT News website, it appears to be worth-while.
The article mentions a recent stud by KLAS that consists of ten vendors who provide tools that deal with clinical surveillance with alerts, which they discovered that the technology used assists with improving workflow, saving the lives of patients and the prevention of readmissions. This is welcomed news for the clinicians they support and IT shops, who have become overrun with medical alerts. Considering how these embedded alerts have, for many users, create a state of alert fatigue, the new findings make it appear that this fatigue is worth-while.
The Growing Trend of Utilizing Clinical Surveillance Tools
When taking a closer look at these clinical surveillance products, they are fairly new while utilizing detection algorithms that are informed by a patient’s monitoring devices, their EHR, lab results as well as other sources. KLAS has said that most organizations are currently utilizing these products to alert and monitor for cases that possibly deal with sepsis.
The vendors that KLAS are studying are Wolters Kluwer, Bernoulli, Philips, Cerner, PeraHealth, Epic, MEDITECH, Stanson Health, Latric Systems and Ambient Clinical Analytics. Apparently, many of these organizations have decided to expand on the usage of their clinical surveillance tech to watch out for other issues, such as potential for readmission, best practices, risks of falling and preventative treatments.
KLAS said that, “As this field continues to mature and users find new uses for these solutions, the utility experienced by the early adopters will continue to grow and will increase organizations’ ability to deliver better patient care overall.” Healthcare IT News reported last July about ECRI Institute’s Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety (https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/ecri-lays-down-3-steps-close-patient-safety-loop-diagnostic-testing) where they identified ways that technology can reduce errors and eliminate them from mix-ups in medication and in diagnostic testing.
Suggestions were made by ECRI with improving data transmissions by utilizing standards in formatting results, communication directly with patients regarding diagnostic findings, reporting findings that are actionable that include timing and priority via standards, optimizing alerts for reducing fatigue, creating icons that are recognizable for notifications and alerts in EHR’s, automate notifications by utilizing existing functionality of EHR’s and making results of diagnostics easier to communicate.
This type of study is done annually by KLAS as it includes thousands of interviews of healthcare professionals regarding the services and products their organizations utilize; this also includes supplemental evaluations.