Beyond software, connecting non-generalised medical devices

Medical and IT staff face these real problems: systems are heterogeneous in and out of the facilities, and the healthcare data is spread out into silos which means that sharing medical information doesn’t always go entirely smoothly.

A new difficulty is also the lack of coordination needed to make different business applications communicate. There are other sources of medical data – namely biomedical devices – which are all too often not connected to healthcare records. Physicians have to input the information again which brings about all sorts of risks: data monitoring, input errors, being aware of patients’ identities (identity vigilance).

“As soon as human intervention is needed to collect and consolidate data, the ‘zero default’ can exist. However, relying on connected biomedical devices to exchange data electronically, for example, clearly aims at treating and improving this issue.”

Yannick Michel, Organisation and IT Systems Director, Nouvelles Cliniques Nantaises (Groupe Confluent)


Identity vigilance is surveillance and error risk management system linked to patient identification – a key principle when we speak about sharing medical documents or patient data. How often identity mistakes are made is difficult to evaluate and not very well known. However, some research has been done in the U.S and France, in the Aquitaine region, for example. If we go over these elements, patient identification problems in the U.S have been recorded in more than 100 in-depth analyses of adverse events which happened between January 2000 and March 2003 by the ‘Department of Veterans Affairs” (7). According to the definition suggested in 2013 by the national Authority for Health (HAS), an adverse event is, “an event or circumstance linked to treatment which led or could have led to a patient breach and hopefully wouldn’t happen again.” In France, the immediate causes of mistaken identity linked to professionals which occurred in 37 healthcare facilities in Aquitaine were analysed between 2008 and 2010. 14.4% of these mistakes were linked to data entry. Therefore, when healthcare facilities are computerised, patient identity must be managed and guaranteed by the different systems used and processes in place. interfaces: difficult for physicians to manage multiple functionalities from different vendors


Inputting information

Risk of error

Identity vigilance

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