Mobile Patient Surveillance

Mobile Patient Surveillance

H. Parveen Sultana (VIT University, India) and Nalini Nagendran (VIT University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5036-5.ch005


Surveillance is defined as providing security in critical situations or monitoring certain places where safety and security are important. Surveillance takes the lead in healthcare departments or sections. Surveillance is also helpful in diagnosing the errors that occur in the automated systems and happening of adverse events in patient care. The main objective of patient surveillance is to observe the changes that occur in any patient's health to provide appropriate medication through automation process. Initially, the comparison is made between surveillance and monitoring. Later the chapter discusses the wireless technologies and mobile applications used for patient surveillance. Using mobile healthcare systems surveillance data that includes not only patient's clinical information but also analyses clinical scenario periodically, the clinical information gathered is disseminated among various teams of specialists for decision making. The advancement in wireless devices not only monitors the patient's conditions but also provides required information or data. This is possible only when sensed data is communicated at an appropriate time to avoid unexpected events in critical care units. This wireless technology helps the nursing staff in improving the surveillance and guaranteeing patient's safety. This chapter explores mobile patient surveillance.
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In recent years, Surveillance (Makary&Daniel,2016) (Henneman, Gawlinski, & Giuliano,2012). play important role in patient observation. This process is executed by Health Care Professionals (HCP) (Mickan, Tilson, Atherton, Roberts, & Heneghan, 2013). to protect patients from inevitable and unavoidable situations that occur in acute and critical care sections. Surveillance has three functions such as data collection, clinical decision making, investigation and interpretation of data. There are more chances of medical error (Makary & Daniel, 2016) (Henneman, Gawlinski, & Giuliano, 2012) and adverse event (Henneman, Gawlinski, & Giuliano, 2012) occurrences with the hospitalized patients. Because each patient has more data that need to be processed by consultants based on their clinical decisions.

Medical errors are the main cause of patient disability, prolong hospital stay and even it may lead to demise. Institute of Medicine (IOM) (Kohn, Corrigan,& Donaldson, 2000) submitted a report on estimated death rate associated with medical errors (Makary & Daniel, 2016) in the USA and has concluded that 44,000 to 98,000 deaths occur annually. In 2013 the death rate estimated in the USA was around 2, 51,454 (James, 2013), due to medical errors. Medical errors are identified as the third leading cause of death in the USA (Makary & Daniel, 2016). The possible situations medical error occurs while diagnosing the disease when prescribing medicines without cognizance, device fault and lack of communication between physicians about the patient.

Adverse events (Henneman, Gawlinski, & Giuliano, 2012) are associated with medical errors. This is possible due to less attention towards the patient like the physician is not giving appropriate medication and patient is not acquiring proper quantity at right time. Adverse events are preventable because they can be avoidable with proper medical care and prevention program. Adverse events may not be avoidable in some situations, for example, unknown allergy reaction to a patient who is taking particular medicine for first time prescribed by the physician. Otherwise, it is preventable if prior information about the medicine is known to the physician. Figure 1 depicts the relationship between medical error and the adverse event. Generally the medical errors can be prevented but still few adverse events are unavoidable. The main cause for medical errors and adverse events are human negligence and device fault.

Figure 1.

Relationship between Medical Error and Adverse Event

There are other medical errors and adverse events occur during medical treatment in hospitals. In order to provide a solution to this problem, many approaches need to be automated under the supervision of medical experts. Mobile devices and healthcare applications are widely used to automate the above-said approaches.

Preventing and identifying medical errors in the early stage of patient monitoring (Makary & Daniel, 2016) (Henneman, Gawlinski, & Giuliano, 2012) is used to detect life-threatening complications and to improve the safety of patients. Monitoring is a continuous process which is part of surveillance also. Since it is continual, the status of critical care patient disease alert the caregivers to save patients from life-threatening events. The data collected from the patient observation is based on resource availability and risk of assessment. The following Table 1 lists the difference between surveillance and monitoring.

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