Tools that use the network to constantly monitor patient vital signs could quickly identity a staph infection, for example, before it leads to sepsis, which kills some 200,000 people annually in the U.S., according to the Surviving Sepsis Campaign.
Paula Jacobs, director of quality and performance improvement at Memphis North Hospital, said sepsis early-detection monitoring technology used for more than two years at the 280-bed facility cut sepsis-related deaths by 17%, or by about six patients per month.
Hospital infections cost between $2,000 and $12,000 per patient and $11.5 billion nationwide in 2006, according to MedMined Inc., a Birmingham, Ala.-based company that mines hospital data. The use of disposable devices could significantly reduce the risk of infection, Coss said.
"We're exposing the patient to a risk they don't need to have. If we can identify the precursors to a condition with wireless technology before something catastrophic has happened, then physicians can intervene earlier and at a much lower cost point and much better outcome," Coss added.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld . Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian , or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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