Humber River & Ascom Deploy Transformative Tech Ecosystem for Improved Patient Safety

Providing real-time patient data enables Early Warning Signs detection

March 2, 2021

By: Shelly Bond

Click here to read the original article featured on March Canadian Healthcare Technology.

When Humber River Hospital in Toronto opened its doors in 2015, the facility was widely recognized as North America’s first fully digital acute-care hospital. Built from the ground up to replace several aging campuses, the leadership had a vision and the community support to realize it – an enviable position in healthcare. 

Prior to the pandemic, its leaders regularly showcased their infrastructure innovations to colleagues from around the globe who were keen to roll out similar innovations in their facilities. 

But fast forward to today’s environment, and fortunately Humber’s investment in futuristic technologies and streamlined workflows proved crucial in helping to pivot and adapt to the severe stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“At the time, we imagined in maybe a few years we’d be eclipsed by other facilities deploying similar leading-edge solutions to advance patient health,” said Kevin Fernandes, chief technology officer at Humber River. “But in reality, that hasn’t happened, and we’ve remained on the frontline serving our patients, community and empowering our staff with technologies and clinical workflows.” 

Key to Humber River Hospital’s success in navigating many complex deployments was the creation of its own customized technology ecosystem. By leveraging its partnership with Ascom, Humber River is providing real-time patient data that enables Early Warning Signs detection. These real-time notifications are sent directly to Ascom mobile devices, enabling clinicians to receive real-time alerts and alarms, thereby facilitating time savings when minutes are critical for life-saving interventions. These include: 

• Code events: Ascom integration with nurse call provides real-time notification to caregivers of all hospital-wide code notifications (blue, pink, red and white) via their personal handset, reducing disruptive overhead paging significantly; 

• Sepsis Advance Warning monitoring: solution retrieves sepsis information on a configurable polling interval by an Http request and communicates a sepsis event alert in real-time that is then delivered to an assigned caregiver in Ascom Unite Assign; 

• Fetal Alert monitoring: delivers alerts directly to the clinician’s Ascom mobile device in a solution that is currently unique and first of its kind worldwide; 

• ECG and waveforms delivered in real-time directly to the clinician’s Ascom mobile device; 

• Nurse call integration provides realtime communication between caregivers and patients for improved clinical efficiency and a more positive patient experience; 

• Humber Command Centre: Ascom integrates with the Command Centre to publish Unite staff assignment information and active code events; and  

• RTLS integration: Ascom nurse call intelligent integration with Elpas RTLS automatically turns on dome lights outside of the patient room as a caregiver enters, enabling co-workers to know at a glance that a patient is being attended to. 

“Our patient-centric model f gives us the line of sight to improve our operational efficiency,” said Fernandes. “We can intervene quickly when there are signs of sepsis and critical early warning alert notifications.” 

Ascom’s partnership with Humber River Hospital provided the foundation to jointly build a sustainable technology ecosystem that provides early warning alerts for serious disease, as well as realtime integration. Moreover, the organization continues to blaze new paths.

“Working with Ascom enables Humber to innovate,” said Fernandes. “One such innovation is the new Fetal Alert Notification solution. This first of its kind workflow is expected to generate positive patient outcomes by integrating end-toend with Ascom’s Myco mobile devices.”

Ascom is also committed to raising the quality of healthcare by partnering with leading-edge hospitals like Humber River. For its part, Ascom can provide the tools, technologies and support needed to create advanced communication and alerting ecosystems. 

For Humber River Hospital, the early planning and investment in mobile solutions have been well worth it: At a time when healthcare frontline workers are often exhausted, and hospitals are at near capacity, solutions that improve patient care and simultaneously enhance staff satisfaction and retention are extremely valuable. 

Shelly Bond is Ascom Vice President & Sales Development - Canada

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