Vital signs devices save time and improve patient care  

State-of-the-art, point of care vital signs devices are having a resounding impact on patient care across Osler. Introduced on the medical and surgical inpatient units at Brampton Civic Hospital and Etobicoke General Hospital last summer, these devices take the patient’s ‘vitals’ – e.g., blood pressure, respiration rate, oxygen saturation, and temperature – and send the information wirelessly from the bedside to the patient’s electronic medical record.

This is an important quality and safety initiative. Manually recording each patient’s vitals is a time-consuming task. Real-time electronic recording reduces the time it takes to complete this task to ‘zero’, resulting in more time with patients at the bedside. The system also helps to reduce errors in reading or recording vitals, and gives clinicians real-time access to important patient information to help them make informed patient care decisions.

“Quick access to vital signs data has made an undeniable difference in accurate and timely decisions affecting patient care,”

notes Dr. Mohamed Abu-abed, Hospitalist & Chair of Osler’s Clinical Advisory Council.

Aside from saving time, having immediate access to their patient’s vital signs information allows the health care team to act quickly on any issues. The vital signs devices work in conjunction with Osler’s electronic Early Warning System (AEGIS), which tracks each patient’s electronic health record and automatically alerts the health care team to any concerning combinations of vital signs and laboratory tests.

The vital signs devices, in combination with AEGIS, have had a significant impact on patient care, says Lisa Rodger, Clinical Informatics Manager at Osler. “The care team is now able to recognize and act on patient issues much sooner.  We’ve seen a 50 per cent reduction in Code Blues across the organization and a 10-15 per cent reduction in the number of patient transfers to our Intensive Care Units.”