PeraTrend technology at RSMH brings added level of safety

A new technology allows hospitals throughout Riverside Health System to predict a decline in a patient's condition long before it happens.  PeraTrend is a sophisticated computer program that interprets key information –including vital signs, nurse findings and lab values –to paint a picture of a patient's overall condition.  It helps care providers to interpret at a glance if someone is getting better or worse.

"It's an early warning system," said Dr. Susan McAndrews, Administrator at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital.  "I'm really excited about it.  I think it's a game-changer.  It's one of the ways that we're living out the Riverside Care Difference which is our commitment to keep you safe, help you heal, respect your wishes and be kind to you."

Riverside is the first and only health system in Virginia to adopt the technology. It has been implemented in each of Riverside's acute care hospitals.

"The consistent use of PeraTrend is an important innovation in our clinical practice," said Dr. David Jones, Riverside's Regional Service Line Chief for the Eastern Shore.

The idea of early intervention is nothing new.  Nurses have been trained to spot subtle signs that they need to call in a Rapid Response Team to prevent cardiac arrest.

PeraTrend takes watchfulness a step further.  The system collects hundreds of pieces of data to generate an overall score for each patient.  The system reflects up-to-the-minute changes in condition.  The PeraTrend score tells nurses, doctors and other care professionals at a glance what would be much harder to detect without such sophisticated technology.  The score and how it moves over time indicate if a patient's condition is trending up or down.  Lower scores can trigger further assessment and action.

"When there are subtle changes here and there, it can be hard to recognize a pattern emerging," McAndrews said.  "PeraTrend gives us a clear and obvious visual picture that shows an upward or downward trend as it occurs.  It tells a story about the patient."

PeraTrend works in concert with Riverside's robust electronic health record.  The health system has been named one of the most wired in the country for the ninth year in a row.  "We have so much data available to us," McAndrews said.  "PeraTrend makes it easy to use the data to improve patient care."

There are many ways to use the score, including during transitions from one care provider to another, to help decide when discharge is appropriate, to make sure terminal patients have palliative or hospice services lined up as they go home, and to choose the appropriate level of care.  Taking PeraTrend into account may prevent a patient from being re-admitted just days after discharge due to a relapse.  The technology may head off cardiac arrests by allowing staff to intervene sooner.

"It will make us more sensitive so we can make sure patients have all the services they need," McAndrews said.

PeraTrend was developed by two brothers after their mother was hospitalized in Florida. Initially she seemed to be improving and ready for discharge, but after initial improvement, her health surprisingly began to decline, and she died. The brothers are healthcare experts who worked with the hospital to analyze their mother's case. The brothers compared hard data, such as test results from the medical record, with subjective information assessed by nurses and other caregivers. They developed an algorithm and system to help predict risks to a patient who, on the surface, might appear to be improving nicely

Published: April 8, 2014



 

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