In a hospital setting, a checklist is of vital importance. According to a study conducted by the Agency Healthcare and Research Quality, medical mistakes are the eighth leading cause of deaths, surpassing those of breast cancer, car accidents, and even HIV/AIDS in total.
While it is impossible to completely eliminate all major mistakes in the hospital setting, doctors can utilize a checklist in order to increase and improve communication among the doctors, nurses, and patients to reduce the chances of a possible error.
Trying to switch a hospital's culture from volume to value will involve having to implement best practices consistently and effectively. Some hospitals have already begun to incorporate the mandatory use of checklists, which have improved mortality rates by a significant margin. According to another statistic found by the Agency Healthcare and Research Quality, deaths and surgical complications have fallen by approximately 36% through the utilization of checklists....
Many healthcare leaders have their doubts about Google Glass. Does it violate patient privacy? Will it increase physician distractions? Most important for trauma professionals, does Google Glass have a role to play during a fast paced trauma activation?
Recently, members of the trauma team at Forbes Hospital, a Level II trauma center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, began using Google Glass loaded with a software application designed specifically for trauma care. The application is called the Visual Information Zonal Reminder (VIZR) system, and it was created by trauma surgeon Alex Guerrero, MD.
Christoph Kaufmann, MD, is the trauma medical director at Forbes and an enthusiastic Glass explorer. He and other trauma team members began using the Glass system in December. So far, it has played a role in approximately 200 trauma activations. Dr. Kaufmann recently discussed his team’s experience with VIZR and why he thinks wearable technology is the future of trauma care.
Recently at a rural community-based hospital, a young man came in with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Dr. Alex Guerrero, the Lead Trauma Surgeon on site, initiated the Massive Transfusion Protocol (MTP), which is a list of actions the team needs to take to pump blood into the patient quickly.
Dr. Guerrero determined the best course of action would be for the team to utilize The Belmont® Rapid Infuser to warm the blood and blood products to the correct physiological temperature, remove air, and infuse high fluid volumes into the patient during the subsequent surgery. The Belmont is preferred in this situation, as it is a far more effective method than general transfusion.
Fortunately, Dr. Guerrero was wearing his VIZR Glass, and using the previously created step-by-step checklist for use of the Belmont set-up, directed the surgical team through efficient set-up to get the MTP up and running and successfully complete the surgical procedure.
When it comes to surgery, even minor mistakes can have deadly consequences. That’s why one Chicago company wants to get everything doctors need to know in their line of sight — even while they’re in the operating room.
Vizr Tech, a Chicago-based healthtech startup, has developed software for Google Glass, tablets and other monitors to subtly remind surgeons what they need to know during a procedure. Its Visual Information Zonal Reminder software is intended to help surgeons keep track of time and provide visual checklists and reminders.
Surgeons “know what to do” but want to make sure they’re not missing a simple step or losing track of time, says Vizr Tech President and CEO Richard Buchler. Buchler, whose background is in hospital administration, and trauma surgeon Dr. Alex Guerrero founded the company last year.
“If you take the memorization out of the process and timing out of the process, you can focus on doing the physical part you were trained to do,” he said.