In many respects, patient safety means that care staff have immediate access to the necessary data whenever they need it in order to provide high-quality care. This means immediate access to data that is essential for care and that the data is in accessible form, at the same time ascertaining the privacy and confidentiality of patient data.
Patient safety is the common thread which entails strong coordination between the various groups and professionals both within the hospital and throughout the ecosystem of the patient’s healthcare. Communication should function in a dynamic and responsive environment that is accessible with many kinds of tools and by different people. In other words, merely having a fixed system is not enough.
In order for patient data to be in real time as closely as possible, one should be able to directly record and browse the data while with the patient without having to go to the workstation.
Delayed Information Flow Can Cause Mistakes
The more time elapses between a health-related event and recording the data, the more likely it is for the data to be general in nature rather than detailed and the more likely it is for mistakes to happen. Delayed data documentation impacts patient outcomes, quality of care and creates unnecessary administrative costs.
Real-time data enables one to identify earlier patients whose state of health has deteriorated and to plan the use of personnel and resources better and allows care staff more time .
The possibility of collecting and accessing patient data with a single click and to take the data along anywhere is invaluable to those working in the field of healthcare. The real-time wireless documentation and browsing of all clinical data (both observed values and performed procedures) improves the care process and gives an immediate general picture of the patient’s condition.
Who Benefits from Real-Time Data?
Physicians, nurses and other care staff benefit from real-time data since they are then able to make decisions based on more comprehensive data with better consideration in the treatment situation, which is a central factor in providing the patient with high-quality care. Furthermore, browsing and recording data immediately while with the patient leaves more time to care for the patient instead of having that time spent at the working station.
The good news for hospitals and healthcare centres is that real-time information flow also reduces costs. When it is possible to browse and enter patient data already in the patient’s room, care staff save time and resources can be allocated more efficiently. Moreover, when a patient’s deteriorating condition is noticed in good time, they can intervene before the patient has to be taken to an intensive care unit, which is the factor which most commonly raises costs.
Real-time data also benefits patients since it supports their objective of receiving top-quality care at affordable costs. Data on the patient’s overall health helps care staff to minimise unnecessary tests and measurements. This is possible only if they have access to the right data at the right time.
 Nursing Times 2015: How real-time data can improve patient care