There is an expectation in the NHS that all acute care facilities and access to consultations are to be fully digitalised by 2024. This long-term plan released by NHS England also included the promise that by the end of the next decade, there will be "an NHS where digital access to services is widespread". There is no doubt, the NHS is on a digital journey, and Med-Tech companies such as Hillrom have a responsibility to support this digital transformation by offering solutions and technology that improves patient outcomes and drives much-needed efficiencies.  Interoperability is key, the ability to connect medical devices into software platforms and cloud-based solutions will help enable the caregiver to have access to patient data to better inform clinical decision making.

In order to help the NHS implement this plan, Hillrom has committed to provide existing globally accredited products as part of their connectable device portfolio including Smart Beds such as the latest HR 900 Accella and Progressa ICU Smart Bed Systems.

Smart Bed Systems

HillRom HR900 Platform AccellaHillrom’s connectable device portfolio has been designed with open architecture in mind to enable seamless integration into any procured Electronic Patient Record (EPR/EMR) including other vendors such as Cerner and Epic. By using standard communication protocols, Hillrom’s Smart Beds can easily connect and transfer important patient-centric information allowing caregivers to evaluate more quickly and easily. Hospitals in the UK are having to work with increasing numbers of patients with complex health needs, this coupled with a reduced workforce which is consistently under strain to deliver high levels of quality care, is understood by Hillrom who have developed Smart Bed Solutions to aid these problems. Designed to help caregivers by reducing the time spent on administration and documentation this allows more time to be spent at the bedside delivering care.

Variable data such as patient weight, Head of Bed Angle (HOB), side rail positioning and bed height are all sent directly from the bed systems to the EPR/EMR[1]. Patient positioning alarms are directly transmitted to the nursing station monitors and handheld devices to ensure that notifications of potential falls are received at any location within a department or ward, giving an increased reaction time to intervene to increase patient safety. These connected Hillrom bed systems gives the hospital location advantages, allowing departments to know where beds are located and whether the bed is occupied. This data allows for quicker patient transfers across departments without the necessity of physical or visual confirmation. Servicing and maintenance data are also available as part of Hillrom’s Smartsync software, that identifies when servicing is required on the bed frame located on site, allowing for a more proactive and time-efficient servicing schedule.

This is where modern bed connectivity is headed. Hillrom has invested significantly in R&D and are committed to delivering continuous innovation throughout the lifespan of the Smart Beds. As innovation from Hillrom continues, investment in Smart Bed technology will benefit from enhancements through software updates. This, in turn, will ensure that investment into this software will deliver cutting edge technology, significantly improving patient care. By investing in Smart Bed technology today the NHS and other organisations can future-proof their investments, which will increase the value of their assets as time goes on.

Some hospitals may not be ready for connected bed frames at this current moment in time, however, with the life expectancy of a bed frame being 10+ years and the NHS Long Term Plan needing to be implemented for 2024 there will be a need for connectivity. Additionally, Hillrom’s Smart Beds arrive at hospitals “Connect Ready” allowing hospital organisations the ability to connect as soon as needed.

Expertise backed by ongoing support

Hillrom UK have a team of Connectivity Specialists who are experts in their field ensuring seamless integration into existing and new IT infrastructure. Supporting technical challenges and offering valuable insight into the interoperability needed to bring patient data to the bedside. Often demonstrating proof of concept early into the conversation, delivering reassurance that the Hillrom connected solution works.

Hillrom’s dedication to bringing their connectivity solutions together helps overcome the technology implementation challenges faced by many healthcare providers. With their unique expertise and experience Hillrom has been able to fully connect trusts in as little as six weeks from start to finish, creating a platform that helps improve time constraints faced by caregivers. By offering a network of fully connected solutions such as Smart Beds, all which are compatible with existing EPR/EMR within the NHS, the process of introducing new technology is made simpler and more cost-efficient. With Hillrom’s impressive history of developing solutions that improve safety and enhance outcomes, healthcare providers can be sure that they are working with the right and trusted vendor from which they can receive high specification connected technology.

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