Welch Allyn recognises that collaboration as the key to connected vital signs
As the impetus towards connectivity in hospitals takes on an increasing significance, Welch Allyn, whose reputation for quality and innovation stretches back almost 100 years, has announced the appointment of Robert Stow as Sales Support Manager - Connectivity & Systems.
Mr Stow's appointment reinforces Welch Allyn's commitment to vital signs devices, where it has a growing market share with its flagship device the Connex Vital Signs Monitor (CVSM). This year will see a boost in the numbers of large acute NHS Trusts using Welch Allyn technology to connect their vital signs devices, saving clinical time, speeding up decision making and reducing errors. Robert Stow's role will ensure that these projects run smoothly, enabling more Trusts to come on board and get connected faster.
A highly respected figure, Mr Stow has extensive experience as a hospital-based senior technician, with over a decade's experience of infrastructure and clinical software development within the NHS and private healthcare sector.
His role will strengthen the sales effort by providing expert support for hospital projects with a major IT component, working with hospital technical teams to communicate and meet their needs. 'Because I understand the language and architecture of what technical teams want to achieve, I can act as the interface,' he says.
Welch Allyn's CVSM is a modular system, allowing hospitals flexibility, both in terms of features and cost, to meet their varied needs. Upgrading the device to be wirelessly connected at a later date is a popular option for many Trusts, future proofing their devices and protecting their investments in capital equipment. This year will see many large Trust's upgrading their devices to be connectivity ready. A new modular option now available is CO2 monitoring, allowing any signs of patient deterioration to be flagged up and acted on faster than ever before.
Hospitals are rightly keen to ensure that technology does not replace quality time spent face to face with patients. As a result, many continue to rely on a paper-based system where nurses manually record vital signs measurements.
Part of Mr Stow's role will be to stress that smart use of technology can, in fact, act as a catalyst, reducing the time spent on repetitive and time-consuming manual tasks where the smallest error can put patients at risk and instead freeing clinical staff to spend more time in positive patient interaction with patients.
'You don't want to spend hours taking down physical data which could be captured automatically and shared in a second with those who need it,' he says.
In addition to working with technical personnel, therefore, a key aspect of his role will be to get clinical teams on side by stressing the vital role of technology in transforming patient care and bringing down costs.
'One key point is that the longer patients spend in hospital, the higher the cost,' he points out. 'Systems such as automatic monitoring provide the information you need to discharge the patient at the optimum time. Should their condition deteriorate, they have access to the intervention they need at an earlier stage.'