Perhaps even more important to the effective and efficient operation of a healthcare facility than the actual surgical instrumentation and medical devices is the precise management and quick availability of patient data and clinical information to the hospital staff across all departments. Here is a sampling of some of the latest developments in information management systems for the healthcare and surgical field.

The NuBOOM Visualization & Equipment Management System from CompView Medical facilitates visual and textual information delivery to the point of perioperative care in minimally invasive surgery environments, which contributes to increased patient safety and OR team efficiency. It is an ideal upgrade solution for general ORs and procedure rooms, particularly when compared to floor-based mobile video carts and towers. The NuBOOM System offers the benefits of a ceiling-based boom system without the minimum ceiling height and structural load requirements not always present in older hospital facilities. It also obviates the extended project time, OR downtime and significant financial commitment related to these projects.

CompView's DOCS® Digital Operating Control System is a simple, intuitive touch panel solution that allows surgeons, perioperative and special procedures teams to view information and route images precisely where they are needed. Its open architecture design supports multiple inputs, including endoscopic and/or other video, fluoroscopy, PACS, RIS, EMR and the Internet. Digital video recorder, digital capture, digital and DICOM printer, audio and videoconferencing capabilities for collaboration and medical training are available options. The DOCS system is installed as an integral component of a NuBOOM implementation, however, it can also be installed as a stand-alone control system to complement existing equipment management system infrastructure.

The SkyVision OR Communication System from SKYTRON delivers instant access to critical clinical data.
Skytron's SkyVision OR Communications System delivers instant access to analogue, high definition digital images and critical data seamlessly to surgeons and surgical team, managed by an easy to use “two touch” routing control center. SkyVision enhances clinical processes by providing a bi-directional communication pathway to pathology, conference rooms and room to room, as well as locations outside of the facility. SkyVision's capture feature enables improved case documentation via still and motion image archive from any connected source. SkyVision uses a vendor neutral platform with optimal clinical functionality, consistent reliability (including remote diagnostics) and requires minimal training to operate with a user-friendly design engineered to make the complex, simple and intuitive.

Olympus classifies integration as having five distinct areas of concentration; these are the HD Universal Platform at the core, A/V routing, medical device control, surgical documentation and equipment management solutions. Olympus provides all of these services utilizing skilled employees throughout the design, installation, training and service processes to ensure that quality is always held to the highest standard.

The Olympus Integration System is 100 percent open architecture, however the core imaging system and capabilities are exclusive to Olympus. The HD Universal Platform can be utilized in any specialty, including the GI suite, and even extends to new and emerging procedures such as NOTES.

From simple routing of surgical images and data to real time collaborative communications, the Olympus system can employ virtually any type of technology available. Working with integration partners, Olympus can incorporate the OR into the data process flow of the hospital to improve billing. Olympus systems allow a surgeon and pathologist to communicate in real time to solve problems and enhance convenience for the staff.

In addition, Olympus offers the VaultStream Video Document Management system, is a comprehensive networked solution for storage, management, recall, sharing and presentation of visible light video within an enterprise. VaultStream is a networked archival and data management system tailored for both clinical and surgical workflow. It allows Olympus's n-Stream devices to archive patient data, video and still images to a central location. Complying with Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standards, the n-Stream devices allow for easy retrieval of patient information and image export when connected to the institution's PACS imaging network system.

CareSuite 8.0 is the latest, most advanced version of the Picis Total Perioperative Automation suite.
CareSuite 8.0 from Picis represents the third major release of the Picis Total Perioperative Automation™ suite, a software system that delivers complete integration of surgical scheduling, supply chain management, revenue management and clinical workflow automation for surgeons, OR nurses, department managers and anesthesia providers. Picis Total Perioperative Automation centralizes documentation for all the perioperative care areas and facilitates the continuity of care. CareSuite 8.0 consists of more than 125 new features and helps hospitals further improve patient care, increase revenues and productivity, maximize resources, reduce costs, enhance supply chain management and support Joint Commission reporting requirements. Highlights of this latest version include integrated and comprehensive bar coding, enhanced tissue and implant tracking and integration of anesthesia billing information with external billing systems.

Smith & Nephew's Endoscopy Division is at the forefront of image and video documentation technology with their 640 Image Management System. The 640 is a compact device that allows surgeons to capture and review images and video collected by surgical cameras during a procedure. Once the images or video are captured they can be exported to a network, CD, DVD or other digital media. The 640 also allows images to be printed.

Designed to be integrated into existing ORs and surgical systems, the 640 Image Management System is equipped with network capabilities via its built-in Ethernet port. Using its Integration Broker, the 640 can be integrated with Hospital Information Systems and EMR via HL7, and with PACS via DICOM. This allows patient records to be imported into the 640 from existing systems. The 640 also integrates with Smith & Nephew's DORAWEB Surgical Documentation System to provide simple and efficient storage and access to patient information.

DORAWEB ASP (Application Service Provider) is a secure web-based surgical documentation system monitored and maintained by Smith & Nephew that offers access to patient data, template-based operative notes, and medical images. All that is required to create reports and manage images and video is a PC with high-speed internet access. This allows surgeons access to crucial data anytime and anywhere. Use of the DORAWEB ASP can help facilities to cut back on expensive hardware and reduce their IT costs.

GE Healthcare's CARESCAPE™ is a solution for delivering clinical intelligence at the desired time and place, helping hospitals and care providers enhance their performance. By integrating the entire information lifecycle from procurement and storage to management and distribution, CARESCAPE creates a seamless landscape of clinical intelligence.

CARESCAPE from GE Healthcare is a solution for delivering clinical information when and where it is needed most.
The CARESCAPE Patient Data Module ensures that the receiving nurse has a complete monitoring history when a patient arrives. Its innovative, lightweight, miniature design allows it to stay with the patient to capture and store all patient measurements, providing clinicians with the ability to maintain critical baseline measurements typically lost during transport. Its close-to-the-patient design reduces the length of cables that typically tether the patient to wall-mounted equipment, and its simple grab-and-go transport capability reduces the potential for connection delays.

CARESCAPE CIC Pro assimilates real-time and historical patient data from multiple monitoring sources for caregivers. This product integrates data to view a single patient, or up to 16 patients per display. Clinicians can view near real-time parameters, manage patient information and view a one-hour trending of parameters to make informed treatment decisions. CARESCAPE CIC Pro also enables access to any patient on the hospital network and to hospital-wide applications such as radiology or lab results to help improve productivity.

Another component of the CARESCAPE family of solutions is the iPanel, which aggregates data from multiple systems and devices into a Web-based portal that provides efficient access to care-critical information. Using a tablet PC or other workstation, clinicians can view lab results, cardiology information, diagnostic images, history and physical documentation and other details. CARESCAPE iPanel automatically identifies the correct patient's data from across the enterprise, without requiring separate logins to various applications, helping clinicians save time and improve accuracy.