Lee Medical, a vascular access contractor, uses FileMaker Go on the Apple iPad to manage administration of catheters in hospitals to help guard against bloodstream infections.
Lee Medical, a provider of vascular
access to health care providers, has built a custom database that uses
FileMaker Go on the Apple iPad to help nurses better manage catheter use and
reduce bloodstream infections.
Based in Brentwood, Tenn.,
and founded in 1993, Lee Medical employs vascular access nurses that install IV
catheters in various hospitals to deliver drugs and nutrition. FileMaker is a
subsidiary of Apple.
Vascular Access Surveillance
and Tracking (VAST) runs on FileMaker Go for the
iPad and connects to 3G and WiFi networks using the Apple tablet. VAST
provides real-time surveillance of catheter use, Michelle Lee, president and
head of clinical operations at Lee Medical, told eWEEK.
"Our nurse compliance
with electronic charting has soared since the implementation on the iPad,"
she noted. Through FileMaker, VAST also handles billing and generates invoices
for the company.
IT consulting firms
iSolutions and Computer Support Service built VAST for Lee Medical. Although
nurses are using FileMaker Go on the iPad, Lee Medical first implemented VAST
using FileMaker Pro for Macs and PCs.
Poor management of
intravenous catheters in patients' veins leads to about 250,000 bloodstream
infections each year and an estimated 60,000 or more deaths annually, according
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These infections are called
central-line bloodstream infections (CLABSI).
By using FileMaker, Lee
Medical, along with 60-plus hospitals and other health care facilities in
Tennessee, have been able to lower their bloodstream infection rate to 0.5
infections per 1,000 catheter days, compared with several hospitals with
infection rates between two and 18 per 1,000 catheter days, FileMaker reports.
Medical clinicians use VAST to track the life span of catheters and access electronic
health records (EHRs) from a central FileMaker server.
Accessing information from a
central location is important in health care, according to
Ryan Rosenberg, FileMaker's vice president of marketing and services.
essential when you're talking about super-confidential information like medical
information, and the mobile device never stores the [data]," Rosenberg
Through VAST, they also
receive orders on which facilities to visit. Nurses then schedule procedures
through the software.
FileMaker allows companies
such as Lee Medical to manage data more efficiently, according to Rosenberg.
"It's more than just capturing information; it's running business
logic," he said.
VAST can help bridge
information silos in medical facilities by allowing multiple people to know the
status and location of a catheter, according to Charles Lee, CEO of Lee
"While there may be a
lot of communication within a hospital, there's a loss in the sharing of the
data," he told eWEEK. "With
our system, we are extracting all of the data within a patient's care."
In VAST, radio buttons allow
nurses to select conditions that may apply for vascular access equipment at the
various sites they're visiting, he said. Nurses are able to use the software,
even with a lack of experience with databases, Charles Lee added. The nurses
are familiar with the medical terminology in the checklists, however, he noted.
"It just sort of
empowers us in the medical space to really keep that intuitive experience at
their fingertips while pushing to them the very specialized datasets that
they're used to dealing with anyway," Charles Lee explained.
Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company, FOXNews.com, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents, ScientificAmerican.com, USA Weekend and Womansday.com, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.