ASCOM UMS delivers modular, point-of-care, digital medical records software solutions for life-critical patient care, arguably the most challenging and potentially rewarding patient care processes — intensive care, perioperative, intra-operative, post-anesthesia, trauma, cardiology, etc. — collectively representing the largest expense, revenue, and quality of care challenges in the global health care industry.
ASCOM UMS solutions help clinicians treat patients facing life-critical outcomes, while filling the gaps in digital medical records technology currently unmet by most healthcare information technology vendors focused on general hospital needs. ASCOM UMS’ customers include large university hospitals, private life-critical specialty clinics, healthcare government entities, and healthcare information technology vendors that utilize ASCOM UMS’ solutions to complement their own software in these life-critical patient care processes.
ASCOM UMS’ success in the automation of life-critical care is possible through unparalleled clinician acceptance, advanced functionality, robust performance and flawless interoperability, and superior clinical and financial benefits. ASCOM UMS’ customers routinely experience positive outcomes by improving patient safety and operational efficiency, reducing the cost and variability of life-critical patient care, and effectively managing resources and revenues.
ASCOM UMS is headquartered in Florence, Italy. Our direct customers include many prestigious hospitals in Italy, France, and Switzerland, as well as health care information technology vendors Alaris Medical Systems, Cardinal Health-Pyxis, Kodak Health Group, Rosslyn, Simeks, and others.
ASCOM UMS is committed to unsurpassed quality in all phases of its products’ life-cycle, resulting in safe, user-friendly, comprehensive, scalable, and reliable products and services. ASCOM UMS modules and solutions have been manufactured and architected in direct compliance with multiple international medical product regulations and standards. DIGISTAT is a CE marked Class I Medical Device, and ASCOM UMS’ quality management system is certified under EN ISO 9001:2008 and EN ISO 13485:2012, which ensures that each and every working process involved in the product manufacturing and service delivery has adequate controls and follows a continuous quality improvement process to comply with customer needs.
ASCOM UMS’ objectives are to offer to hospitals and healthcare information technology vendors high quality software solutions to help life- critical patient care departments to:
- Improve quality of care, patient safety, surveillance, and outcomes;
- Reduce operational costs, medical errors, and mortality rates;
- Help our customers manage issues related to staff shortages, efficiency, resource utilization, staff productivity, risk management, accurate and timely documentation, charge capture, and compliance with government regulations.
Specifically, ASCOM UMS supports hospitals meet the following goals across life-critical patient care processes:
- Treat Acute Patients. Acutely-ill patients need specific treatment and which varies significantly depending on the hospital’s resources, patient flow, staffing constraints and a myriad of other factors. The goal is to treat each patient as effectively and efficiently as possible.
- Monitor patient’s vital signs. From the moment a patient enters a high-acuity or life-critical department, vital signs must be monitored and recorded at all times. These core data provide clinicians with the foundation for the treatment of life-critical patients.
- Capture patient’s history. An accurate record of the patient’s history during the hospital stay needs to be captured to assist clinicians in delivering future care and permit the hospital and its practitioners to accurately bill for services performed.
- Patient tracking. In order to manage a life-critical department efficiently, patient flow needs to be monitored closely to enable room and resource scheduling, particularly in the world of fast-paced trauma units, timesensitive Operating Rooms, and space-constrained Intensive Care Units.
- Manage supplies used in association with patient. Delivering patient care in a life-critical environment requires the use of a variety of high-cost medical supplies. The utilization of these supplies needs to be tracked not only for replenishment but also for accurate billing purposes.
- Accurate Charge Capture and Billing. Due to the fact that departments treating life-critical patients account for the largest revenue and expense of the hospital (typically in the range of 60-75% of total budget), it is very important for budgetary purposes that they can accurately invoice for services performed.
While the amount of technology and complexity typically found at hospitals’ departments that treat lifecritical patients (i.e. vital signs monitors, respirators, glucose monitors, infusion pumps, ventilators, blood gas analyzers, ECG monitors, Endoscope digital cameras, fetal monitors, etc.), exceeds those of any other hospital departments, very few of these hospitals have been able to integrate these disparate technologies and totally eliminate the paper medical-record from within their life-critical patient care departments. Some of the reasons for their continued reliance on paper medical records (or a mixture of paper and digital medical-records) are:
- Arcane and monolithic PDMS architectures. Most PDMS (or CIS) solutions currently in the market were architected with a “one-size-fits all-clinicians-and-patient care-workflows” design, with the objective of offering a “onestop- shopping” value proposition for hospital’s chief information officers. These solutions have been largely ignored by clinicians treating life-critical patients in many cases because they are not hospital employees and cannot be forced to use a system selected by someone else and that it does not meet their needs, and in most cases due to the fact that these monolithic solutions cannot be adapted to life-critical care. UMS DIGISTAT is specifically designed for life-critical care
- User Interface (UI) and the life-critical patient care workflow. Most PDMS solutions currently in the market display UIs requiring keyboards, mouse, small fonts, etc. that were designed for clinical-computing use at a central nurse station. These designs are very different to the UIs of medical equipment typically found at a patient’s bedside in a life-critical care department (touch screen, large fonts, digital keyboard, no mouse, etc.) This is caused by the fact that most PDMS solutions were designed for non life-critical care departments such as Maternity or Psychiatry, without the need for so many bedside devices and connectivity. DIGISTAT’s User Interface resembles a medical device and consequently ensures voluntary clinician adoption.
- Multiple-Type-Devices-and-Data Collection Needs. While it is common to find PDMS solutions that interface to equipment in ancillary patient care departments (laboratory, pharmacy, radiology, etc.), it is rare to come across PDMS solutions that connect to every piece of medical equipment used at the bedside; particularly lacking are interfaces to infusion pumps, waveform devices, bedside imaging devices, and specialized patient monitors. The main reason for this is that PDMS solutions designed for general care departments typically interface with systems requiring only text-based data types (structured or unstructured), while medical equipment utilized in life-critical care departments uses multiple non-text data types (video, waveforms, etc.) that requires involves a much higher level of complexity. DIGISTAT supports text, graphical, video, and waveform data types, thereby having the ability to deliver a totally digital medical-record.
- Specific Functional Needs of Clinicians treating life-critical patients. The computing needs of the clinicians that specialize in treating the most acutely-ill patients (i.e. Anesthesiologists, Perfussionists, Cardiologists, Intensive- Care Nurses and MDs) such as managing Fluid Balance, Scoring, Capturing Waveform Data, Preventing Nosocomial Infections, Performing complex dose calculations, etc. have been largely ignored; in some cases like the in the USA because they are typically not hospital employees, and in other cases (including the USA) because vendors have traditionally focused on the computing needs of clinicians working at general care departments in the hospital such as oral medications, task scheduling, etc. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find satisfied hospital customers of software solutions that deal with patient care processes common to both life-critical care and general care (i.e. Bed Management, Billing, Laboratory Review, etc.) but to equally find many tasks in the life-critical care departments that remain manual (paper-based) such as waveform management, infusion management, etc. DIGISTAT’s modules specifically support the necessary life-critical care software features that clinicians expect such as Infection Control, Infusion Management, ECG Management, Fluid Balance, etc.
- Medical Device Software Certification. Because of Government regulations and complex Patient Care issues, most technology used in the life-critical care departments is classified as a medical device (Classes I or II), and clinicians at these departments are used to the much higher level of software quality found in these medical devices, due to the requirement of the devices’ proximity to the acutely-ill patients. However, most of the PDMS solutions utilized today in these departments were designed for less acute departments, and do not carry medical device classification, thereby yielding poor results in terms of clinician acceptance and software quality. It is not uncommon to find hospitals that purchased a PDMS for dual use (both in a general patient-care department and a life-critical department), only to find after the fact that it cannot be used in the intensive care, surgery, or trauma units of the hospital due to clinicians’ refusal to utilize a system that does not meet their needs and quality expectations. DIGISTAT is a CE-marked Class I medical device.
The result of the above problems has yielded a situation where most hospitals have partially implemented technology in the life-critical patient care departments (the technology that is common to less acute departments such as scheduling, electronic prescription, review of lab results, demographic information, etc.), but have largely been unable to deploy technology solutions that deal with their specific issues of life-critical patient-care processes such as infection control, risk management, reduction of mortality, pharmacy and supplies resource utilization, IV therapies, etc. Life-critical care DIGISTAT customers implement computer-physician order entry (CPOE) and deploy medication administration and verification modules to ensure proper dosages and avoid allergic reactions and harmful drug interactions in the life-critical patients they treat. With DIGISTAT, hospitals can now complete the digitalization of medical-records by expanding their automation initiatives to life-critical patient care departments.