The patent's assignee for patent number 8620678 is iMD
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "When an individual is admitted as a patient into a hospital, certain information about the patient must be acquired and made available to various members of the hospital staff. Such information includes, for example, the patient's identity, address, age and occupation, next of kin, medical history, conditions for which treatment is sought, preexisting conditions, and any medical insurance information.
"During a patient's stay in a hospital, written information relating to his medical history, doctors' and nurses' observations and remarks, laboratory reports, diagnoses, doctors' orders, prescriptions and other notes by the medical team, including doctors, nurses, technicians, orderlies and the like, become part of the patient's file. Patients with chronic conditions or who are frequently hospitalized may have numerous files of substantial size which contain important historic, as well as current, information. The information that is necessary to provide a complete picture of the patient includes, for example, the patient's vital signs, fluid balance, respiratory function, blood parameters, electrocardiograms, x-rays, CT scans, MRI data, laboratory test results, diagnoses, prognoses, evaluations, admission and discharge notes, and patient registration information. This information originates from a variety of sources, including the patient, doctors, nurses, monitors connected to the patient, testing laboratories, the patient's medical records, and hospital administration records.
"A massive amount of information about the patient is therefore generated in a relatively short time. Increasingly, this information is automatically recorded or manually entered into a computer-based medical information system. Critical care environments, such as hospital intensive care units, trauma units, emergency rooms and the like, are filled with state-of the-art electronic equipment for monitoring of patients. Such systems include a plurality of patient monitoring devices that record information related to the patient's status. These systems may also capture information about the medical resources being consumed.
"Furthermore, many hospitals have changed the way in which patients are billed for services. In the past, patients were typically billed on the basis of days hospitalized. With recent changes in health care management and practice, patients are now more likely to be billed on the basis of treatments received. Greater efficiency in the treatment of patients is therefore emphasized. As a consequence, hospitals now scrutinize the effect of a treatment on a patient more closely, with increased monitoring, observation and recordation of the patient's responses to treatment. The burden of entry of the increased amount of information that must be recorded about a patient has been reduced by increased automation.
"Commonly owned U.S. Pat. No. 6,322,502 B1 entitled Medical Information System provides an example of a system for obtaining data and information from and about patients in a hospital, and making it immediately and selectively accessible to various members of the medical team in a hospital in accordance with the functions performed by those members. This information may be displayed, at least in part, on screen in a flowsheet. To date, systems and methods for the automated robust query of such data and information are not provided, but could be extremely useful. For example, the ability to search across a plurality of patients with respect to a given set of parameters would provide a useful analytical tool for clinicians and administrators. Searches based on hospital or clinical resources would also help analyze and improve efficient distribution and usage of such resources."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In accordance with the present invention, a system and method are provided that enable the creation, customization, and performance of queries (or searches) of information collected, obtained, or stored in a medical information system. The results of such queries assist clinicians in their research, analysis, treatment, resource utilization, and quality assurance activities. A query wizard tool is provided for retrieving information from a medical information system, or its databases. Queries may be performed across a set of patients, hospitals or clinical resources. Query results are presented via an output device, such as a computer display. These results may be exported to other applications, such as known office or desktop applications, or other systems, such as database systems. Among other things, the query wizard tool facilitates creation of scripts for retrieval of information from the medical information system.
"A typical medical information system in a clinic, hospital, or other medical facility may be a networked computer system that collects, stores, analyzes and manages a variety of types of data referred to as 'patient data'. Patient data may include dynamically changing data. Examples of dynamically changing patient data that may be monitored include a patient's heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, respiration rate, electrical brain activity, chemical balance or composition. Patient data may also include relatively static data, such as prior or current medical conditions, diagnosis, prognosis, statistics, and so on for one or more stays for each of a plurality of patients. These types of patient data are referred to as parameters, which may be grouped together as sets of related attributes. Many other types of patient data (or parameters) known in the art may also be collected or monitored. An account management system may be included as part of the medical information system, or it may be interfaced with the medical information system. The account management system typically stores patient account information, including patient name, address, telephone number, insurance information, billing and payment information, and the like, as static data.
"Given the inclusion of dynamically changing patient data, monitors to collect in real-time or near real-time patient data during a patient's stay is also typically provided. Monitoring is typically accomplished, to some degree, using bedside units (BSUs), which are devices included in or configured to interface with the medical information system and posted proximate to the patient. BSUs may include output mechanisms such as display screens, printers, audible alarms, communication ports or some combination thereof, and input devices such as key pads, key boards, input ports, probes, sensors, cameras, recorders or interfaces to other data sources.
"In accordance with the present invention, a query system is integral with or interfaced to the medical information system. The query system interfaces with the medical information system and various patient monitoring systems and devices. The monitoring systems and devices make data available to the query system (via the medical information system) for retrieving data according to the query script. The query system may include or may be configured for access by any of a variety of devices, such as a desktop computer, workstation, laptop, personal digital assistant (PDA), telephone, server, or other network enabled device or programs, modules or components of such devices. That is, in accordance with various embodiments, query scripts may be defined, queries may be launched, or query results may be provided to or accessed by any of the above devices.
"The query system includes a query wizard that provides a user interface for the creation, running and analysis of queries and query results. The query wizard includes logic and instructions necessary for establishing a graphical user interface for user devices (e.g., a desktop computer, workstation, PDA, and so on), generating and defining query scripts, processing inputs and outputs, and interfacing with other relevant devices and programs (e.g., operating systems, desktop applications, and so on). The query wizard may include program code distributed across various devices, e.g., arranged in a client-server architecture, or implemented in other manners known in the art. Preferably, the query wizard generates a user interface in a Web browser context and implements commonly available and known Web browser features, such as radio buttons, toolbars, drop-down lists, menus, text entry fields, graphical linking and so on.
"Using the query wizard, queries are created by constructing a user (e.g., clinician or administrator) defined script that utilizes patient data. The algorithm embodied in the script is comprised of query attributes and related parameters, which form parameter-based tests or conditions to be met. As an example, a statement may be defined as 'if temperature>100 degrees, then . . . '. Depending on the script, processing of patient data according to one or more statements returns certain results. The results may be provided on a display in a grid or table format, or they may be output in other forms, such as graphical plots or charts, audible speech or tones, dynamic video, of some combination thereof. Queries may be saved and attached to or embedded within other queries.
"A set of filters may be defined and applied selectively to query attributes. For example, at least four types of filters may be applied to a given attribute: time, text, numeric, and checkbox. The time filter allows a user to apply specific time values to the selected query attribute(s). The text filter allows the user to include or exclude text values with or from the query. The numeric filter allows the user to include or exclude numeric values with or from the query and allows the application of statistical functions to filter data. The checkbox filter allows the user to apply 'yes' or 'no' values to query attributes."
For additional information on this patent, see: Gotlib, Phyllis; Schoenberg, Ido; Schoenberg, Roy. Medical Information Query System. U.S. Patent Number 8620678, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Hospital, Treatment, iMD
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