Hacking Health 2012 Project: Vital Signs

Janis Yee  

How standardizing critical knowledge transfer from the nurse can help doctors prioritize patient care.

Person getting their blood pressure taken.
Person getting their blood pressure taken.

This project was proposed at the Hacking Health held an event on Oct 19 – 21, 2012 which involved collaboration between I.T. and Health Industry professionals towards resolving real world issues through the use of existing and innovating technology.

This solution was constructed in consultation with two doctors.

“I’m a busy doctor trying to choose between seeing a patient with internal bleeding, and one who is 10 months pregnant. Both are urgent. Having the latest information ASAP will help me decide.”

The Problem

There currently exists no standard and efficient way to collect medical vital signs at the patient’s bedside. Nurses tend to scratch down notes manually which can get lost and confusing when working with multiple patients coming into the ER at once. These vitals need to be collected from all patients as frequently as possible but no later than 10 minutes. Nurses have lots of varying responsibilities and data entry for vitals takes away from that.

Our “What If” Solution

What if we created a point-of-care app for nurses to collect the information once at the patient bedside without the need to manually enter it into the computer at the nurse’s station.

Our proposed Vital Signs app was designed for point-of-care which improves patient safety and clinical efficiency. It allows for real time updating of patient vital signs through mobile devices. This data is output as a structured text file for import into EMRs using HL7 standard.

Our Team: Janis Yee, Dr. Paul Jones, Dr. Daniel Finnigan, Martin Coloumbe, Kristopher Kivutha

My Role: UX / UI Designer

Vital signs logo

Shown Below: On Left: List of Patient Names. Middle: Current Vital Signs for Single Patient. Right: List of Archived Vital Signs for Single Patient

App screenshots
App screenshots

Shown Below: View of Patient Records converting into Chart of Patient Vital Signs trend using medical annotations. (Yes, if you are a doctor or nurse, you would understand those symbols and this chart.)

App screenshot showing experimental rotated view.
App screenshot showing experimental rotated view.

The Proposed Results

Nurses can transmit the latest information to doctors in a manner of seconds. This would result in greater efficiency in the hospital.

[2017 Update] Ideal Solution

Hospitals already have tools that track results in real time. If the technology was put in place to transmit these results in directly to a mobile app that would help automate this process. Nurses can save time and do more important tasks than data entry, and Doctors can access the real-time patient information when needed.