Hospitals are high-tech workplaces with proton-beam therapies, handheld ultrasound, and the latest imaging technologies. But when an ICU nurse labels an IV bag or syringe, it’s often done the old-fashioned way—with a hastily scrawled, handwritten note. Today, Dallas-based Vigilant Software launched a solution to modernize that practice in critical-care ICUs across the country.
The new solution is Verify, an IV-line management platform that creates efficiency in hospital ICU rooms where IV medications are commonplace. The Verify technology has already been implemented in a number of hospitals and is “drastically improving processes related to IV-line management,” the company says.
The Verify platform combines industry-standard direct thermal printing hardware with software designed to solve medication management practices at the point of care. The solution, which Vigilant says is “unmatched in the market,” significantly reduces time spent managing infusion lines, “allowing critical care nurses to focus on other tasks that lead to better patient outcomes.”
In the COVID pandemic, time is critical—and so is labeling
In the last year and a half, hospitals nationwide have been overwhelmed by surges of COVID-19 patients, increasing the demand for intravenous infusions and a wide array of lifesaving medications. It’s vital that every medication be labeled clearly and tracked efficiently.
The challenge: Many ICUs rely on handwritten labeling processes as seen in the syringe image above.
Vigilant says that critical-care nurses using Verify are experiencing enhanced patient safety and safe medication practice workflows by using the platform’s direct thermal printing solution instead.
“We know this pandemic has been nothing but difficult for our incredible front-line workers,” said Fox Holt, CEO of Vigilant Software, in a statement. “Now is the time to be deploying solutions easing the burden on ICUs and nurses,” while differentiating individual hospitals “as the best place to care for patients, and the safest,”
Co-founder saw a vast need
Vigilant was founded in 2016 by Dr. Peter Baek and Jeff Fountaine. An anesthesiologist, Dr. Baek had witnessed a vast majority of colleagues—even including himself—not always strictly following syringe labeling safety procedures. This led to the company’s first product: anesthesia syringe labeling.
“Through time, hospital staff members in other departments saw the anesthesia product,” Vigilant CEO Fox Holt told Dallas Innovates, “and asked Dr. Baek if he could tweak it to help their tasks.”
Holt explained that while some aspects of hospitals are indeed “very high tech,” other aspects of IT are actually “very far behind.” Thus the need for the Verify solution.
Vigilant now specializes in solutions that automate drug preparation and documentation processes for clinical staff who work outside of the pharmacy—in settings like operating rooms, post-operative care, intensive care, and emergency rooms. Its key goals are improving patient care, safety, compliance, workflow, and hospital revenue.
“The benefits were immediately felt”
At National Park Medical Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the Verify system produced quick, positive results, according to ICU Nurse Manager Jewell Briggs.
“Vigilant’s solution for infusion line management immediately, positively impacted our critical care nursing team,” Briggs said in the statement. “We’ve been dealing with critically ill patients during this pandemic struggling to keep up with the daily demands, so when we introduced Vigilant’s Verify platform into the ICU the benefits were immediately felt, freeing up nurses while improving safe medication delivery.”
Designed exclusively for healthcare
The Verify platform enables nurses to manage infusion lines or syringe medications in “a compliant, safe, and effective manner, eliminating highly manual workflows around these life-saving medications,” Vigilant says.
Trials of the platform have been “overwhelming positive,” leading to at-scale deployments in several hospitals.
Overcoming hurdles to trial and adoption
CEO Holt says that one hurdle to Verify’s trial and adoption is the overwhelmed situation many hospitals currently face.
“Vigilant’s ICU product is very timely because ICUs are swamped with COVID patients,” Holt told us. “Nursing ranks have been depleted because of burnout.”
While the Verify platform can be helpful to nurses by streamlining patient safety steps, “ICU nurse managers/directors are also swamped and are not looking at implementing new technology,” Holt said. “Even though our product requires little to no training/installation integration, it still requires the ICU nurse manager time to learn about Vigilant and decide to trial it.”
Holt says he and his team are hopeful that a lull in COVID-19’s spread before winter will allow decision makers to make that time—and update their processes for the good of patients and hospital staffs alike.
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