Computer Technology Used to Make Delivery Rooms Safer

i-computertechnologyusedtomakeHaving a new baby can be stressful for expectant parents, with nine months of preparation and worry. Perhaps even more stressful is the actual birth of the new child – not only for the parents, but also for the doctors, nurses and hospital staff delivering the baby.

Medical staff in most hospitals today are overworked. Budget cuts have led to staffing cuts, which result in longer hours and fewer people on duty. The myriad tasks performed with each delivery leave room for human error that could lead to a birth-related injury – which is why a computer system has been designed to not only keep abreast of the clinical aspect of a delivery, but to also spot and help correct potentially serious errors during the process.

The Intelligent Patient Record for Obstetrics, or IPROB, maintains an ongoing computer record of each birth – negating the need for paper records. Most importantly, its database contains more than 6,500 “best practice” obstetric rules and guidelines. Tapping into nearly 200,000 clinical data fields, the IPROB can assess any critical situation that develops during a delivery and provide alerts, diagnosis and suggestions for the best practice available.

IPROB also monitors basics such as fetal and mother heart rates and blood pressure, and gauges other important signals, such as distress, coming from the baby.

IPROB reacts in “clinical real time” and serves as a sort of insurance to negate errors, especially those that occur during stressful or difficult births. The clinical decision making through IPROB’s alerts and reminders is what keeps staff focused and on its toes. It also provides expectant parents, particularly the mother, additional peace of mind.

Another benefit of IPROB is that it can provide continuity of care for women who are in labor over a hospital shift change. The electronic records keep track of everything that has gone on during the birth process, so hospital staff just coming on duty can be fully informed of any issues to which they need to attend.

As of 2009, more than 30 hospitals nationwide have used IPROB to deliver more than 160,000 babies. At approximately one in 9.5 of those deliveries, IPROB was successful in preventing a hospital error from being made.