Real time data acquisition: recommendations for the medical information bus (MIB)
Care of the acutely ill patient requires rapid acquisition, recording and communications of data. In the modern hospital it is not unusual for a patient to be connected to several monitoring and recording devices simultaneously. Each of these devices is typically made by a different manufacturer who may specialize in one sort of measurement, for example, pulse oximetry. Most of the modern monitoring and recording devices are micro-processor based and have communication capabilities. Unfortunately, there is no operable standard communication technology available from all devices. In addition different clinical staff (physicians, nurses, or repiratory therapists) may be responsible for collecting data. As a result there is a need to develop methods, standards, and strategies for timely and automatic collection of data from these monitoring and recording devices. We report on more than 5 years of clinical experience of automated ICU data collection using a prototype of the Medical Information Bus (MIB).