The Data are Collected. What’s Next?
Intensive care unit (ICU) computer systems were developed initially for monitoring vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure from bedside hardware. In the past decade, many uses have been added in order to make the systems clinically more useful and acceptable. Monitoring systems that served as automated secretaries have been supplanted by the development of computerized information, or data management, systems. The data that are required, manipulated, stored, and reported by such systems include not just vital signs but the full spectrum of information used in caring for critically ill patients. In present systems, arterial blood gas measurements, cardiac output determinations, fluid balance estimates, and clinical laboratory data may assume a more important role tha vital sign data. ICU computers have become elements of hospital information systems1,2 with ICU computers linked to other computers in distributed networks and with data transferred automatically from system to system. Now, for example, clinical laboratory data may be passed directly from laboratory computers to ICU computers to remove the burden of entry from the clinical staff.
KeywordsIntensive Care Unit Calculation Routine Shunt Fraction Patient Data Management System Global Calculation
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