Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill., wanted to integrate patient monitoring devices with its electronic health records system. However, it quickly determined that the enabling data transfer technology from its EHR vendor was not up to the task. To compound the issue, Sherman's primary medical device vendor said some older devices could not even be integrated with the EHR and suggested buying new ones at a substantial cost.

Instead, the 240-bed hospital turned to Andover, Mass.-based Capsule Technologie, a vendor that has built an interface library for more than 415 medical devices. Capsule's bedside medical device interfaces rely on device drivers that are specific to each vendor, type and version of medical device. Moreover, incorporating them into the clinical setting is a plug-and-play proposition, says Matthew Perry, R.N., a systems analyst at 240-bed Sherman Hospital. It only took a week in April 2008 to prepare some 100 devices - comprising 12 different categories - to transmit data. "The device drivers are the heart and soul of the BMDI connectivity," Perry notes.

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