Healthcare Technology Firm Launches New Perioperative Solution on Microsoft Azure
Talis Clinical wanted to make an innovative anesthesia information management system more widely available, so it redesigned the application to run in the cloud on Microsoft Azure. Called ACG-Anesthesia, the patient-centric solution provides centralized, automated visibility into patient risk factors and changing physiologic conditions from the decision to perform surgery through recovery.
In addition, built-in advanced clinical guidance and evidence-based care protocols empower physicians to more effectively manage all phases of perioperative care.
Making healthcare smarter
Sharing data quickly and accurately across multiple processes is important for all businesses, but nowhere is it more critical than in a hospital setting where the right information at the right time can mean the difference between life and death. Among the most critical events in patient care is the intraoperative episode, where the anesthesia care team must simultaneously monitor and react to multiple physiological parameters.
To address those challenges, an application was developed and implemented at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic that integrates data from patient monitors, medical devices, and electronic health records (EHR) to provide centralized insight and multiparameter decision support. The anesthesia system was already being used in more than 270 operating rooms when the development team and an experienced medical entrepreneur decided to establish a new firm called Talis Clinical and offer the solution to other healthcare organizations.
Talis immediately began expanding the scope of the anesthesia system to include preoperative and postoperative events. In addition to improving patient care and safety, the extended solution would help healthcare providers get more value from the electronic health records (EHR) systems that many organizations had installed and augmented to satisfy recent regulations. Gary Colister, Chief Executive Officer of Talis, explains, “EHR technology alone does not provide the level of vigilance needed in perioperative care; it mostly enables the clinical team to record what happens.”
Moving to the cloud
Talis spent a year looking at an array of cloud platforms from specialized medical platforms to large commercial vendors. The new company decided that Microsoft Azure was the best choice for commercializing its application. “We went through all of these evaluations, and then we actually realized that we’re a Microsoft shop, with all of our technology built on a Microsoft platform,” says Colister. “We’re also moving very fast, and we needed to make sure that not only the individual pieces of software we deployed had the necessary robustness, but that our cloud partner had a deep awareness of our technology stack. It really came down to that support.”
Using the Microsoft Visual Studio development system, including Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, Talis redesigned its anesthesiology solution to run in the cloud on Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines. The highly scalable, flexible environment provides a range of benefits, including easy integration with virtually any endpoint including diverse EHRs and medical devices. On the back end, Talis gained similar advantages, including support for its databases, which ran on Linux operating systems.
The solution, called ACG-Anesthesia, continuously collects patient data such as heart rate and blood pressure, and provides real-time, clinical views of specific patient conditions in multiple rooms. It also includes electronic case summaries and hand-off checklists so that comprehensive information can be shared efficiently with all members of a medical team. ACG-Anesthesia automatically pulls data from Talis clinical products, medical devices, EHRs, lab systems, pharmacies, and more.
In the operating room, the anesthesia care team uses an intuitive touchscreen to access and record information. Elsewhere, the supervising physician can use a mobile device to remotely monitor multiple rooms staffed by nurses or other members of the care team. In addition to providing a way to monitor patient health through a central interface, the solution pushes real-time alerts to devices including tablets and smartphones. It can be customized for a wide range of scenarios, including general, cardiac, and pediatric care.
Built-in clinical guidance supports complex decisions by calculating multiple parameters and events. As a result, the solution can alert caregivers to potential adverse conditions and reactions. And besides providing operational and clinical guidance at the point of care, ACG-Anesthesia helps hospitals collect and report data required by healthcare reform acts and other regulations.
Talis is also migrating other clinical products to the cloud, including a portal that establishes and measures protocols for preoperative testing and image-based, documentation technology that is used for assessment before anesthesia is administered. Both products are already integrated with ACG-Anesthesia. Brought to market in just two years, the suite is available across North America.
By taking advantage of Microsoft Azure, Talis Clinical can help medical organizations throughout North America improve patient care and safety at all stages of treatment and recovery.
Provides better support for innovation
With the Microsoft cloud, Talis was able to launch an innovative product that can help hospitals improve performance. “We have determined that Microsoft Azure can help us serve clients better than other traditional platforms,” says Colister. “We want our clients to feel like we can deliver the highest level of service that they expect. To be able to provide insights that help clinicians be more vigilant and at the same time produce legal documentation for compliance—that’s a big achievement in our space.”
Improves patient outcome
By providing timely, relevant data through remote apps and devices, Talis can help clinicians improve patient care. “The perioperative surgical care model is being studied at a lot of prominent medical centers around the country, and it emphasizes continuity and measuring patient information from the preop to surgery, subsequent physical therapy, and beyond discharge” says Karen Alexander, Vice President of Business Intelligence at Talis Clinical. “With Microsoft Azure, we can build the technology to implement this new care model and improve patient outcomes.”