Technology with Rich DeMuro

CHOC: Inside the High Tech Hospital

By: Rich DeMuro
May 1, 2013

Imagine a hospital where doctors can share a patient’s up-to-date medical history as it happens–dramatically reducing clerical errors and making procedures easier for surgeons. That’s the reality one hospital is striving for with its new systems.

Cutting edge technology and standardized integration have made the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) one of the most advanced facilities in the nation.

As part of the hospital’s latest expansion project, new care facilities, machinery and communication processes were implemented to ensure patient safety.

“Connectivity helps us save time, make decisions better and make them faster. And all of that is good for the child undergoing surgery,” said pediatric general surgeon David Gibbs.

Among the new features includes a fully integrated system allowing doctors to bring together images, demographic information, patient history and workflows on a “wall of knowledge.”

“The whole idea is to provide as much information as possible at the right time in the right way so when we make a decision and move a patient through surgery, we can do so with a minimum of disruption to flow or of disruption to safety,” Gibbs said.

CHOC is the third hospital in the nation to implement a system called Studio 3 which digitally records and stores video of surgery for documentation.

The hospital not only improved communication processes between doctors and medical staff, but also between doctors and patients.

“We know that almost all adverse events, medical errors that occur in our industry are due in some way, shape or form to communication,” said Jim Cappon, Medical Director of Quality and Medical Safety.

Doctors at CHOC can take information and images such as those displayed on the “wall of knowledge” and bring them out to families via tablets.

“Ten years ago, a surgeon would bring a polaroid out from the operating room and show it to the family. Now we can do it with tablets,” Cappon said. “They can see it in a way that they can absolutely appreciate and understand.”

With new communication, technological and integration practices, CHOC strives to be the safest children’s hospital in the nation.

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