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Journal of AHIMA Explores How Continuous Surveillance Technology Can Improve Patient Safety

CHICAGO – July 10, 2020 – Continuous surveillance technology is helping clinicians use
real-time patient data to identify the early onset of patient deterioration, writes Genevieve Diesing in the July issue of the Journal of AHIMA.

Continuous surveillance technology is designed to gather, sort, and analyze information from electronic medical records and other sources before sending pertinent alerts to clinicians. It uses predictive analytics to identify trends across multiple data points over time—unlike traditional patient monitoring, which often consists of the periodic measure of a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, oxygen level, and temperature.

“These tools aggregate continuous streams of data from multiple patient monitoring devices, as well as retrospective information from electronic health records, and combine them with advanced analytics to produce a holistic picture of a patient’s condition,” Diesing writes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, continuous surveillance technology has helped healthcare systems use real-time data to manage the availability of beds, personal protective equipment and more. It has also helped clinicians monitor patients remotely, Stephen Morgan, MD, chief medical information officer at the Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia, told Diesing. He said they’re monitoring patients’ oxygen saturation levels at home through remote patient monitors. And with COVID-19 being so contagious and health systems across the country having capacity concerns, continuous surveillance technology may prove to be an important tool to combat the disease.

Read the full article in the July issue of the Journal of AHIMA. Other articles from the issue look at how the Netherlands has responded to the pandemic, as well as telehealth and COVID-19.

Finally, reporters are also invited to view a CDC webinar hosted by AHIMA that dives into how healthcare systems can rapidly implement electronic case reporting for streamlined public health reporting.


AHIMA is a global nonprofit association of health information (HI) professionals. AHIMA represents professionals who work with health data for more than one billion patient visits each year. AHIMA’s mission of empowering people to impact health drives our members and credentialed HI professionals to ensure that health information is accurate, complete, and available to patients and providers. Our leaders work at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and business, and are found in data integrity and information privacy job functions worldwide.

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