What is 'awareness computing'?

One CIO says the technology goes over and above single sign-on.
By Bernie Monegain
10:51 AM
Doctor using tablet

MemorialCare Health System, a top 100 integrated delivery network,  implemented awareness computing technology at the Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif.  The idea is to provide roaming clinicians instant access to patient records throughout the hospital while also ensuring top security.

MemorialCare tapped Denver-based Aventura for its technology platform. Through its patented technology, the platform delivers awareness of a user's identity and role, their location within a facility, what device they are working on and what patient they are treating.

"We have seen respectable security and single sign-on products, but nothing that combines key capabilities in a way that materially aids clinician productivity while also advancing security," Scott Joslyn, senior vice president and CIO at MemorialCare Health System, said in a statement.

The "awareness computing platform combines ease of access, context and location awareness in a very creative way that increases both security and efficiency, two standout areas of operational challenge," he added, noting that the technology enables immediate connectivity to the entire patient record at the point of care and the associated suite of systems relevant to a particular clinician's role. 

[See also: Investors focused on innovation.]

"In the end, we are able to give valuable time back to the clinician that is especially noticeable and welcomed in fast-paced environments such as the emergency department," Joslyn said.

Orange Coast Memorial is a 218-bed general medical and surgical hospital admitting more than 12,000 patients annually.

Aventura executives describe the Aventura Roaming Aware Desktop, RAD, as a technology that intrinsically recognizes each clinician by role, location, computer and patient in the room. It enables Orange Coast clinicians to gain instant, secure access to relevant presented information within EpicCare EMR or other applications. Physicians and nurses are empowered to roam hospital-wide without disruption to their charting workflow, entering data within their application of choice either in the patient's room or at a nearby workstation terminal.

[See also: 12 integration capabilities EHRs will need to have.]

The platform also provides extra security and authentication for enterprise protected health information. With the tap of an authorization card and a PIN or password, caregivers can log in to any terminal or tablet and begin charting immediately. The entered documentation in real time increases thoroughness and accuracy of details and minimizes risk of errors often caused by reliance on handwritten notes or memory.

Clinicians can tap their card again to secure their last patient data or application entry activity. Because the patient data is maintained in a centralized data center, Aventura safeguards the confidentially of PHI in the event of device theft or loss.
"We're committed to equipping health systems like MemorialCare Health System with awareness computing that permits their clinicians to truly be present with their patients and to reduce unproductive time with computers," said John Gobron, Aventura's president and CEO, in a news release. "Clinicians have the freedom to customize clinical workflows based on their own rules, roles and patients being treated."