Success Story

High-Tech at the Sickbed: Optimum patient care thanks to efficient data management

Already today, many people enjoy the benefits of digitisation. And in intensive care, it can even save lives: The clinical centre Kulmbach collects all patient data of the medical devices the patient is connected to in the context of intensive care directly at the sickbed. This is made possible with the help of the Medical Switch of MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG, which was specially developed and certified for the use in the medical sector. With it, all data can be collected, stored, and processed centrally without time losses, for instance from respirators, dialysis units, control instruments, or heart-lung machines. Using the clinical patient data management and monitoring system by Dräger, the attending physicians instantly gain a complete overview of the patient’s condition. By storing the data, critical phases of the course of the disease can be reconstructed quickly and reliably in retrospective.

Progress in Traditional Clinical Centre
On the one hand, the clinical centre Kulmbach looks back on a very long tradition, which began in the year 1802. On the other hand, the clinical centre, which is managed by the communal authorities, proves to be very progressive: The management of the clinical centre did not only extend the bed capacity over the years by means of several additions and modernisation measures to 450. It also consistently relies on new technologies with the aim to continuously improve patient care. One milestone is the introduction of the electronic patient record and the central data storage by means of the specially acquired software by the company Dräger. In order to exploit all advantages – especially in terms of the fast availability of all the information – as many data records as possible should be transferred automatically and in real-time to the system. This proved to be a particular challenge in the case of intensive care patients, who need to be monitored 24/7 without interruption.

Switching at the Sickbed
The application of switching technology in medical rooms brings along its own requirements: In order to protect the patients and devices from fault currents, it is necessary to comply with the required ISO standards and to galvanically separate the individual accesses from each other. In addition, the systems have to ensure that sensitive patient data is transferred very securely and with high availability. Alexander Wintchen, the IT administrator of the clinical centre and responsible project manager, explains: "These comprehensive security requirements were only fulfilled by the Medical Switches of MICROSENS. They even exceed the requirements of the ISO standards and provide additional protection mechanisms. This made the decision for these systems an obvious and easy one." MICROSENS developed the Medical Switches specifically for the requirements of the medical environment. They accommodate four galvanically separated ports with 10/100/1000 Mbps for the local connection of the devices. The Gigabit access can be realised both with copper and fiber optic connections.  In addition, Medical Micro Switches do not need their own 230 V power supply cords, since they are provided with power via Power over Ethernet using the copper uplink. This reduces the planning and implementation effort significantly.

High-Speed Installation
The clinical centre implemented the technology in the surgical intensive care unit of the house. The concept will gradually be extended to further functional sections. A major benefit of the Medical Switches of MICROSENS is their trouble-free installation, as Alexander Wintchen explains: "Our bed occupancy rate is very high, so we cannot afford a longer downtime of capacities. We installed the systems room-by-room, checked all devices, and were able to release the corresponding room for use again right away." The switches are installed in the existing DIN rails and can conveniently be pre-configured. This makes the concept both simple and efficient. For reasons of technical and spatial difficulty as well as significantly higher cost, it would have been hard to reproduce the functionality of the Medical Switches with conventional switching technology.

Focus on the Well-Being of the Patient
The real-time transfer of all patient data, even from the monitoring units of the intensive care units, immediately gives the attending physicians a comprehensive overview of the condition of their patient. Diagnoses can be made even faster and more reliably and the patient can be optimally treated accordingly. In addition, the administrative workload of the staff is reduced, leaving more time to care for the patients. The course of treatment can be traced back without any gaps afterwards, as all parameters of the monitoring units are stored centrally.

Dagmar Ecker, Diplom-Wirtschaftsingenieurin (FH) (graduate in industrial engineering)

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Transmitting information via fiber optic connections offers numerous benefits. MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG recognised this very early on. As one of the pioneers, the company has developed and produced high-performance communications and transmission systems in Germany since 1993. Individually matched to the demands of diverse usage areas and embedded in comprehensive concepts for individual sectors. But, above all, close to the customer. Technical challenges from customer projects are incorporated directly into product development. This way, IP-based automation solutions are created for modern buildings, cost-efficient network concepts for the office and workspace, robust and fail-safe solutions for industrial environments, optical transport systems future-oriented wide area networks and efficient coupling of sites and computer centres.