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In the News

January/February 2016 - Ineroperabiilty in the Perioperative Suite: Promise and Reality

Charlie Berg, Vice Prisident Engineering, LiveData, Inc.
Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare

In recent years, hospitals have made great strides in the adoption of electronic health records (EHR). As of 2014, 76% of all hosptals in the United States were employing an EHR system to manage clinical information (American Hospital Association, 2015).  The perioperative staff is now looking for improvements to their workflow and work environiment from these electronic systems, seeking patient-safety focused integration of information carefully selected fom the growing flood of electronic data. This article will explore the perioperative environment and look at some of the challenges to integrating with electronic systems and devices, extracting data that is relevant to clinical staff, and providing access to crucial data at each perioperative phase.

June 15, 2015 - Machine Learning in Power Voltage Instability Monitoring

Charlie Berg, Vice President Engineering, LiveData Utilities
Remote Site & Equipment Management Magazine

Phasor Measurement Units in Power Grid Operations
With the advent of time Phasor Measurement Units (PMU’s), the operations of power grid controls is experiencing a paradigm shift as it transitions from a human centric monitoring model to a data centric model. In a data-centric power grid, fast transients can be tracked at high sampling rates of 20 times a second or more. A phasor measurement unit (PMU) or synchrophasor is a device that measures the electrical waves on an electricity grid using a common time source for synchronization. Time synchronization allows synchronized real-time measurements of multiple remote measurement points on the grid. PMUs typically generate up to 4 Gb data per day. 

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May 4, 2015 - OR Management Moves Mobile, is Becoming Comprehensive

Rebecca Rudolph, Editor
Surgical Products

When she started her operating room (OR) management career in 1979, everything was done with a pen and paper. Tasks like charting, scheduling, billing and documentation all included sifting through papers. There were sticky notes everywhere, Mary Hibdon, ambulatory surgery strategist with Cerner, laughed. “Slowly, we saw the business side move to a more automated function, and then, with the advent of Meaningful Use and the carrot associated with that, the push was ‘let’s document everything electronically’,” she said...

Screens also started sprouting in ORs to help surgeons, nurses and other staff understand how to best serve the patient, but also understand the status of rooms. LiveData is one of the companies that has developed to fill this newer need. “(Before software was created), very qualified, caring people managed the flow, essentially by having good heads on their shoulders and staying on top of everything mentally to organize the flow in a good way,” Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of LiveData, said. “Believe me; that’s still primarily true in all aspects of healthcare. It’s still, ultimately, the caregivers who define, to a large extent, the quality.”

Their goal is to remove the grease board and hand written notes in the OR with consistent and reliable software so less human error is made, he explained. This is all done on one screen in all stages of care, including before, during and after the operation... 

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March 2, 2015DistribuTECH 2015, A Grid Analytics Party

Brad Harkavy, General Manager, LiveData Utilities
Remote Site and Equipment Management

New to DistribuTECH, I felt a little like a kid in a candy store. How can you not like a show that has helicopters, big 4-wheel drive trucks, and gas powered drones? And I would be remiss if I did not mention that fine 75 degree weather that greeted me after my joyous escape from the snows in Boston, and the delight of watching our home team win the Super Bowl from seat 10 D on JetBlue to San Diego. 

With almost 12,000 attendees and over 480 exhibitors, Distributech was the place to be to experience the depth and breadth of the Utilities Transmission and Distribution (T & D) business. 

The joyful picture that I painted in my opening could also be applied to the readily apparent vendor enthusiasm for data analytics at DistribuTECH.  Maybe it was the beautiful weather, but vendors everywhere were gushing over their analytics capabilities.  In fact, 87 companies self-classified themselves as analytics vendors, and 35 percent of the software vendors classified themselves as analytics companies. From lighting companies to Intel, there was a full spectrum of companies hopping on the analytics bandwagon.

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January 26, 2015 - Workflow Management Systems in Healthcare: Complex Interventions

Guest post by
Jeff Robbins, President and CEO, LiveData, Inc.
Electronic Health Reporter

It is no secret that many of today’s best hospitals are still enmeshed in implementing and fine-tuning new, enterprise-wide electronic health record (EHR) systems. With purchase prices in the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars, the EHR is a focal point of bringing technology to bear on the various challenges of delivering consistent, high quality care to an increasing number of patients.

Yet many hospital administrators and caregivers are finding that the level of effort (and expenditure) isn’t moving the needle as much as was expected. It turns out that this isn’t because of any specific failing on the part of the EHR vendors. Rather, it is because of a missing layer in today’s EHR technology stack.

 This missing layer, workflow management systems, is software designed to coordinate specific action, create consistency, and deliver visibility by automatically connecting caregivers with relevant tasks and information. The EHR, by necessity, is focused on creating a heads-down log of all encounters. Workflow technology adds the missing heads-up displays, alerts and analytics that help drive use of the EHR during patient encounters.

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September 11, 2014 - Prescriptive Modeling – What Amazon is Teaching Grid Operators

Brad Harkavy, General Manager, LiveData Utilities 
Remote Site and Equipment Management 

I recently purchased a bicycle for my daughter online. When shopping for the bike on Amazon, they also suggested I purchase a helmet and a bike lock. This suggestion was made in real-time as I was selecting bicycles. Because I was buying a bike, Amazon predicted I would want to buy some accessories. The speed at which Amazon delivers these suggestions is amazing, crunching through more than 200 million products available to buy in the US alone.

Amazon’s “Frequently Bought Together “ suggestion box is a form of prescriptive analytics. They have been making these suggestions since the early 2000′s based on evaluating past user’s behavior with respect to what items are purchased together. These suggestions are considered prescriptive analytics (and not just predictive) because no human is involved in making the specific recommendations. Humans curate the models, but the suggestions are made automatically based on past data and Amazon’s algorithms...

The opportunities for using prescriptive analytics to predict grid equipment failure and automatically adjust the distribution loads to compensate for failing equipment are enormous.

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July 14, 2014 - Utilities, Big Data and Analytics

Jeffrey Robbins, President and CEO, LiveData, Inc.
Remote Site and Equipment Management

Big Data is not a new concept for utilities – but it is a new name and focus on the volume, velocity, and variety of data that we have been managing for years from devices, sensors, and systems in generation, transmission and distribution facilities.

Utilities with LiveData technology are leveraging Big Data on a daily basis. The real-time integration technology used to capture, transform, and deliver data enables applications like outage management systems (OMS) to improve operational efficiency and provide an increasingly reliable supply of critical services such as power.

The ongoing implementation of smart grid technology will provide utilities with more expansive and higher quality data from an increasingly wide variety of sources and formats, reaching from generation systems right to consumers’ doorsteps.  While potentially daunting, with the right technology this onslaught becomes your opportunity.

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July 7, 2014 - Patient Safety Is Dependent on OR Team Communications

There are still a number of wrong-site surgeries that take place

Jeffrey Robbins, CEO, LiveData, Inc.
Advance Healthcare Network - Executive Insight

Cool Hand Luke was onto something when he said, "What we've got here is a failure to communicate." An observation about his potentially life-ending predicament, his comment has become a tagline for the sometimes tragic cost of often avoidable communication problems.

Just as both the prisoner and the warden knew the pitfalls about failure to communicate, so do patients and surgical teams. A failure to communicate can lead to all manner of operating room errors, the most egregious being the wrong surgery, or the correct surgery but on the patient's wrong side, or wrong site; or, even the wrong patient. Anesthesia or antibiotic errors (stemming from allergies or improper dosing, for example) also rank high on the list. These missteps have been given the collective term "never events," meaning errors generally considered so threatening to patient safety that they should never happen.

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June 23, 2014 - HDM Names 2014 Analytics All Stars

LiveData Customer VA Miami Healthcare System wins Project of the Year: Patient Safety

Health Data Management is announcing recipients of its inaugural Analytics All Stars program, which recognizes organizations and individuals implementing analytics in innovative ways to improve the health of their patients and the financial performance of their organizations.

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April 21, 2014 - 20 Security Questions Facing Smart Grid Operators

Michael D. Zola, Vice President LiveData, Inc. Energy Division
Remote Site & Equipment Management

The Energy Sector has become a major focus for targeted attacks, and is now among the top five most targeted sectors worldwide, according to Symantec. The Department of Homeland Security ICS-CERT responded to more than 200 incidents between October 2012 and May 2013, with 53 percent aimed at the energy sector.

Most Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are or will be integrating Operational Technology (OT) networks with IT networks to streamline operations.  How many interconnects do you have from OT to IT, corporate, and business systems? Are they secure? How are they secured? Is everything documented?

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February 2014 - LiveData President & CEO Jeff Robbins joins four executives from companies offering perioperative workflow management solutions talking with Healthcare Purchasing News about what makes an OR tick.

Blocked and Loaded

Jeannie Akridge
Healthcare Purchasing News 

OR workflow optimization carves out order from chaos

Spend any amount of time behind the scenes in the perioperative suite, and you’ll likely find yourself amidst a whirling dervish of activity and chaos. You might even begin to wonder how surgical cases are ever successfully completed with all of the starts, stops and delays that happen during the course of the day, whether awaiting surgeons, supplies, test results or even patients. Indeed, the complexity of the OR is matched only by the variety of cases and surgical techniques performed.

"The challenges lie in the extreme degree of variability in workflow practices, surgical techniques, equipment used, not to mention physical space constraints. Ineffective coordination of these physical and staffing resources with patient clinical and logistical workflow causes bottlenecks, delays, and inefficiencies. What exacerbates these challenges is that most hospitals use manual workflow processes and communication methods (whiteboards, pagers, and individual staff observations) to make decisions that can adversely impact operational efficiency and patient safety in attempts to impact perioperative performance."– Jeff Robbins, CEO, LiveData, Inc

October 3, 2013 - WAPA works toward the future

Kathleen Wolf Davis

WAPA works toward the future
By Mark A. Gabriel

Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), a power marketing administration within the Department of Energy, markets and transmits more than 40 billion kilowatt hours of federal hydropower through an integrated 17,000-plus circuit mile transmission system across 15 midwestern and western states. I have been Western’s administrator for about five months. It was clear to me before I accepted the job, and it is even clearer now, that our challenge and opportunity as an organization is to prepare for a new energy future. I believe there are five key areas we need to focus on as we prepare for that future.

July 2013Leader to Leader: 3 keys to launching efficiency dashboards

By Hector Delgado, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager of Operating Rooms and PACU at Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center in Miami
OR Exec AORN Center for Nursing Leadership

In June we opened a state-of-the art integrated OR suite with nine ORs fully “wired” to support a number of new technologies, including efficiency dashboards.

These efficiency dashboards are displayed in our operating suites. Nurses carry portable clickers around their necks to access and input real-time patient information into the dashboards. The dashboard retrieves and sends patient information from three different electronic medical record sources: the patient’s medical record, surgical record and anesthesia’s record

April/June 2013 - LiveData, Inc: Improving the Quality of Patient Care and Lowering Costs in the Perioperative Suite

By Jeffrey Robbins, AB
Critical Care Nursing Quarterly

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), The Joint Commission, the National Quality Forum, and the World Health Organization are among the world bodies that are developing patient-safety standards. Successfully complying with new protocols tends to increase the workload of caregivers, distract from patient care, and demand greater administrative outlay from hospitals. Various initiatives to improve the quality of patient care are coupled with pressure to reduce healthcare costs. LiveData Inc. has been addressing these challenges since entering the healthcare sector in 2004, at a time when the issue of patient safety was coming to the forefront. This article provides background on the evolution of patient safety issues, and describes how applying technology to improve operational workflow and patient safety in the perioperative suite improves the quality of care and reduces cost.

February 2013 - Designing better mouse trap ideal for OR Scheduling

Surgical workflows shed some kinks from automated schedule management

by Jeannie Akridge
Healthcare Purchasing News

Anyone who’s played the classic game Mouse Trap knows that the more moving parts in any process or piece of equipment, the more opportunities there are for something to go wrong. Surgical staff experience this on a routine basis. Just ask someone who’s worked in an OR how many times they’ve had to stop what they were doing to find something or someone needed to start or move a case along — be it surgeon or staff, surgical instruments or equipment, medication, or even a patient. While an automated scheduling program or electronic medical record system may intend to set in motion a specific chain of events, it’s often not until prep begins for the first case of the day that the surgical team finds out that some key pieces are missing. And every delay adds exponentially more time to a very expensive clock.

Oct. 2012 - Value-Based Purchasing Core Measure Improvement; Health Management Technology

The challenge of finding cost-effective solutions to improve VBP core measure results should lead hospitals to appropriate technology, significant process improvement and ultimately better, less expensive perioperative care. 

July 10, 2012 - LiveData gets $500K for Hospital Workflow System; Mass High Tech

Cambridge software company LiveData Inc. has received a $500,000 contract award from the U.S. Army Small Business Administration Commercialization Pilot Program to provide data integration and display technologies in military hospitals including the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. 

July/August 2012 - Outperform the Competition: Hospital Value-Based Purchasing; Patient Safety Quality Healthcare

Competition to capture the highest incentive payments from the Medicare Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program is going to be very tight. “Even if you are above the 90th percentile, you could still have a very poor score and leave money on the table,” said Tami Lewis in a recent Modern Healthcare article.1 As Director of Service Excellence at Robinson Memorial Hospital, Ravenna, Ohio, she is among the many hospital quality administrators who are looking at a competition where several tenths of a point can represent a forfeit of hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal reimbursements. But there’s a way to gain an edge ... 

July 16, 2012 - U.S. News Ranks Best Hospitals 2012-2013 America's new No. 1 medical center: Mass General

This year, the Honor Roll is led for the first time by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Mass General displaces Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, which held the list’s No. 1 spot for 21 consecutive years. LiveData and Massachusetts General Hospital share a history of collaboration dedicated to safe surgery and successful patient outcomes. 

July 23, 2012 - A Dashboard for OR Patient Safety Optimization, Healthcare Informatics

Ranked Healthcare Informatics #1 Most Popular Article
In May of this year, leaders at the Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, a division of the 11-community-hospital Saint Luke’s Health System, based in Kansas City, Mo., went live with an advanced patient safety platform called OR-Dashboard, which was developed for Saint Luke’s by LiveData, Inc. of Cambridge, Mass. 

March 2012 - Innovative Medical Devices Improve Patient Safety; Healthcare Purchasing News

So many products cry out for their attention today that selecting new additions for their stock of medical supplies can be a daunting task...

Dec. 2011/January 2012 - CMS Deploys Energy Smart Grid Project, Remote Magazine

The article describes how CMS Enterprises chose to manage their smart grid with a state-of-the-art LiveData  solution that included LiveData's RTI technology and SmartGrid Manager. 

April/June 2011 - Hospital Checklists: Transforming Evidence-Based Care and Patient Safety Protocols into Routine Practice

Drawing on research, recent initiatives, and the company’s experience in high-acuity units, Robbins explores the implications and challenges of implementing checklists in today’s hospitals. If a checklist is to succeed as a mechanism for transforming evidence-based care and safety protocols into best and actual practice, it needs to be used consistently and durably; to achieve this, hospitals need to foster a supportive environment as well as acquire a system to monitor, measure, and manage a culture that effectively embraces checklists. 

Feb. 8, 2011 - Keeping it real in the OR, Health Management Technology

National attention to patient safety has generated a host of initiatives, following studies demonstrating significant reductions in errors and deaths. These reductions depend upon a confluence of factors. 

Feb. 23, 2011 - Checklists Alone Won't Change Health Care: The Full Story, The Huffington Post

"Ten years ago at Johns Hopkins, my team began adapting aviation checklists to medicine. In 2006 we published a landmark paper in the New England Journal of Medicine detailing how we used checklists to nearly eliminate infections, not just in one hospital, but throughout the entire state of Michigan. We are now spreading that program to every hospital in the United States..."

March 30, 2010 - Operating Room Radiography to Transform Surgery

In a move that could change the way many patients undergo surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has installed five state-of-the-art Siemens Artis zeego® medical imaging systems that provide faster, more accurate 3-D images of the body with a quality never before attainable.  

Feb. 23, 2010 - On the same screen in the East Cooper OR, HealthcareIT News 

When East Cooper Medical Center in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. moves into its new 140-bed hospital in April, it will roll out new technology in its eight operating rooms to provide a real-time information dashboard style for everyone to see at the same time.