Portable electronic tool for RCP level of LPV adherence.


Mechanical air flow (MV) is an integral half of care for critically sick sufferers. Lung-protective mechanical air flow (LPV) is a method aiming to cut back the incidence of ventilator-induced lung harm.1–3 Perioperative use of LPV has additionally proven advantages in sufferers with out preexisting lung impairment, suggesting a job in lowering pulmonary problems and size of keep.4,5 LPV focuses on lowering the stress of lung opening, or barotrauma, and lung parenchymal pressure, or volutrauma.1,6 The proof that LPV is probably life-saving was reported over 20 years in the past by the NHLBI ARDS Net Group as they utilized tidal quantity (Vt) between 4 and eight mL/kg predicted physique weight (PBW) and Plateau strain (Pplat) <30 cmH2O for sufferers receiving MV.1,7 While these findings have achieved the standing of Best Practices, their implementation into routine scientific care has confirmed to be a posh activity. Indeed, there are information indicating that clinicians nonetheless don’t successfully implement these LPV methods.8,9

Several research have recognized boundaries to guideline adherence, together with lack of consciousness, lack of familiarity, lack of settlement, lack of end result expectancy, and inertia of earlier observe.10 More particularly, reported causes for non-compliance with LPV requirements embrace: (1) improper calculation of predicted physique weight (PBW, additionally termed Ideal Body Weight [IBW]); (2) underdiagnosed ARDS regardless of worldwide requirements of definition; (3) perceived affected person discomfort from low Vt air flow, and (4) information hole in recognizing and treating patient-ventilator asynchrony.11–13 Many of these boundaries could also be overcome by enhancing communication between Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) and different bedside personnel, rising consciousness of affected person–ventilator interplay and consolidating key affected person data in a user-friendly format, each in actual time and through scientific handoffs. Several research have demonstrated that straightforward communication instruments can be utilized to enhance compliance with LPV air flow.14,15

While optimization of affected person–ventilator interplay is multidisciplinary, RCPs have a central function in managing ventilator settings. Still, they face many challenges in implementing evidence-based medication on the bedside in critically sick sufferers: sustaining compliance with finest ventilator practices, affected person situational consciousness whereas going through excessive affected person workload, and environment friendly communication throughout scientific handoffs. It has been demonstrated that the implementation of a normal handoff bundle may scale back preventable hostile occasions by 30%, with out rising transition of care time.16 Several key actions recommended by The Joint Commission to enhance the standard of transition of care embrace standardized content material between sender and receiver together with standardizing instruments and strategies (eg checklists), face-to-face handoff in a quiet surroundings, use of electronic well being document capabilities and different applied sciences (apps and affected person portals) to reinforce hand-offs, and course of enchancment by way of monitoring success of interventions.17. Electronic adjuncts are an alternate technique to extend compliance with LPV by offering steady physiological suggestions, cognitive prompts, and behavioral nudges.18

We created such a system to extend consciousness of LPV parameters and enhance scientific handoffs carried out at shift change after which assessed the efficacy of this electronic platform. We hypothesized that an electronic platform tailored to a hand-held pill receiving real-time ventilatory parameters equivalent to Vt, frequency of mechanical breaths (f), circulate/quantity graphs, and alarms, and containing an environment friendly handoff guidelines may help RCPs in sustaining established LPV parameters (Pplat <30 cmH2O and Vt 4 to eight mL/kg PBW) and enhance hand-offs.

Materials and Methods

To gather and distribute information wirelessly, we designed Wi-Fi dongles for three mechanical ventilators (Puritan Bennett 840, Medtronic Inc., Boulder, CO; Drager V500, Drager Inc, Telford, PA; Hamilton G5, Hamilton Medical Inc, Reno, NV) plus a respiratory graphics monitor (NM3, Philips Healthcare Inc, Carlsbad, CA) (Figure 1). The dongles had been programmed to learn information from the serial ports of the 4 gadgets and transmit them wirelessly to a custom-designed server. The server collected the info from every ventilator, carried out calculations, and transmitted the info to a pill computer-based cell software carried by every RCP. The cell software contained (a) a dashboard display displaying all affected person respiratory parameters and alarms, (b) an in depth display for every affected person, and (c) a sequence of scientific handoff pages (Figure 2). The cell software was designed to offer RCPs with steady, real-time Vt, f, strain/quantity waveforms, plateau pressures, and indications of alarms from the ventilators, all displayed on an 8-inch pill (Samsung, Galaxy Tab A, San Jose, CA) in the course of the scientific simulation. The pill consumer interface was designed after an internet survey of over 175 practising RCPs decided minimal information practitioners needed the power to entry, and the optimum data required for scientific handoff. The cell software offered environment friendly information entry to document treatment administration and scientific data (blood gases, chest radiographs, breath sounds, suctioning, and so forth.) through examine packing containers, radio buttons, and pop-up choices, which may very well be achieved inside 15 seconds. Parameter adjustments and affected person information had been routinely downloaded from the affected person’s ventilator. All data was obtainable always for all sufferers concurrently and used to populate the scientific handoff template outlined by the group.

Figure 1 Wi-Fi dongle related to the serial port of a Puritan Bennett 840 Ventilator (A). One room of the simulated ICU (B).

Figure 2 Continued.

Figure 2 Continued.

Figure 2 Mobile software key options (A), (B), and (C). (A and B) are actual time shows. (A) A dashboard display that confirmed the affected person’s key respiratory parameters and alarms. (B) An in depth waveform profile for every affected person. (C) A sequence of scientific handoff pages.

To develop the scientific handoff template, ten totally different RCPs and RT Managers collaborated to achieve a consensus on the minimal data that must be included (Figure 3). This template was then used to create an electronic shift report information inside the pill (RT Assistant, Convergent Engineering, Gainesville, FL).

Figure 3 A consensus shift report template containing minimal data required.

Next, a mock intensive care unit (ICU) was created (Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL). This ICU was populated by 4 simulated sufferers requiring MV in a management group, and 4 related sufferers within the research group. After acquiring knowledgeable consent, eight RCPs participated on this simulation research, performing care for each the management and experimental group. The important qualities of the eventualities (e.g., altering compliance, airway resistance, f, Vt) had been maintained between the 2 teams however had been disguised with totally different demographics, admission analysis, and scientific interventions. Each set of simulations was designed to be an accelerated scientific shift, together with three rounds of bedside affected person assessments, aerosolized bronchodilator administration, endotracheal suctioning, affected person transport, and different actions that may very well be accomplished inside 4 hours.

For the management group, every of eight RCPs, from three totally different hospitals, had been supplied with a scripted scientific handoff report from one of the first investigators and requested to care for the simulated sufferers as they’d of their hospital observe. The investigator reviewed the importance of LPV tips with the RCP earlier than the research. The Wi-Fi dongles hooked up to the ventilators and respiratory displays collected information repeatedly all through the management research, however the RCPs weren’t conscious of these gadgets. After completion of the simulated shift, the RCPs had been requested to offer a shift report to 2 senior clinicians who graded the shift report utilizing checklists and a 9-question 5-point Likert scale questionnaire. The checklists had been created by compiling data from the eventualities and the minimal data shift report described above to offer a easy methodology for evaluating the quantity of crucial data transmitted in the course of the shift report. The RCP additionally stuffed out a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire to self-evaluate their efficiency.

For the experimental group, the identical 8 RCPs who participated within the management group had been offered with eventualities much like the earlier train. The RCPs had been first skilled on the use of the RT Assistant cell software and once more reminded of the LPV observe tips. The coaching required roughly 15–20 minutes to finish. All RCPs demonstrated proficiency in use of the software program. After their simulated shift, the research group used the RT Assistant to offer a structured shift-report to the identical senior clinicians. As beforehand famous, information had been collected from the ventilators and respiratory monitor and surveys had been stuffed out by the receiving clinicians and RCP. Additional questions had been requested of the RCP to guage the effectiveness and ease-of-use of the RT Assistant interface.

All research-related actions had been accepted by the Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB). Written and knowledgeable consent was obtained from all energetic members. The nameless on-line survey acquired a waiver of knowledgeable consent.

Description of Scenarios

The simulated ICU surroundings consisted of eight simulated sufferers with extreme respiratory failure of totally different etiologies who had been intubated and mechanically ventilated. Demographics, preliminary situations, and required remedies and interventions had been additionally totally different. Table 1 reveals the eventualities studied for the management group. The experimental group (Table 2) consisted of related sufferers disguised with totally different demographics to attenuate the RCP studying impact however nonetheless permit comparability.

Table 1 Virtual Scenarios Presented to the Control Group

Table 2 Virtual Scenarios Presented to the Experimental Group. For Ease of Comparison, Modifications of the Demographic Data and Evolution of the Disease from the Control Group Was Carried Out for the Experimental Group


LPV Improvement

Although all RCPs had been reminded of the LPV tips (Pplat beneath 30 cmH2O and Vt between 4 and eight mL/kg/PBW) earlier than the start of every section of the research, the Pplat was above the LPV guideline 26.6 ± 7.1% of the time and the Vt was exterior the vary 19.5 ± 5.3% of the time in the course of the management group testing. With the use of the RT Assistant (experimental group), by offering the RCP extra LPV consciousness, even when not within the affected person’s room, the time above the Pplat dropped by 74% (to 7 ± 4.1%) and the time exterior the Vt vary dropped by 60% (to 7.8 ± 3.3%). The Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test indicated each values had been vital at p-values of 0.007 and 0.015, respectively.

Clinical Handoff Improvement

The proportion of information transferred in the course of the shift change – as quantified by the checklists – elevated considerably in the course of the experimental group from 45% (management) to 63% (experimental), with a p-value of basically zero in any respect potential alpha ranges (two proportion z-test).

The common shift report rating – common of 9-question Likert questionnaire evaluated by employees clinicians – improved considerably with the use of the RT Assistant from 2.8 to 1.6 on a scale of 1 to five with 1 being finest. The Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test resulted in a p-value of 0.03 with an alpha level of 0.05.

The imply time required to finish the handoff elevated from 7.8 ± 2.0 minutes in the course of the management research to 12.8 ± 32.9 minutes with the RT Assistant. This improve was anticipated because of the elevated amount and high quality of the data transmitted and, probably, on account of preliminary unfamiliarity with the tool. Anecdotally, we seen that with out the RT Assistant, most RCPs spent at the very least 5 minutes accumulating and organizing their information for the shift-report. No time was spent making ready for the shift report with the RT Assistant.

RCP Satisfaction Scores

The RCP’s analysis of their expertise with the tool in the course of the experimental group was optimistic (Table 3). On a scale of 1 to five utilizing a 10-item questionnaire (1 indicating undoubtedly happy), 8 of the 9 questions resulted in a rating of 1.4 or much less.

Table 3 Subset of the Results of the Satisfaction Survey During the Experimental Group. The Full Results of the Survey are Provided within the Online Supplement


The important discovering of this research was that an electronic platform tailored to a hand-held pill receiving real-time ventilatory parameters can improve RCP’s consciousness of two key LPV parameters: Pplat <30 cmH2O and Vt between 4 and eight mL/kg PBW. Furthermore, an electronic guidelines can enhance the standard of RCP handoffs. We selected to use the intervention to a gaggle of skilled RCPs who functioned as their very own management, altering the eventualities between the management and experimental phases, together with change of demographics, evolution of the eventualities, and advisable interventions. Despite the group’s seniority, LPV within the management group was out of advisable vary for 19.5 to 26.6% of the time. It is kind of conceivable that this quantity can be extra vital for much less skilled RCPs as, nearly 20 years from the preliminary advice to set mechanical air flow in ARDS, LPV stays underutilized. There is a transparent must discover modern options to enhance compliance to evidence-based medication on this matter, and we submit that well-designed electronic instruments is likely to be the reply. LPV is an apparent selection for bettering compliance, however many different “nudges” or context-sensitive reminders may very well be carried out simply (spontaneous respiratory testing, oxygenation, driving strain, scientific protocol adherence, and extubation readiness).

In the experimental group, the time above the Pplat restrict dropped by 74% (to 7 ± 4.1%), and the time exterior the advisable Vt vary decreased by 60% (to 7.8 ± 3.3%) when the electronic system was used. Continuous, as an alternative of intermittent, consciousness resulted in additional frequent ventilator changes in the correct course to extra carefully observe the LPV tips. Based on the exceptional improve within the use of LPV within the experimental group, it is extremely possible that this strategy would additionally profit different monitored parameters equivalent to driving strain.

Fragmentation of care is an unlucky, however actual, phenomenon of longitudinal hospital care. While mnemonics could assist, they usually miss particulars of affected person–ventilator interplay and not using a systematic guidelines. The examined software program was designed to not solely enhance compliance with the LPV tips but in addition improve communication between RCPs.

Using the automated guidelines, we famous a big improve (absolute change of 18%) of handoff information transmitted between the management and the experimental group. In our research, the imply time to ship the shift report elevated from 7.8 ± 2 minutes in the course of the management research to 12.8 ± 2.9 minutes when the RT Assistant was used. We anticipated a extra detailed report back to take extra time than a reminiscence guidelines, as there may be usually a trade-off between high quality and time. However, the elevated time wanted to transmit the electronic handoff was offset by a sooner preparation of the shift report, which was routinely prepopulated with data obtained by the system.

We hypothesized that the electronic system elevated the RCPs’ level of LPV consciousness by steady, real-time suggestions. This electronic software built-in effectively with the RCP workload. This extremely demanding workflow usually creates difficulties acquiring acceptable situational consciousness and causes personnel dissatisfaction. In a 2016 survey of RCPs, essentially the most vital supply of dissatisfaction amongst RCPs was that they had been overburdened on account of staffing shortages, excessive patient-to-clinician ratio and the rising workload with out extra staffing sources.19 A possible benefit for the hand-held system is improved situational consciousness that’s achieved from the cell information supply from all sufferers to the clinician. Situational consciousness and response occasions can endure when RCPs are overburdened.

In a survey of 130 managers, 30% indicated they don’t have sufficient employees, and 21% famous that they’ve vital and continual understaffing; 30% of these administrators felt that affected person questions of safety resulted from the understaffing.20 Staffing issues will possible proceed because the Bureau of Labor Statistics signifies that the necessity for new RCPs will develop 23% over the subsequent ten years and 30,000 extra RCPs can be wanted.21 The COVID-19 pandemic stretched clinician staffing additional and highlighted the necessity for improved effectivity instruments.

We contemplate the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of this stand-alone hardware-software as a bonus. The system consists of electronic dongles on the medical gadgets, a devoted server managed by the hospital, and a cell software developed in Java and working on Android. These are open platforms, simply adaptable to fulfill native wants and logistics. We consider this technique is a logical first step in direction of future platforms that may present extra determination assist, together with the Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (AIOT) framework.


Our research represents an in vitro, preliminary remark and presents a number of limitations. The software of mechanical air flow is complicated with many variables. We targeted our monitoring on 2 LPV parameters, Vt and Pplat. Further investigation is required for different settings and parameters equivalent to PEEP, FiO2, respiratory charge, and driving pressures utilized in mechanical air flow.

Secondly, we admire implementation of electronic prompters could be complicated and never effectively acquired by healthcare professionals. Loss of autonomy by more and more counting on distant monitoring and alarms, specifically, is commonly perceived as intrusive. Behavioral financial methods are launched within the handheld show, with menu decisions and colour code to prioritize LPV duties.18,22 These alarms could also be preset or allowed to be decided by the person practitioner.


We have demonstrated that utilizing easy electronic monitoring system, LPV consciousness and affected person scientific data throughout electronic handoff considerably improves. This introduces a tool that could be useful for clinicians in offering secure care for sufferers receiving mechanical air flow. Their precise feasibility and effectiveness will must be evaluated in vivo – that’s in a multicentered, randomized setting – earlier than instituting a systemic implementation of course of studying and measuring its impact on the end result. We are presently within the course of of verifying these ends in a affected person research at two tutorial medical facilities in Florida.

Code Availability

Code is proprietary.

Data Sharing Statement

The datasets used and/or analyzed in the course of the present research can be found from the corresponding creator upon request.


All analysis strategies had been carried out in accordance with related tips and laws. No animals had been used on this analysis. Oversight of this research was offered by the Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB).

Consent to Participate

Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB) accepted and knowledgeable consent was obtained from all particular person members included within the research.


We thank Ms. Leah Carlson, Director of Clinical Education at Santa Fe College, for her great assist and efforts in designing and implementing the simulated scientific trial.


This work was supported by the National Institute of Health – National Heart, Lung, and Blood analysis grant # 1R43HL146012-01A1 “RT Assistant – handheld affected person security tool for mechanical air flow”.


Neil R. Euliano is the president and proprietor of Convergent Engineering, Inc. Paul Stephan and Konstantinos Michalopoulos are staff at Convergent Engineering, Inc. The authors report no different conflicts of curiosity on this work.


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