FEATURE ARTICLEConnected Care: Reducing Errors Through Automated Vital Signs Data UploadSMITH, LAURA B. MSN, RN; BANNER, LAURA BSN, RN, BC; LOZANO, DIEGO MD; OLNEY, CHRISTINE M. PhD, RN; FRIEDMAN, BRUCE D EngAuthor Information Author Affiliations: GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI (Ms Smith and Drs Lozano and Friedman); Clinical Informatics Department, Pepin Heart Hospital, and Dr Kiran C. Patel Research Institute, University Community Health (Ms Banner); and College of Nursing, University of South Florida and VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, James A. Haley Veterans Administration Hospital, Tampa, FL (Dr Olney). This study was sponsored by GE Healthcare. Corresponding author: Laura B. Smith, MSN, RN, Patient Safety Manager, James A. Haley VA Hospital, 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd (11E), Tampa, FL 33612 (Laura.Smith72693@va.gov). CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: September-October 2009 - Volume 27 - Issue 5 - p 318-323 doi: 10.1097/NCN.0b013e3181b21d65 Buy Metrics Abstract Vital signs are a fundamental component of patient care. Omitted or inaccurately transcribed vital sign data could result in inappropriate, delayed, or missed treatment. A previous baseline study determined that error rates for vital signs captured on plain paper then entered into a paper chart or EMR were 10% and 4.4%, respectively. This study evaluated the impact of automated vital signs captured using a PDA with bar-code technology for patient identification. The PDA enabled the wireless capture and transmission of data directly from the vital sign monitor into the EMR. Researchers reviewed 1514 sets of vital signs collected electronically for accuracy and compared the error rate with data from the previous paper and EMR systems. Automated upload of vital signs directly into an EMR reduced the documentation error rate to less than 1%. This represented a significant reduction in vital sign documentation errors with the use of mobile technology when compared with traditional charting methods (P < .001). The automated vital sign data upload system helped promote a culture of patient safety by greatly reducing documentation error rates. Additional safety benefits may include improved timeliness to vital sign data and clinical work-flow processes. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.