Analyzing Upgrade of Patient Care Device

Patient Care Device

Upgrade of Patient Care Device

Advancements in medical care have always been in need since technological innovation can create wonders in improving health care facilities for the patients. Some of the advancements have helped the healthcare in expanding their reach out of the hospitals and integrating with user-friendly, handy devices. Technology is transforming the way humans live and behave. Better treatment with less suffering has been induced into the medical care and respective devices so that patients could have access to best possible medical facilities within the hospitals. Not only sophisticated practices in healthcare but also the advanced devices are proving valuable in providing more chances for the quick recovery of billions of patients all over the world. This paper focuses on the upgradation and replacement of an existing patient care device in our practice setting. In the following sections of the paper, the implementation and its effects on the stakeholders would be discussed in detail.

Description of Current Patient Care Device

The current patient care device used in our practice setting is an electronic thermometer. It is a sensor-based body temperature reading device that has the ability to change its electrical characteristic with the change in patient’s body temperature. It has a red light that tells when the highest temperature is recorded on the device within a few seconds or minutes.

Needs Assessment and Rationale for Upgrading

The needs assessment and rationale for having an upgradation in the medical care device at the hospital is detailed as follows:

Technical Criteria

The desired levels of hardware and software performance for the upgrading of the medical care device are discussed along these lines:

Amount of downtime: The thermometer should be able to provide 24-hour system availability so that temperatures could be recorded whenever needed.

Connectivity standards: The thermometer should be able to connect whenever the device is powered on in least possible time.

Response time support of electronic technologies: The log-on should be short so that the device is switched on as soon as possible for the ease of accurate results.

Administrative and General Criteria

Data standards and data exchange: The device should be able to work in accordance with “standards” that are used in the industry.

Data storage options: The last reading of the temperature should be displayed when needed, hence, providing a small option of data storage.

(Registration criteria, order entry/CPOE/results reporting criteria, documentation and billing criteria, scheduling criteria, specialties criteria, medical records criteria and accounting criteria do not apply to the selected medical care device, i.e.: thermometer.)

Key Stakeholders and Roles in Decision Making

The key stakeholders that would be involved in the decision-making process of whether the upgradation of the medical care device is needed or not include the following:

External stakeholders

The external stakeholders include the suppliers, patients and the government. Their respective roles in the decision making for the replacement of the old device are explained as below:

Suppliers: The suppliers of the new infrared thermometers are the ones who would earn profit from the sales of the new thermometers. They certainly are in the favor of the use of infrared thermometers within the medical premises.

Patients: They are the topmost priority of the hospital when making a decision about any of the upgradations of a medical device. They would be benefitted the most once the new device is made functional.

Government: Although government benefits due to the increased medical facilities and improvements in the hospitals since the nation would be healthier and the economy would get a boost, but as thermometers are small-scale implement within a hospital premises, the government’s role in its decision making is limited. Still, the government would get benefits if the hospital uses better medical devices.

Internal stakeholders

Nurses: Nurses would be able to record a patient’s body temperature better without getting in physical contact with the patient. This would save them from a number of issues and would help to maintain a healthy patient-nurse relation within the premises. It is believed that there is always resistance to change but in relation to the use of infrared thermometers, there are no considerable barriers to its implementation (“Riverband City,” n.d., p. 5).

Administration: The hospital administration favors the introduction of the new thermometer, being convenient. Its efficiency in recording the temperature would help to maintain a positive environment within the hospital, regarding patient-nurse issues.

Board of directors: The board of directors would be concerned about the use of new thermometer since they work towards health of the patients and that is facilitated with the use of an updated technological device in medical field. The quality improvements (QI) would ensure refinement in patient services and enhanced provision of health care within the medical facility (Cacchlone, 2011, p. 4).

Medical doctors: The medical doctors would be satisfied with the use of thermometers since it is time saving and measures correct body temperatures, leading to the right diagnosis and medical prescriptions for the patients.

Standards and Specifications (Selection Criteria Checklist)

The specifications and standards for the medical setting in order to bring an upgradation to the medical care device are enlisted below:

Technical Criteria

“Must” or “Want”


Provides 24-hour system availability with no scheduled daily downtime



Does not have a history of prolonged or frequent unscheduled downtimes



Provides easy-to-use interfaces



Provides the ability for transmission of data for key regulatory reporting



Log-on time is short providing easy-access



Supports various method data entry



Administrative and General Criteria

Allows various levels of security



System must be able to handle and work within the “standards”



Data storage options



Comparison of Two Devices

The comparison of two devices, the electronic thermometer that is currently used and infrared thermometer as a potential upgradation, is narrated as follows:

Overall costs

Hardware, software and network costs: As thermometer is an easy-to-handle device, it does not have high hardware and software costs (Sessler, 2008, p. 2). The electronic thermometer makes contact with the patient whereas infrared thermometer does not. Softwares of both devices are user-friendly whereas the hardware of infrared thermometer needs batteries to operate. The nurse or doctor does not have to keep an eye on the interface for accurate readings since the infrared thermometer notifies the reader proactively. Likewise, there are no network costs. On the other hand, an electronic thermometer is easy to use too, since it has organized software with a neat hardware design.

Implementation costs: There are no implementation costs as well since the only costs would be the purchase of the infrared thermometer and the same stands true for the electronic thermometer.

Support and maintenance costs: The only maintenance costs for the infrared thermometer would be the change of batteries once the old ones wear out. Batteries are used in electronic thermometer as well, which can be easily replaced with new ones.

Vendor characteristics

CCHIT Certification: Our hospital has fixed vendors since the beginning of its services and they are CCHIT certified. Both the thermometers can be bought from the same vendor.

Reputation: The vendors are highly reputed as the hospital has been buying their instruments for a number of years now and there have never been issues in the medical devices purchased from them. Moreover, they have a dependable standing in the market as well.

Experienced staff and consultants: The vendors have experienced staff and consultants who have detailed and complete knowledge about the medical devices and instruments they have for sale.

Financial status: As mentioned above, they are highly reputed and reliable in the market, therefore, having a strong financial status.

Software features

Ease of use: The infrared thermometer is easy to use since it uses batteries to operate, has a trigger for turning it on, has an in-built function of setting temperature to either Celsius or Fahrenheit, a red laser for pointing at the patient and accurately measuring his body temperature without any physical contact. On the contrary, an electronic thermometer is easy to use too, except that it has to be in physical contact with the patient, such as placing in mouth or rectum.

Intuitive user interface, requiring minimal training: The user interface is quite simple since it gives the user an option to set temperature measuring unit of his own choice without any hard training. The temperature reading would occur on the screen in less than a second. The electronic thermometer takes a few seconds to a few minutes to record temperature, hence providing a delayed efficiency as compared to infrared thermometer.

Include all functionality identified as “musts”: It has all the “musts” that are required in the necessary ‘needs assessment criteria’ for a better performance and improved medical care services. Same stands true for an electronic thermometer since it is easy to use and records accurate readings.

Supports security requirements: The device supports security requirements for the usage too, such as — easy to handle apparatus. An electronic thermometer has security requirements as well, such as not dropping it and keeping the lid on when it is not in use.

Supports future growth options: The device provides future growth options since advancements in medical care have been beneficial for the growth of the hospital and the overall economy of the state. Similar results can be seen when an electronic thermometer is used as accurate temperature readings assist in appropriate medical prescriptions, leading to better health provision.

Environmental issues

There are no environmental issues for any of the thermometers under comparison.

Energy consumption of equipment

There is no energy consumption except the use of batteries in both of the thermometers.

Recycling and e-waste options once equipment is outmoded

Both the thermometers cannot be recycled as they have to be totally disposed of once they are outmoded.

Legal, Ethical, and Life Span Issues

There are no legal and ethical issues related to the use of infrared thermometer. The life span of infrared thermometer is long since it has the capability of infusing new, efficient technology whenever there is advancement in reading of body temperatures. The infrared thermometers are highly reliable since they measure temperatures accurately and within a very short time period, hence their life span is long.

Expected Impact on Patient-Centric Workflow

The patient-centric workflow would be smooth if infrared thermometers are used in the hospital. The availability of the right device for the clinicians and the nurses would guarantee accurate data recording, such as in the case of measuring body temperatures (Wager et al., 2010, p. 206). Since thermometers help in measuring correct ‘vital signs’, such as body temperature, of a patient, which are important elements to decide whether a patient needs hospitalization or not, the infrared thermometers are expected to offer credible assistance for the patient-centric workflow within the hospital, especially regarding the adaptation of patient-centric EMR (electronic medical record) (Chapman, 2014).

Fever is considered to be the primary parameter used to assess a patient’s health; the correct diagnosis is prepared after the precise readings from the thermometers are made (Hamilton, Marcos, & Secic, 2012, p. 8). The additional interventions, such as prescription of suitable medicines or hospitalization, are then made by the clinicians to evaluate other clinical parameters that correlate with fever. It can be inferred that thermometers are used as decision-making tools for the doctors and the nurses so that critical physical conditions can be analyzed.

Although, hospitals are standardizing procedures for better customer service and computerization has been introduced in all departments, but with the help of infrared thermometers the accuracy of the results will be helpful in maintaining a correct past record of the patient. Easily readable screens such as PDAs and smartphones along with their feasible apps are a source of convenience within the hospitals for workflow smoothness (Tudiver, 2003, p. 947). Therefore, infrared thermometers need to be introduced so that accurate track records along with patient’s physical condition can be stored for further future references and research.


With the technological improvements and advancements in science, it is imperative for the medical devices to show accurate readings and data in order to help provide particular medical prescriptions for better medical health care services. Therefore, thermometers need to be quick and easy to use, along with having the capability to avoid false or negative readings, both in children and adults. The use of infrared thermometers will be an effective way to establish the foundation of speedy and accurate temperature readings. As body temperature is an imperative sign for the identification of all other related parameters of a human body, infrared thermometers can be a valuable way for bettering diagnosis and improving medical services in a hospital.


Cacchlone, P.Z. (2011). When is institutional review board approval necessary for quality improvement projects? Clinical Nursing Research, 20. Retrieved from

Chapman, S. (2014, September 4). Solutions for useful patient-centric EMR. Healthcare IT News. Retrieved from centric-emr

Hamilton, P.A., Marcos, L.S, & Secic, M. (2012). Performance of infrared ear and forehead thermometers: A comparative study in 205 febrile and afebrile children. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22, 17-18. DOI: 10.1111/JOCN.12060

Riverband City: Knowledge discovery mission. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Sessler, D.I. (2008). Temperature monitoring and perioperative thermoregulation. Anesthesiology, 109. Retrieved from

Tudiver, F. (2003). The usefulness of personal digital assistants for health care providers today and in the future. Southern Medical Journal, 96. Retrieved from

Wager, K.A., Schaffner, M.J., Foulois, B., Kazley, A.S., Parker, C., & Walo, H. (2010). Comparison of the quality and timeliness of vital signs data using three different data- entry devices. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 28. Retrieved from

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