The 2-year-old initiative, called the Patient Safety Movement, aims to utilize medical technology to tackle hospital errors that result in patient injuries and deaths, a mission dubbed "0x2020." The group has the support of a slew of hospitals and patient care foundations as well as some of the biggest names in medtech, including GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) and, now, Philips Healthcare.
Movement supporters and sponsors gathered this month at the Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in Dana Point, Calif., where founder and Masimo (NSDQ:MASI) CEO Joe Kiani urged more companies to pledge their participation by promising to open up the data gathered by their medical devices in the interested of devising interoperable systems and making hospital care safer.
Philips Healthcare’s CEO of clinical informations, Michael Mancuso, was on hand to demonstrate his company’s dedication to the movement, saying that Philips hopes to play an important leadership role in luring more medtech companies to the cause.
"The Patient Safety Movement needs to be a collaborative effort across the industry," Mancuso told us. "It transcends, and should transcend, all the companies."
The foundation hopes to connect devices such as ventilators and defibrillators through electronic medical records and other hospital technologies so that care-givers can better understand and care for their patients. Each year the Patient Safety Movement highlights stories in which patients, including children and babies, have died for want of a simple test or better communication among doctors and nurses.
In an interview with MassDevice.com at the conference, Mancuso talked about the important of cooperation, the futility of hoarding data and why some things are more important than the bottom line.
MassDevice.com: Why did Philips Healthcare ally with the Patient Safety Movement?
Michael Mancuso: What Philips believes in – our kind of motto or sound bite – is health and well-being, improve and save lives. So that’s what we wake up every day and we think about, that’s what all of our employees think about. If you look at the goals of the Patient Safety Foundation, it’s very similar to that – no deaths from preventable incidents by 2020 – and that’s in line with what Philips wants to do. So that’s number 1: I think the goals that we have for Philips Healthcare are aligned with the goals of the Patient Safety Foundation and movement.
Secondly, Philips can add, I think, a lot of value. We’ve talked about ubiquitous monitoring and how monitoring can save lives. Philips has 50% market share in monitoring, so it’s what we do. We talked about ventilation; we talked about interoperability and how we want to get data to go from a medical device or any device into the electronic medical record, the EMR. That’s something we do today, so we have the skill-set, we have knowledge on that and we have the experience, so we can add value.
We talked about ventilation, we talked about defibrillation. There’s a lot of assets that Philips has that can be put to use in the same way, helping to improve and save lives while reducing preventable deaths to zero by 2020.
The next thing that we can do is we have people. It starts with leadership, which is why I’m here. I’m committing, from a leadership standpoint, working together across industry boundaries and not aligned by company but more by mission of what we want to do.
I think we want to create the processes. I talked to Joe [Kiani, Masimo CEO,] about what Philips can do to value. We’ll kick it off right away and we’ll hold people accountable and we should hold ourselves accountable. This is something we can do and we can do it best if we do it together. So that’s why Philips is involved, that’s why I’m personally involved with it as well.
MassDevice.com: Part of the Patient Safety Foundation Pledge involves opening up medical device data to interoperability. How will Philips move forward with that initiative?
MM: We believe, and Philips has always believed, that we run an open-system environment. Our focus is around customers, patients, caregivers, families, so whatever we need to do, we’ll have a dialogue and a discussion about what’s the best way to go do it.
One of the things that we talked about was how do we get medtech vendors together, and have we done that? Apparently we have not done that yet, and I volunteered that I would be more than happy to get involved with that, so it’s not just Philips doing something.
I think this transcends company boundaries and what I’d like to do is figure out how the industry can respond. Philips can do a lot on its own, but we would be better off if we take an industry approach to solving this particular problem.
It’s about building the relationships across the medtech companies and trying to get the medtech companies in agreement on how we can open data, what data should be open, working with the Patient Safety Movement to figure out what’s the best thing. I think the problem is a universal problem, it’s a problem for all of us and the solution needs to come from all of us.
MassDevice.com: What does a company such as Philips stand to gain through involvement with the movement?
MM: If you look at the healthcare industry, the providers have traditionally been stove-piped and companies such as Philips and others respond to our customers, the way they buy equipment or solve problems.
The industry is evolved now and all of the vendors, like Philips, have evolved as well. I think Philips is evolving very, very rapidly in anticipating and helping to drive the industry moving forward. So it needs to be from that particular ethic and the Patient Safety Movement needs to be a collaborative effort across the industry. It transcends, and should transcend, all the companies. So that’s what I really want to focus on.
MassDevice.com: Are there any particular projects that Philips will start with?
MM: Sure, I’ve got some ideas of what we can do, but I want to involve the providers to figure out what’s the most important thing. We’ve talked about 4 or 5 different programs, but what’s the 1st priorities for those programs? That needs to be a discussion that we need to have with the providers. What can we do in each of those programs? How do we prioritize what’s the most important thing? What kind of resources do we need to acquire for it?
It’s not Philips or any company, or Philips and several companies coming up with their priorities list. Again, it needs to be a collaborative effort.
MassDevice.com: Are medical device companies giving up anything by making the data their devices gather open to other companies or to developers to tinker with?
MM: The data is patient data, that’s what we’re talking about "giving away." It’s available in many different forms, it’s evolving and data analytics is still evolving.
I would say to anybody who wants to hold onto the data, you’ve had the data for 10 or 15 years. I don’t know what you’ve done with it, so you’re holding onto something that you haven’t done anything with. Maybe it’s time for all of us to get together, figure out how that data can best be used for the benefit of the industry and benefit of customers and patients and patient families.
It’s not a pure economic situation for us, it’s what is the right thing to do for the industry, what’s the right thing to do for patients, and that’s what this effort is all about.
Editor’s note: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.