18 Mar

Evaluating & Choosing Your Next EFM

With advances in healthcare and fetal monitoring software accelerating, many hospitals are considering replacing their existing fetal monitoring system.  The choice can be daunting, time-consuming, and expensive.  Following are suggestions and tips compiled from top technology consultants and perinatal clinicians on evaluating and choosing a fetal surveillance system that meets your specific needs.

1.  Put together a balanced selection team

The fetal monitoring system you choose will impact not only your patient care quality and safety, but may impact your team’s workflow, productivity, EHR data-gathering, and core success metrics.  Put together an evaluation team comprised of individuals with direct responsibility over these areas  led by a “change champion,” someone who can keep the group organized, enthusiastic, productive, and open to available options.

2.  Establish priorities and goals

Define exactly what you expect the new fetal monitoring system to measurably improve and, then, place these goals in priority order.  Remember that each member of the team will have a perspective on these goals, so building a consensus may be challenging, but important for success.

3. Review current clinical and operational workflows and identify potential improvements

Make sure your entire selection team is familiar with how your current fetal monitoring system and processes work. Go beyond the clinical to examine how perinatal information flows from and to your EHR and review the flow of paper, charting, communication patterns, and decision-making protocols that go with labor & delivery.

4.  Make sure that team members have a working knowledge of fetal monitoring software features and capabilities

Some of you team may never have seen your existing fetal monitoring system and processes in action.  Demonstrating the current system and then distributing literature about fetal surveillance advances and system helps build a shared understanding of what’s possible — and what’s not.  In fact, based on this data-gathering, many team find themselves re-examining their goals and priorities.

5.  Define your system and vendor requirements

Establish exactly what clinical and technical features are a must for you and then develop second, third, and, if necessary, fourth “tiers” of capabilities.  Document the level of implementation and service you’d like.  These are best delineated by using service “cases” and “what if” scenarios.  Don’t omit financial requirements such as purchase and operating budget guidelines and desired financing arrangements.

6.  Gather and review published vendor comparisons to develop a list of potential partners

With your requirements at hand, you’re now ready to identify a short list of vendors who best match them.  Use third-party comparisons where available and supplement this data with vendor marketing literature.  Match each systems capabilities to the points listed on your requirements documents and pick the best matches.

7. Check references

Contact at least three-five vendor client sites that are using the system in a live environment.  Develop a questionnaire that will yield answers to how capable the vendor will be to meet your clinical, operational, financial, and service requirements.

8.  Visit a client site

Review how the system is used in a live environment.  When you do, compare the workflow in view with your existing or planned processes.  Ask questions about implementation that will show you what to expect.

9.  Reconfirm key issues and understanding

Once you’ve checked references and visited a client site, your selection team will still have some outstanding “wish list” items.  Ideally, these will be requirements originally placed in the third-fourth tiers of importance, but outstanding issues may include financial arrangements and implementation strategies.  Outline these in writing and request that answers be provided in writing as well, along with a confirmation that the original estimated pricing still stands and includes a reliable set of quotes that covers all components discussed and viewed during demonstration.  The goal for this step is to set the baseline for price negotiation and help protect against unexpected add-on fees.

10.  Make your choice with confidence

Your due diligence pays off!  Your team has gathered the data they needed to compare their options and identify the solution that best matches their top, prioritized needs.  Because the decision is shared among key stakeholders, implementation and adoption are more likely to go smoothly.





16 Mar

Looking for Technical Consultant

Interested in work worth doing? PeriGen is looking for a Technical Consultant , an application expert for PeriGen’s hospital perinatal solutions with in-depth knowledge of server, workstation, database, network, and interface requirements.  Details…

18 Feb

EFM IQ Results


Good work to those lucky obstetric professionals who have  responded to the EFM IQ test so far.  91.3% got the first EFM IQ question right.  Last week, however, it dipped to 57.8%.  This week’s question is another easy one, especially for those attending the upcoming AWHONN California and Minnesota Section Conferences.  Click to see how you stack up then visit us at the AWHONN events (we’re a sponsor) to check out how you did and get your “just rewards.”

22 Jan

Oxytocin Case Study Available

EmilyHamilton - GTWThe Journal of Healthcare Information Management has just published an article co-authored by PeriGen’s Emily Hamilton highlighting how administration of oxytocin was improved through the use of electronic fetal monitoring. Click to access


Smith S, Bunting K, Hamilton E. Using Intelligent Electronic Fetal Monitoring Software to Reduce Iatrogenic Complications of Childbirth. JHIM. 28; 4:28-33.

21 Jan

PeriGen doubles its client base in 2014

PeriGen brings the total number of births supported by PeriCALM advanced fetal monitoring solutions to 140,032.

Hospitals joining the PeriCALM family include Valley Health and JFK Medical Center serving New Jersey, University of Utah Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital of Indiana, Riverside Medical Center serving Illinois, and Concord Hospital serving Concord, New Hampshire. For details, click here

13 Jan

Proof Positive | Holidays 2014

The sweet finish

The sweet finish

See what happens when the PeriGen team really gets cooking together.

18 Dec

PeriCALM Tracings Release 03.18.02

toesThe new features & fixes you asked for:

PeriGen is very committed to ongoing improvement of  PeriCALM products, especially in answer to customer suggestions and needs.  The newest release illustrates this.  We’ve added features that enable more documentation on the strip, focusing specifically on your most time-sensitive observations.  Documentation now includes systems assessments, pain scoring, and FHR interpretations.

Sites using Epic and those clients subscribing to the PeriCALM full documentation suite will see additional improvements.  Here’s a summary of the new features added in release 03.18.02:

New tabs & fields on the tracing annotation dialog:
The following tabs and multi-select fields were added to the tracing annotation screens:

  • Systems Assessment: Integumentary, Neurological, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Gastrointestinal, Breast, Extremities, Psychological
  • Risk Assessment: Fall Risk Assessment, VTE Risk Assessment, Skin Assessment, Hemorrhage Risk Assessment
  • Recovery Room: Fundus (U+/-), Fundal Height, Uterine Tone, Bleeding Flow, Blood Clots, Bladder, Extremities Movement

These tabs and fields will provide additional flexibility to customers who wish to complement their OB documentation with the official EMR at the site.  All additional fields are also included in the read-only Intrapartum Flowsheet view.

Additions/changes to existing fields on the tracing annotation dialog:
The following fields were added to the existing tabs of the tracing annotation screens:

  • Maternal Assessment: Added Pain Scales and Interventions fields.
  • Fetal Assessment: Added Category field.
  • Exam: Added a read-only auto-calculated Bishop Scale (see below).

Added new auto-calculated Bishop Score field:
Under the Exams tab in the Add Annotation dialog, a new auto-calculated field was added.  The Bishop Score is automatically calculated based on the values of its five components: Dilatation, Effacement, Station, Cervical Position, and Consistency.  The calculation takes into account values observed up to one hour prior to the current exam.  The Bishop Score is recalculated when one of the source values is changed.  When a maximum score is reached for one of the components, though, it is used for the calculation regardless of its observed time.

A new Acquire Server service for better control of tracings acquisition processes:
The new Acquire Server Service will provide the capability to start and stop acquisition process from Windows Services subsystem as well as control and restart processes that are in an error state or down altogether.  This will provide better flexibility to IT staff as well as increased resiliency of tracing Up-time for clinical staff.

GBS field added to the Admin Admission screen:
Starting with this version, a GBS field is added to the Admin Admission screen.  This new field is identical to the one present in the Nursing Assessment under Prenatal and Labs section, and can be used as a Chalkboard column with color coding.

Support for Active Directory authentication:
PeriCALM Tracings can now be configured to authenticate users through Active Directory (AD).  The PeriCALM Tracings group-based user privilege logic is maintained and only groups (new or existing) have to be replicated in AD to enable authentication.  In AD mode, built-in users are only allowed to login when AD is unavailable.  In AD mode, since PeriCALM Tracings does not manage or control user accounts, all internal fields that list users are converted to free-text fields


Additional fields in Nursing Assessment and Delivery Summary:
Several new fields were added and some existing fields modified to provide better Intrapartum charting coverage especially for customers using PeriCALM documentation to complement the EMR record.  The printed reports were updated to reflect the additions and changes accordingly.  See Release Notes for details.


Support for Epic Single Sign-On using FileDrop protocol:
When used in collaboration with Epic, clinicians can now use the single sign-on module to automatically synchronize login/logoff events on a common workstation.  The single sign-on capability assumes an Active Directory authentication configuration on both PeriCALM and Epic.