VigiVU, an iPhone app created by the VUMC Department of Anesthesiology, allows anesthesiologists and other clinicians to watch over up to four patients immediately before, during and after surgery – greatly increasing situational awareness. Additionally, the application allows secure expert consultation with live high resolution video and complete patient data available to consultants on the next floor or the next continent. In October 2009, Vanderbilt anesthesiologists and information technology specialists at the Medical Center launched the first version of VigiVU after just three weeks of development. The newest iteration of VigiVU is now in increasing use by VUMC healthcare providers.

VigiVU notifies caregivers of out-of-range vital signs and medication administration and changes in admission, discharge and transfer status. It allows graphical vital sign review, promotes rapid communication with other providers, and provides a direct view into operating rooms during surgeries through a live, high-quality video feed, all from the convenience of the physicans’ cell phones. The VigiVU application also functions on the iPod Touch and iPad, with the iPad providing users a larger, yet still mobile, information source.

“It brings the functions of our desktop computer programs onto the mobile device. Now, there is an app for Situational Awareness.” said Dr. Brian Rothman, VUMC associate director of Perioperative Informatics. “There is no reason for us to be disconnected from our patients when current technology can bring them to us. As supervisors over a patient’s care, we should know about changes and events with our patients as they happen. With this application, we can communicate with our staff to immediately start correcting the issue, either from another room or while we are on our way. We are continuously connected and can be even more proactive in our response to events.”

The iPhone application expands Vigilance, and makes monitoring patients more portable and efficient. The Vigilance software application visually integrates data from patient monitors, electronic medical records, and operating room video cameras, and securely transmits that information to clinicians’ computers. All Vanderbilt operating rooms are connected to Vigilance, including outpatient surgery sites within the medical center and off-site ambulatory surgery centers.

Clinicians use VigiVU case views to observe a patient’s live operating room video with full pan, tilt, and zoom camera control, graphical vitals trends, a focused problem list or full electronic preoperative history and physical, and electronic medical record access. GasChartTM, Vanderbilt’s Anesthesia Information Management System (AIMS) used to fully document a patient’s anesthetic care, provides the names of staff signed into, and responsible for, the anesthetic. Site case boards for operating room management are also provided with customizable board views so medical providers know the status of all operating rooms without having to make a call or visit. VigiVU developers took security measures into consideration from the beginning. The mobile device does not store data. Layered security, such as user passwords and server-based assigned access, also blocks the unintended user.

While currently primarily VUMC anesthesia providers are using VigiVU, other healthcare providers, such as the surgeons and nursing staff are requesting the application. It is expected that use of VigiVU will continue to expand, and there are planned studies to evaluate the application’s impact on operating room efficiency and patient care.