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Patient Monitors: Advantages of Multi-Parameter versus a Stand-Alone Box

Do multiple stand-alone patient monitors clutter your patients’ bedsides? Are you frustrated by the increased time it takes to assess a patient’s condition because you’re forced to gather the data from separate monitors? Does your IT staff struggle with integrating each box with your EMR? And is it becoming expensive to connect each of those monitors to the EMR?

Patient monitors that include multiple parameters may offer:

  • Workflow management
  • Parameter aggregation
  • EMR management
  • Cost savings

In addition, multiparameter monitors are designed to be scalable – so as policies and guidelines change, the OEM monitor allows you to add etCO2, etc. to meet those monitoring needs. Also, as you grow you can leverage the networks you already use. This can provide a cost-effective approach to offer the highest quality of care today and well into the future across the continuum of care.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight the features and advantages of leveraging multiparameter patient monitors in almost every area of care in your hospital.

Workflow management: Help simplify monitoring for clinical staff to help decrease burnout

Workflows are increasingly challenging. In fact, for nurses specifically, they are constantly asked to do more during each shift. For example, in a typical shift, a nurse may receive up to 1,000 alarms.1 They also spend about 56 percent of each shift charting and coordinating staff, supplies, and equipment.2 And in 2001, a study showed that 63 percent of clinicians felt that burnout was increasing.3

It’s also easy to see how looking at a stand-alone processed EEG monitor and then checking your stand-alone rSO2 monitor can be cumbersome and add to stress. Multiparameter monitors allow you to digest all the parameters you need to assess your patient’s condition on one screen.

Several stand-alone boxes can also clutter the area where you are trying to care for your patient. For example, too many monitors in an operating room take up a lot of room and make it hard to maneuver, which in turn makes it harder for you to do your job.

Parameter aggregation: Help enable faster decision making and reduce variability in care delivery with a single box

Above we addressed how multiparameter monitors impact workflow. In this section, let’s discuss how parameter aggregation can impact your quality of care and help you keep your patients safe.

Multiparameter monitors can aggregate data from various parameters including:

This gives you the ability to customize a comprehensive set of parameters – regardless if you’re in an endoscopy suite, in the ICU or on the general care floor – to integrate seamless analytics  to help enhance clinical decision support. Reliable and accurate continuous respiratory monitoring may help improve patient safety and outcomes4 — at the bedside, during intra-hospital transport, in emergency departments, and in surgery centers.

Related: Learn how you can get the data you need from heart rate to SpO2 to etCO2 to rSO2 so you can make informed clinical decisions for your patients.

EMR management and cost savings: How to make the most of your patient monitoring investment

Does your IT department struggle with connecting multiple monitors to your EMR? Multiparameter monitors provide a streamlined approach to EMR management by helping you integrate emerging technologies with your IT systems and EMR. 

Leveraging a multiparameter monitor may also help with cost savings. Think of it this way: If you’re connecting one device, you are only paying for one connectivity point. Here are a few more ways you may be able to reduce patient monitoring-related costs by using a multiparameter monitor:

  • Prepare for the future. As your monitoring needs change, multiparameter monitors are expandable. Even if you aren’t monitoring etCO2 now, you can add this parameter in the future and expand your platform. Expanding by acuity level may help make it more affordable for your facility.
  • Leverage GPO pricing. Standardization is key for GPO price points. Working with Medtronic helps you standardize parameters across areas of care.

If you use a multiparameter monitor, chances are you can enjoy the same intended benefits of MicrostreamTM capnography, NellcorTM pulse oximetry, INVOSTM cerebral/somatic oximetry, and BISTM brain monitoring technology.  Learn more about our OEM partners.



1. Ruskin KJ, Hueske-Kraus D. Alarm fatigue: impacts on patient safety. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2015;28(6):685-690. doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000260. 
2. Hendrich A, Chow MP, Skierczynski BA, et al. A 36-Hospital Time and Motion Study: How Do Medical-Surgical Nurses Spend Their Time? The Permanente Journal. 2008;12(3):25-34. 

3. 2011 Physician Stress and Burnout Survey. Physician Wellness Services and Cejka Search. Accessed Jul 15, 2014.

4. Respiratory Compromise Institute Website. Accessed 23 June 2019.

© 2020 Medtronic. All rights reserved. Medtronic, Medtronic logo and Further, Together are trademarks of Medtronic. All other brands are trademarks of a Medtronic company. 04/2020-19-PM-0251


TOPIC: Microstream™ Capnography Monitoring, Nellcor™ Pulse Oximetry, BIS™ Brain Monitoring, INVOS™ Cerebral / Somatic Oximetry

About the Author

George Krimm is the manager of OEM solutions for Medtronic’s Respiratory and Monitoring Solutions portfolio. He has 14 years of medical device experience in varying sales, marketing, and management roles with more than four years’ experience managing OEM strategic partnerships.

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