Background: The calculation of daily fluid balances is essential in perioperative and postoperative fluid management in order to prevent severe hypervolemia or hypovolemia in critically ill patients. In this context, modern health information technology has the potential to reduce the workload for health care professionals by not only automating data collection but also providing appropriate decision support.
Objectives: Within this work, current problems and barriers regarding fluid balancing in cardiac intensive care patients are outlined and improvement activities are specified.
Methods: Literature research and qualitative interviews with health care professionals were conducted to assess the state-of-the-art technological setting within an intensive care unit.
Results: An example case shows that interconnecting not only devices but also wards can facilitate daily clinical tasks.
Conclusion: Smart devices and decision support systems can improve fluid management. Several technologies, which today are sometimes still considered to be futuristic, are in fact not that far away or already available. However, they need proper implementation with respect to intensivists', nurses' and patients' needs.
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