HCA acquires Mobile Heartbeat to roll out its clinical care team coordination app

By Heather Mack
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Nashville, Tennessee-based Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), which operates 169 hospitals and 116 freestanding surgery centers in 20 states and the United Kingdom, announced it will purchase clinical workflow and team communication app maker Mobile HeartbeatTerms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

The company’s technology, Clinical Urgent Response (CURE) works through an app on either an iPhone or Android that can be used by caregivers inside and outside the hospital with an integrated user experience, so nurses and physicians can hand off tasks to one another. Caregivers can text, call, review patient information, receive lab alerts and respond to nurse calls and more so long as they have the app. The app works to consolidate clinical communications, including alarms and notifications, patient information and lab data, secure texting, voice and photography. 

The acquisition follows a pilot study HCA ran with Mobile Heartbeat using CURE for its iMobile Project, an initiative to implement smartphone-based critical care team communication. HCA rolled out the initiative last year, and staff quickly adopted the technology.

“We had been asking the clinical community what they wanted from a secure messaging platform on a smartphone,” Kelly Aldrich, chief nursing informatics officer for HCA said on the provider’s blog, HCA Today. “They told us they needed a device to communicate about many different aspects of patient care – not just messaging. So we got to work on a solution that would include requests for nurse call-bell integration, lab values, an ability to broadcast multiple devices, and more.”

Now, HCA will launch the CURE technology in 21 hospitals across the country, with plans to implement the technology enterprise-wide.

“This acquisition will enhance our ability to work closely with Mobile Heartbeat as we continue to create and refine technology solutions to improve clinical workflows and provide secure communications that foster better patient care,” said HCA Chief Medical Officer and Clinical Services Group President Dr. Jonathan Perlin in a statement.

Mobile Heartbeat will operate as an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of HCA, and Ron Remy, Mobile Heartbeat’s current CEO, will continue to serve in that role.

“We’re worked closely with HCA for several years to better understand the challenges clinicians face and to enhance our applications to meet their needs,” Remy said in a statement. “Joining HCA will help us serve our current and future customers through a closer collaboration with one of the leading healthcare providers in the world. HCA’s leadership will be instrumental as we continue to develop improved solutions for secure clinical communications.”