Analytics company Real Time Medical Systems can now provide infectious disease surveillance of nursing facilities for government and industry clients. This new service uses built-in links to extract data directly from electronic health records in use by over 95% of U.S. nursing homes.

Real Time identifies infectious disease warning signs including increased temperature, high respiratory rate, cough and shortness of breath. Ensuring individual patient data is protected, the company then provides facility-level data to government and industry clients to detect potential outbreaks in their nursing facility communities.

“This is the industry’s first surveillance program that can analyze data and can reach virtually every nursing facility in real-time,” says Scott Rifkin, M.D., founder and executive chairman. “This information identifies the hotspots of potential infectious outbreaks several days before they would normally be seen. We are currently in discussions with government and health industry organizations.”

The company announced its first surveillance client contract Tuesday. Montgomery County, PA, a Philadelphia suburb, will be using the service to monitor nursing facilities that volunteer to share their data.

Real Time already serves more than 1,000 nursing centers in 42 states using real-time data to provide interventional analytics. Using the system to report surveillance findings is an alternative to staff reports and conference calls to share information between locations.

“The Real Time Infection Surveillance program will reduce this operations function so that caregivers can spend more time with the right patients, with the right response,” said El Harris, chief marketing and sales officer. “It is the intention of Real Time’s Infection Surveillance service to identify both individuals that may be infected, as well as to identify potential ‘hotspots’ where possibly multiple residents are infected. … Our program will help all involved parties detect possible infections earlier so that they can hopefully reduce the spread that much faster to both their residents and staff.