Posted August 08, 2018 08:02:50 Network architecture can be used to save your lives, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington.
The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, looked at how different network architectures could be used in emergency situations and how they might affect patient outcomes.
“It’s very hard to imagine how to solve an emergency,” said Dr. Elizabeth A. Kravitz, a co-author and a professor of emergency medicine and medical psychology.
“I think it’s going to become a really important area of research as we look at emergency medicine in the 21st century.”
The researchers used a study of a large cohort of patients who died of COVID-19 to determine the optimal network architecture.
For example, the network of the patient with a heart condition was more likely to be the one used by an experienced medical team than that of the group with a cold, cough or respiratory illness.
Using the network architecture, the researchers found that in patients who received the most advanced care, there was a 30 percent reduction in mortality.
Another example of the value of network architecture was the difference in how people reacted when they were receiving oxygen in a COVID center compared to a community health center.
In patients who had the most intensive care care, a significant increase in the proportion of patients being able to move was observed.
However, it wasn’t all good news.
While a network of care was found to significantly improve outcomes, the study found that it also had a significant negative impact on patient care.
While the study showed that network design was associated with improved outcomes in patients with COVID, it did not explain why.
“The best answer to this question is that network architecture is more than just a network,” Kravatz said.
Kravitz said the study’s findings may have implications for other areas of medical practice.
She said a better understanding of how network architecture affects patients’ overall health, how it influences patient outcomes and how it could be improved is important.
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