Raymond D. Aller, MD,
Hal Weiner and
Michael Weilert, MD
Vendors delving into digital
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous how the health care delivery
system uses information technology,” said HHS secretary Tommy Thompson.
an American Association of Health Plans meeting in June, Thompson
went on to say: “We just have to use information technology
more effectively to reduce preventable errors. We should be able
to have a paperless system.” He added that a grocery store
he had visited recently was more technologically advanced than a
hospital he had visited the same day.
While few would
disagree that hospitals’ move to “paperless” has
been slow in coming, some hospitals and vendors are making progress
toward this end.
Opened in 2002,
the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Oklahoma City, became one of the country’s
first all-digital specialty hospitals of its kind, employing technology
from Cerner Corp.
and semi-private room in the 78-bed institution has a computer terminal,
as do the nurses stations, cardiac catheterization lab, and emergency
department. Medical staff can also use handheld computers or PCs
outside the hospital to access patient information.
of the hospital’s digital effort is its advanced computerized
physician order entry system, which allows physicians to not only
input notes and order prescriptions online, but also access research
and patient care information.
our system is very patient-centric. It’s an integrated, single
database where all the information about the patient—the patient’s
stay, all of the procedures, and all those things—is located
in one area,” says Jay Rosenfeld, a vice president in Cerner’s
Mid America sales group.
As is often
the case with any new process, the primary hurdle at Oklahoma Heart
Hospital has been getting employees accustomed to the new system,
Rosenfeld says. “I think the major [difficulties] were probably
getting everybody used to the fact that when you do something, you
don’t turn around and grab a piece of paper. It’s logging
into the system. It’s a whole change of thought process.”
Cerner unveiled two other automation projects. In May, the vendor
began building a 220-bed hospital for Legacy Health System, Vancouver,
Wash. Also in May, Cerner announced that it had contracted to expand
the clinical automation processes at Penn State Milton S. Hershey
Medical Center, Hershey, Pa.
making automation inroads is Siemens, which has provided technology
for the Heart Center of Indiana, a $60 million hospital with 60
patient rooms that opened in Indianapolis last December.
The heart center
uses a system called Soarian Cardiology, which integrates applications
from various hospital departments, ranging from the imaging center
to admissions and accounting, so a patient’s diagnostic images
and other records are stored in a single digital chart that can
be accessed at any computer terminal.
also announced plans to develop an all-digital health care facility
in Temple, Texas, for Scott & White, an integrated health care
system that serves central Texas. The 361-bed hospital is scheduled
to open in 2005.
Back in Indianapolis,
another “digital” heart hospital recently opened its
doors. The $60 million, 56-bed Indiana Heart Hospital opened in
February. The hospital is using a digital record system from GE
Medical Systems that can transmit images to the patient’s
electronic medical record. Doctors can access the system remotely.
was a very big effort,” says Greg Lucier, president of GE
Medical Systems, adding that it brought as many as 75 GE workers
at a time to the hospital and required hospital staff to undergo
four months of training in the technology.
a similar effort in June in which it will transition Children’s
Hospital of Wisconsin, Wauwatosa, to an electronic records system.
The process is expected to take a minimum of four years.
Boston Medical Center, a private 547-bed teaching hospital, implemented
Eclipsys’ electronic medical records/computerized patient
records system last October. Nearly all the physicians at BMC are
using the CPOE system, which has processed more than 2.5 million
orders. Eclipsys reports that errors caused by hand prescribing
and ordering have been reduced by 37 percent under the new system.
New system for laboratory test ordering and reporting
SAO Data Integration Strategies, LLC, a subsidiary of NetImpact Holdings Inc.,
has announced the release of ILTORS, its comprehensive international laboratory
test ordering and reporting system.
can access ILTORS to review and order tests for more than 150 diseases.
Users can peruse a list of system-recommended procedures or directly
order tests based on a medical diagnosis. ILTORS records the status
of the tests, reconciles outstanding and completed tests, updates
where appropriate, and reports results.
ILTORS is available
in English, French, and Spanish and is integrated into NetImpact’s
NetCare 7.0 medical information collection, management, and analysis
Data Integration Strategies, LLC, Circle No. 192
ITC coagulation device nowinterfaced to RALS-Plus
Medical Automation Systems has added the ITC Hemochron Jr. Signature+
coagulation device to the interface menu for its RALS-Plus information
Users of the
RALS-Plus system can now access information in Signature+, including
results review, test materials, administrative settings, device
configuration and management, comments, operators and certifications,
reports, flagged results, status, and edit logs, via a user interface.
Signature+ is a low-blood-volume, cuvette-based whole blood microcoagulation
instrument that performs such point-of-care tests as ACT-LR (low range), ACT+,
PT, citrate PT, APTT, and citrate APTT. Medical Automation Systems, Circle
International Technidyne Corp., Circle No. 191
TriCore affiliates with Rhodes Group
TriCore Reference Laboratories has deployed the Rhodes Group’s Rhodes
Scholar Platform business intelligence and decision support solution.
Scholar gives us the power to generate current, comprehensive reports
in minutes that meet all our criteria without having to wait for
an end-of-month accumulation, as with other systems,” says
Stella Saindon, TriCore’s chief financial officer.
is a Connecticut-based health care management and information technology
consulting firm. TriCore Reference Laboratories is the largest medical
laboratory in New Mexico.
Group, Circle No. 194
TriCore Reference Laboratories, Circle No. 195
Nova creates Web site focused on quality control data
Nova Biomedical has established an interactive Web site that participants in
its quality assurance program can use to submit and review quality control data
online. The new site, www.novabio.com,
allows quality control data to be entered in several formats and submitted to
Nova instantaneously. Nova will analyze the data and post peer data reports
on the site. Nova’s quality assurance program provides intra-laboratory
and peer group comparisons of quality control data obtained using Nova’s
blood gas and critical care analyzers. The reports contain within-lab statistics,
peer group comparisons, and statistics based on the specific Nova model used.
Nova Biomedical, Circle No. 193
Information Data Management has signed a contract for its Surround 3.3 system
with Puget Sound Blood Center, Seattle. Puget Sound will use the system to manage
and transmit donor serology test results and nucleic acid testing results to
its clients and its own blood bank management system. Information Data Management,
Circle No. 196
Dr. Aller is director of bioterrorism preparedness and response for Los
Angeles County Public Health Acute Communicable Diseases. He can be reached
at email@example.com. Weiner is president
of Weiner Consulting Services, LLC, Florence, Ore. He can be reached at hal@
weinerconsulting.com. Dr. Weilert is director of laboratories, Community
Hospitals of Central California, Fresno. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.