Duke University Medical Center chooses McKesson's Horizon Clinicals to enhance safety and efficiency

San Francisco 16 September 2002Duke University Medical Center, one of the United States' top-ranked hospitals, will implement Horizon Clinicals solutions from McKesson Corporation. The Horizon Clinicals suite will serve as the backbone for Duke's clinical automation initiative, which is focused on enhancing patient safety, reducing variation in care delivery and streamlining clinician work flow. Horizon Clinicals is McKesson's comprehensive suite of next-generation, integrated solutions for physicians and other clinicians.


Under the agreement, Duke will implement McKesson's enterprise medication management solution as a key part of its strategy to create a comprehensive, "closed-loop" approach to medication safety that automates all five steps of medication management: prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, administering, and monitoring.

Duke will implement Horizon Expert Orders, McKesson's clinical decision support and computerised physician order entry (CPOE) solution. The Medical Center will also implement McKesson's industry leading pharmacy solution, Horizon Meds Manager. A longtime user of McKesson's ROBOT-Rx, a centralised, robotic drug distribution system, Duke sees great value in the ability to automate manual processes and eliminate paper throughout the medication management process.

"McKesson's advanced clinical technology will support us in making the best possible decisions for our patients in a safe care environment", stated William Fulkerson, M.D., Duke Hospital chief executive officer. "These solutions can help us eliminate errors due to illegible handwriting and provide real time decision support to assist in consistently applying best practices. We expect the result to be better health outcomes which are also more cost-effective."

Horizon Expert Orders gives physicians interactive feedback during the ordering process, using a rich library of clinical protocols, diagnostically appropriate order outlines, rules, treatment advisories and reference information. With top national rankings in multiple medical specialities, Duke plans to build upon the Horizon Knowledge Center, which combines patient-specific information with experience-based, national and local best practices.

Duke will customise the core content based on its wealth of clinical expertise and experience in developing treatment protocols. "Horizon Expert Orders is a powerful system that will enable us to effectively communicate our care strategies to the 1200 physicians who practise at Duke", stated Gary Stiles, M.D., chief medical officer at Duke. "We plan to start our implementation in cardiology, where having easy access to information can make a measurable difference in the clinical outcome and ultimately in the patient's quality of life."

Dr. Stiles added that more than 100 physicians evaluated Horizon Expert Orders before the final purchasing decision was made, ensuring broad physician consensus regarding the value of the system and ease of adoption.

"It is clear that the combination of McKesson's Horizon Expert Orders and Horizon Meds Manager solutions provide the environment needed to apply best practices without infringing on physician work flow or decision making", Dr. Stiles stated. "Both solutions are intuitive and easy to use, and the physicians especially liked the common ordering shorthand feature in Horizon Expert Orders that allows them to place orders with just a few keystrokes. This is a system that is flexible and will meet the needs of physicians."

Duke is complementing its use of Horizon Expert Orders with Horizon Meds Manager, a solution that enables health care system pharmacies to review and process medication orders electronically, eliminating manual transcription and clerical tasks. Horizon Meds Manager also provides clinically relevant data to the pharmacist, so pharmacists can more effectively monitor drug therapy to ensure safe, appropriate medication use.

According to Michael Russell, M.D., Duke's associate chief information officer, integrating Horizon Meds Manager with Horizon Expert Orders and ROBOT-Rx will help eliminate the manual "hand-offs" that can lead to medication errors. "Combining these leading-edge solutions to automate work flow at the point of care, in the pharmacy and at the point medications are dispensed is an example of how Duke employs innovative technology to benefit our patients and our students", Dr. Russell stated.

Duke University Medical Center is dedicated to providing patient care, professional education, and biomedical research. It includes Duke University Hospital, Duke University School of Medicine, Duke University School of Nursing, the Private Diagnostic Clinic, and one of the largest biomedical research enterprises in the country.

McKesson Corporation is a provider of supply, information and care management products and services designed to reduce costs and improve quality across health care. McKesson solutions empower health care professionals with the tools they need to deliver care more effectively and efficiently. Founded in 1833, with annual revenues of more than US $50 billion, McKesson ranks as the 31st largest industrial company in the United States. More McKesson news is available in this VMW issue's article Singing River Hospital System engages McKesson for comprehensive clinical quality initiative.

Leslie Versweyveld

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