Major implementation project will enable computerised physician order entry for Continuum Health Partners

Burlington 22 July 2003Continuum Health Partners has selected the IDX Carecast enterprise clinical system to integrate electronic patient data, clinical documentation and computerised physician order entry (CPOE) capabilities. Continuum, one of New York's largest hospital systems, is an integrated delivery network comprising four academic medical centres and numerous ambulatory clinics that treats over 100.000 inpatients and has more than 1,3 million outpatient visits every year.


Continuum will utilise Carecast for CPOE in its three largest acute care hospitals: Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, and Long Island College Hospital. It also will use Carecast to establish an enterprise clinical data repository and to introduce electronic clinical documentation and emergency department tracking. In addition, Continuum will be an early adopter of the new Carecast physician documentation tools for the ambulatory environment, which are tailored for individual specialities to facilitate on-line documentation.

"With hospitals and outpatient clinics throughout the five boroughs of New York and Westchester County, our highest priority was finding an integrated system that could link those diverse settings and effectively deliver on all our inpatient and ambulatory care needs", stated Gail Donovan, Executive Vice President and COO of Continuum. "In addition, IDX demonstrated proven capabilities in supporting CPOE in complex teaching environments such as ours."

Once Carecast is implemented, Continuum clinicians will be expected to enter 100 percent of medical orders using CPOE. In addition, Carecast's on-line clinical documentation for nurses promises to reduce the time Continuum nurses now spend on paper charting, freeing up more time for direct patient care. Continuum plans to use Carecast's enhanced emergency department capabilities to streamline operations in some of the city's busiest emergency rooms.

"Having a comprehensive electronic patient record that includes information from both hospital and office visits gives us more complete information to support the highest quality patient care throughout the Continuum network", stated Lawrence A. Attia, MD, the physician liaison from St. Luke's-Roosevelt to the IT Selection Committee and attending physician in Gastro-enterology. "Carecast's decision support capabilities and fully-integrated pharmacy information, which complement Carecast's CPOE, will assist our clinicians as we roll out CPOE across ambulatory and inpatient environments."

Because Continuum serves a large number of patients, the organisation required a robust clinical information system that accommodates a vast amount of information in a single database and handles thousands of simultaneous actions without degrading system performance. Carecast runs on the highly scalable HP NonStop platform, which delivers subsecond response time and unsurpassed 99,9 percent uptime. Carecast's Web-centric architecture also contributes to maintaining an overall low cost of ownership.

"As one of the largest hospital systems and the fifth largest employer in New York City, Continuum significantly contributes to establishing the standard of health care in the region", stated James Crook, CEO of IDX. "We're very pleased to be expanding our relationship with Continuum in order to take part in that evolution."

In addition to the new relationship with Continuum, IDX also provides CPOE technology to Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. Montefiore is well-known in the health care industry for achieving a 70 percent reduction in potential prescribing errors through 100 percent physician participation in use of CPOE.

Continuum Health Partners was formed in January, 1997 as a partnership of two venerable health care providers, Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Building upon the strengths of both institutions, the partners soon established a broad-based, integrated health services network extending throughout the New York metropolitan region.

In May 1998, the partnership was joined by a third distinguished institution, Long Island College Hospital, located in the Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn. Continuum continued to grow in June 1999 with the addition of another outstanding institution with a 100-year tradition of excellent speciality care, the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Continuum Health Partners, with an annual operating budget of $2,2 billion, delivers inpatient and outpatient care through nearly 3100 certified beds located in seven major hospital facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and through ambulatory, primary care and speciality care practices throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Westchester County.

Founded in 1969, IDX Systems Corporation provides information technology solutions to maximise value in the delivery of health care, improve the quality of patient service, enhance medical outcomes, and reduce the costs of care. IDX supports these objectives with a broad range of complementary and functionally rich products installed at 3300 customer sites. Customers include 138.000 physicians who utilise practice management systems to improve patient care and other work flow processes.

IDX systems are installed at 380 integrated delivery networks (IDNs) representing more than 500 hospitals, 175 large group practices with more than 200 physicians, and 665 mid-size group practices with less than 200 physicians. The IDX web strategy includes browser technology, e-commerce and Web-based tools built using Internet architecture, that facilitates access for patients, physicians and care providers to vital health information and data managed by the IDX clinical, administrative, financial, and managed care products. IDX has approximately 2100 full-time employees.

Carecast is IDX's next generation of electronic clinical information solutions, delivering unsurpassed response time and reliability to support fast-paced clinical environments. The system automates work flow throughout the health care enterprise and enables rapid access to patient records across the care continuum, from admission to discharge, including pharmacy and ambulatory care. Carecast is a fully integrated clinical, financial and administrative system, combining core clinical processes for orders, results, pharmacy and clinical documentation with administrative and financial processes for scheduling, registration, admitting, charging and billing.

The result is a comprehensive lifetime patient record that enhances the quality of care and promotes operational efficiencies. Developed by and for providers in collaboration with some of the nation's leading hospitals, clinicians and health care executives, Carecast builds on 25 years of innovation with the IDX LastWord enterprise clinical system. More information on IDX is available in the VMW July 2003 article Lehigh Valley Hospital goes live on wireless bar code assisted medication charting.

Leslie Versweyveld

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