IDX Carecast and eMedicine to provide point-of-care access to medical reference library

Omaha 21 January 2004IDX will make eMedicine's peer-reviewed Clinical Knowledge Base content available through its IDX Carecast enterprise clinical, financial and administrative system. With articles on more than 6500 diseases and conditions, eMedicine is one of the most comprehensive and current sources of peer-reviewed clinical reference materials on the Web. IDX and eMedicine will build direct, context-sensitive access to the eMedicine Clinical Knowledge Base within Carecast, enabling clinicians to immediately access relevant medical reference information at the point of care.


"Our relationship with eMedicine provides our Carecast customers an immediate, value-added benefit, reinforces IDX's commitment to evidence-based medicine, and offers great promise for future collaboration between our companies", stated Nick Beard, MD, Vice President of Health Informatics at IDX. "With eMedicine's information just a click away, physicians will have comprehensive information at their fingertips to verify diagnoses, plan treatment and make clinical decisions in a fraction of the time required to consult off-line articles, textbooks or other reference materials."

The eMedicine Clinical Knowledge Base functions as a highly structured on-line medical reference library and can be accessed from anywhere using a Web-enabled computer. Nearly 10.000 physician authors and editors in 62 medical specialities contribute to and frequently update the Clinical Knowledge Base.

Each of the thousands of articles follows a standard format, and each article and subsection is addressable via its own URL. This makes it possible for a clinician to view a desired element of a topic, such as diagnosis or treatment, without having to scan an entire monograph for key information.

"eMedicine's content in IDX Carecast will be where it can do the most good", commented Deryk Van Brunt, DrPH, Chairman of eMedicine. "Our goal has been to create and maintain the most current and accurate clinical information available. The missing link has been access. Before our efforts with IDX, physicians, especially those in acute care settings, simply didn't have time to conduct targeted research for specific conditions. Our co-development will allow clinicians to rapidly access this information at the point of care."

The planned integration will enable clinicians to quickly view the eMedicine Clinical Knowledge Base from throughout Carecast. IDX will use context sensitivity to guide clinicians to relevant portions of eMedicine's reference materials. IDX plans to cross-reference the Clinical Knowledge Base with industry-standard SNOMED and ICD-9/ICD-10 codes, allowing the user to easily access the most relevant information from precise, contextually linked Carecast screens with a single click.

For example, a physician completing orders for a patient with myocardial infarction or heart attack could quickly access information compiled by eMedicine on cardiac angiography or cardiac catheterization and its suitability for patients with varied conditions, based on guidance from the American College of Cardiologists and other expert sources. In addition to building direct access to the eMedicine database within Carecast, IDX is now offering on-line access to the Clinical Knowledge Base to its Carecast and IDX LastWord customers. Inc., a medical publishing company, owns and markets the eMedicine Clinical Knowledge Base, the first peer-reviewed medical reference developed specifically for on-line use, consisting of clinical review monographs for more than 6500 conditions. Nearly 10.000 physician authors and editors contribute to and continually update the eMedicine Clinical Knowledge Base. The company is privately held, with offices in Omaha, Nevada; Boston, Massachusetts; Syracuse, New York; Lafayette, New Jersey; San Rafael, California; and St. Louis, Missouri.

The company's major product offerings are, one of the most heavily trafficked medical Web services for professionals;, an enhanced point-of-care knowledge product for health care institutions;, a lifestyle, wellness, and disease information resource for consumers; CME Plus custom CME development and distribution for the pharmaceutical industry; the eMedicine Learning Center with CME/CE services for hospitals; and content licensing for clinical decision support systems. eMedicine has the largest repository of CME/CE on the Web, with nearly 40.000 hours available to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and optometrists.

Founded in 1969, IDX Systems Corporation provides information technology solutions to maximize value in the delivery of health care, improve the quality of patient service, enhance medical outcomes, and reduce care costs. 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 use practice management systems to improve patient care and work flow processes. IDX systems are installed at 380 integrated delivery networks (IDNs) in more than 500 hospitals, 175 large group practices with more than 200 physicians each, and 665 midsize group practices with fewer than 200 physicians each.

The IDX Web strategy includes browser technology, e-commerce, and Web-based tools-built using Internet architecture that facilitate 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 worldwide.

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 quality of care and promotes operational efficiencies. Developed by and for providers in collaboration with hospitals, clinicians, and health care executives, Carecast builds on 25 years of innovation with IDX's LastWord enterprise clinical system. More company information is available in this VMW issue's article OSF Healthcare System embraces IDX Carecast enterprise clinical system to enhance patient safety.

Leslie Versweyveld

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