OSF Healthcare System embraces IDX Carecast enterprise clinical system to enhance patient safety

Peoria 14 January 2004OSF Healthcare System, an integrated delivery network with more than 10.000 employees in two states, has activated the IDX Carecast system, the next generation enterprise clinical system from IDX Systems Corporation. OSF is currently using Carecast in three of its six hospitals, located in Bloomington and Pontiac, Illinois; and Escanaba, Michigan, and expects to activate its remaining facilities in 2004. Carecast is an integrated system that links the entire organisation, creating a single, lifetime electronic medical record for each patient, which clinicians are able to access and update at the point of care.


"We are creating a single foundation to enhance patient safety and improve the already high-quality of care throughout our entire organisation", stated Michael Nauman, CIO at OSF. "Thanks to the dedication of our MIS and facility staff, as well as the collaboration of our clinical team, we have completed three successful activations and look forward to continued momentum as we complete our remaining activations. We are excited about the possibilities created by partnering with IDX to pursue our strategic initiatives and leverage clinical IT to continually improve patient care and safety."

The inpatient facilities currently live on Carecast are approaching a paperless environment, with more than 2500 hospital physicians, nurses and other clinicians using the system. Approximately 1100 users appropriately access the electronic medical record system remotely from physician offices and outpatient clinics. Eventually, more than 9700 hospital employees will use Carecast when the rollout is complete.

With thousands of clinicians in facilities spread across Illinois and Michigan, reliability, accessibility, and response time of the network and hardware have been key to OSF's success with Carecast. So far, the three facilities using the system are running between 30.000 to 35.000 transactions per hour at peak time, about 428.000 transactions per day, with an average response time of 0,38 seconds per transaction, Carecast runs on the highly scalable HP NonStop platform, which delivers subsecond response time and unsurpassed 99,9 percent uptime.

Carecast enables OSF clinicians to chart patient information via on-line clinical documentation, which can increase productivity and enhance patient care by reducing time spent on administrative functions. "Because we no longer depend on the physical chart to see patient information, we will have anytime, anywhere access to clinical information. This ability to view all results in the electronic record in such a timely manner will enhance the care of our patients", stated Dr. John Whittington, Director, OSF Medical Informatics.

Prior to adopting Carecast, OSF facilities utilized in-house systems supplemented by vendor systems. The in-house system was designed to take advantage of technology in the financial sector. In 1999, the leadership of OSF made the strategic decision to move toward using technology in a clinically based system to improve patient safety and care and provide clinicians better access to patient information.

During OSF's aggressive implementation, MIS and facility staff worked steadily to tailor the Carecast system for OSF's unique clinical and financial needs. The OSF team carefully planned activations to support the requirements of each facility and to ensure a smooth transition to the new system. This partnership with IDX, MIS staff, and facility staff continues to strengthen OSF's commitment to its mission "to serve persons with the greatest care and love in a community that celebrates the gift of life".

"OSF is an outstanding example of an organisation that sets clear goals for meeting patient needs for safety and quality, leveraging advanced clinical IT to achieve those objectives", stated Mike Raymer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IDX Carecast Division. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with OSF, and working with them to create an environment of fail-safe care throughout all of their facilities."

Facilities live on Carecast include OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center and OSF St. Francis Hospital. Three remaining facilities, all based in Illinois, will be activated in the next 12 to 18 months. These include OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg; OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford; and OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria.

In using IDX enterprise clinical technology, OSF joins a group of more than 70 health care organisations and 170 hospitals, including Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York; Inova Health System, Falls Church, Virginia; Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network, Allentown, Pennsylvania; Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver, British Columbia; and Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare Trust, London, United Kingdom.

OSF Healthcare System, an Illinois, not-for-profit corporation owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, Peoria, Illinois, includes six facilities and two colleges of nursing in Illinois and one hospital in Michigan. The System employs about 10.000 people including nearly 200 physicians. Also integral to the System are OSF Home Care, OSF Saint Francis Inc., OSF HealthCare Foundation, and OSF HealthPlans Inc., a subsidiary of OSF Healthcare System, which is a licensed insurance company in the State of Illinois with more than 106.000 covered lives.

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 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 utilize 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 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 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. Representing the next generation of electronic clinical information solutions, Carecast delivers 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 inpatient and ambulatory care.

The result is a comprehensive lifetime patient record that enhances the quality of care and promotes operational efficiencies. In addition, the system's advanced capabilities help safeguard patient care through computerized physician order entry, barcode medication management, clinical decision support, and expert rules. Developed by and for providers, in collaboration with leading hospitals, clinicians and health care executives, Carecast builds on 25 years of innovation with the IDX LastWord enterprise system. Customers include leading health care organisations in the United States, Canada and Europe. More news on IDX Carecast is available in the VMW November 2003 article Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth to select IDX Carecast; long-time user Kettering upgrades to next-generation system.

Leslie Versweyveld

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