Canada's Vancouver Coastal Health selects IDX Carecast Patient Accounting to improve cost tracking

Vancouver 29 April 2004IDX Systems Corporation and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) have signed an agreement to provide IDX Carecast Patient Accounting software functionality to VCH, the largest academic health organisation in Canada. VCH plans to implement Carecast's integrated clinical and financial capabilities in six of its facilities, serving 75 percent of its comprehensive health system and encompassing 1800 beds. In addition, the agreement provides VCH the option to deploy Carecast Patient Accounting functionality across its eight other acute care hospitals and numerous outpatient facilities.

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Carecast is a fully integrated clinical, financial and administrative system that automates clinical processes, advances patient safety through computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and wireless barcoding, and provides fully integrated patient accounting and administrative functionality. By automatically generating charges from clinical activities, the integrated Carecast system captures comprehensive billing information, enhances analysis and reporting and minimizes lost data, helping staff and clinicians to save time. The contract with VCH represents the first sale of Carecast Patient Accounting capabilities in Canada.

Under a previous contract, VCH is currently is rolling out Carecast's clinical capabilities to three acute care facilities: Vancouver General Hospital (769 beds), University of British Columbia Hospital (381 beds), and Richmond Hospital (176 beds); as well as to the George Pearson Centre for outpatient care, Minoru Residence Extended Care facility, and the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre, all located in Vancouver and Richmond. This new agreement adds the use of Carecast Patient Accounting capabilities to these facilities and provides the option to use the accounting functionality across the entire VCH system.

The organisation's selection was based in part on IDX's ability to tailor patient accounting for the Canadian health care system, as demonstrated by its previous track record in adapting clinical and administrative functionality for VCH, as well as tailoring registration functionality for health care facilities in the United Kingdom. The selection was also influenced by VCH's existing successful relationship with IDX. VCH has been an IDX clinical software customer since 1996. All VCH contracts with IDX pertain to the use of IDX software at VCH facilities; IDX does not process VCH patient data.

"IDX has an outstanding track record for providing us with the clinical tools we need to deliver the highest quality patient care", stated Greg Feltmate, CIO of VCH. "Now, by introducing Carecast's integrated clinical and financial functionality across some of our largest facilities, we look forward to benefiting from a clinically generated revenue cycle where clinical events automatically produce appropriate cost information in our system. By automatically accounting for charges every time a physician completes a procedure or a nurse administers a medication, our system will give us a more complete picture of the cost of care delivery, while streamlining direct patient billing capabilities."

"By minimizing lost charges and eliminating much of the need for manual data entry, the Carecast Patient Accounting application will further allow VCH to streamline its direct patient billing functions across our entire organisation", stated Fred Chan, Regional Director, Financial Operations. "We are excited about the prospect of performing patient billing, resident trust accounting and cashiering on the integrated Carecast system in the very near future."

Although Canada's patient care is government-funded, 9,2 percent of VCH revenues result from services or patients not covered under the government health care programmes. In addition, VCH will use Carecast Patient Accounting to manage trust accounts and perform cashiering services for patients in its many care facilities. The trust accounts application will provide an efficient tool for VCH to administer and account for funds in these trusts with VCH to pay for day-to-day necessities. Integration with the clinical modules of Carecast will eliminate duplicate handling of data and make the trust account information more accessible to the front-line staff if required.

VCH sees its use of Carecast to support patient accounting needs as complementary to its goals in advancing quality of care and patient satisfaction with the health care experience. Using Carecast's clinical capabilities, VCH will realize the benefits of an integrated CPOE technology solution which allows physicians to enter orders electronically, eliminating risks inherent to illegible handwritten orders and reducing the risk of medication errors.

"Patient safety has become one of the Region's key strategic directions", stated Vivian Eliopoulos, VCH Director of Clinical Information Systems. "With Carecast, we are realizing our goals of providing our clinicians the access to the information they need to support the delivery of quality patient care, while giving them the functionality to make work processes more efficient and cost-effective."

"VCH is a leader in the Canadian health care industry, and we are proud to support their initiatives in both the clinical and financial arenas", stated Mike Raymer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IDX Carecast Operating Unit. "We are committed to helping our customers deliver the highest quality and most cost effective care, and we welcome the opportunity to further support health care improvement efforts in Canada."

VCH is responsible for the delivery of approximately $1,9 billion in acute, residential and community care to over one million people in communities from Richmond through Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky area, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.

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.

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 health care organisations in the United States, Canada and Europe. For more news on Carecast, you can read the VMW February 2004 article IDX Carecast and eMedicine to provide point-of-care access to medical reference library.


Leslie Versweyveld

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