Misys Laboratory-Collection Manager uses handheld technolgoy to augment care delivery and enhance patient safety

Raleigh 21 June 2004Misys Healthcare Systems, an expert in health care information technology, has made available the Misys Laboratory-Collection Manager. The clinical lab software application uses handheld technology devices to assist health care professionals in automating specimen collection and print labelling at the bedside. The result is increased accuracy of patient identification, specimen data entry and tube labelling at the point of care leading to improved outcomes, reduced errors and enhanced patient safety.

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ThedaCare, a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organisation (JCAHO)-accredited integrated delivery network serving Northeastern Wisconsin, is among the first Misys customers to use Collection Manager within their daily laboratory work flow. "Our goal is to reduce overall errors in our health system by 90 percent this year with a special emphasis on reducing specimen handling errors", stated Linda Mirkes, laboratory system manager, ThedaCare. "We have made significant progress through a number of other initiatives, and we expect Collection Manager to give us the extra boost to help us reach our goal to better ensure the safety of our patients."

In 2003, ThedaCare's 160-bed Appleton Medical Center (AMC) in Appleton, Wisconsin, re-centralized its specimen collection process to support ThedaCare's patient safety initiative and reassigned specimen collection historically performed by nursing to its phlebotomy team in the laboratory. One of three ThedaCare hospitals, AMC began using Collection Manager in May.

AMC's phlebotomists currently use Collection Manager via a wireless-compatible personal digital assistant (PDA) device such as the Symbol PPT 8846 with a built-in barcode scanner that connects to a portable printer. The health care professional positively identifies the patient by scanning the identification wristband and then collects the patient's specimen at the bedside. This ensures that the right specimen is drawn from the right patient and the right print label is applied to the specimen tube.

"This new tool enhances our ability to provide high quality care to our patients, and the staff especially like the ease of identifying the patient and printing labels for tubes at the bedside", stated Linda Mirkes. "The wireless handheld connection also enables Collection Manager to work in tandem with Misys Laboratory from any location in the hospital. The solution truly offers a complete point-of-care collection cycle."

Appleton Medical Center is using Collection Manager for other lab-specific tasks such as uploading data to print specimen collection lists per floor or per room. One notable benefit is its password-protected security feature that "time stamps" or documents the hospital employee collecting the specimen and when the collection occurs. Added Linda Mirkes: "Collection Manager captures and archives this data to Misys Laboratory as well as additional comments about the actual collection, which are both pertinent to the laboratory staff for performance testing."

By the end of the year, ThedaCare will expand Collection Manager to Theda Clark Medical Center, a 250-bed acute care hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin. ThedaCare is a community health system consisting of three hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center and New London Family Medical Center. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, a Home Care and Senior Services Division and other health care services and joint ventures including ThedaCare Physicians' Shawano Family Medicine, the Fox Cities Community Clinic, Gold Cross Ambulance and the Appleton Heart Institute.

Both Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center have been rated among the "100 Top Hospitals" by Solucient Inc. Appleton Medical Center and Appleton Heart Institute are also rated among the "100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals". ThedaCare has also been named one of the nation's "100 Most Wired" health systems. ThedaCare is the second largest employer in northeast Wisconsin with more than 5000 employees.

"Collection Manager is a sophisticated high-tech tool for the laboratory where the specimen gathering and collection process is critical to the patient care process", stated Scott Mattingly, product director of Misys Laboratory-Collection Manager. "Misys Healthcare Systems' Collection Manager is leading the hospital laboratory market to meet important JCAHO 2004 and potential 2005 national patient safety goals and requirements. We commend ThedaCare for beta testing our integrated solution with Misys Laboratory to extend its laboratory's reach to promote patient safety."

Misys Healthcare Systems develops and supports reliable, easy-to-use software and services of exceptional quality that enable physicians and caregivers to more easily manage the complexities of health care. With more than 20 years experience in the industry, Misys Healthcare Systems, a division of Misys plc, currently serves more than 92.000 physicians, 1200 hospitals, 600 home care providers and hundreds of commercial laboratories, clinics, managed services and other related organisations. More news on the company can be found in this VMW issue's article Texas Health Resources signs multimillion-dollar contract to expand Misys Radiology enterprise-wide


Leslie Versweyveld

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