Iowa Health System upgrades to IDX Carecast to support patient safety and nursing informatics initiatives

Des Moines 29 September 2004Iowa Health System will upgrade from IDX LastWord to the next-generation IDX Carecast enterprise clinical system from IDX Systems Corporation. A long-time IDX LastWord customer, Iowa Health System will deploy Carecast across its network of hospitals according to the terms of the upgrade, signed in December 2003. Iowa Health System will deploy Carecast's integrated clinical, financial and administrative functionality across its 11 hospitals. The organisation is the first and largest integrated health care system in Iowa, and provides nearly 25 percent of the state's hospital services.


"Iowa Health System is committed to consistently taking patient safety and care delivery to the next level", stated Duncan Gallagher, COO for Iowa Health System. "As a large health system serving a geographically dispersed area, we rely on IDX technology for a patient-centred clinical information system that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration and greater operational efficiencies. We are enthusiastic about IDX's ability to grow with our organisation and support excellent patient care."

The organisation plans to use Carecast to support ongoing development of lifetime electronic medical records, introduction of medication barcode charting to support medication safety, and expanded use of advanced clinical documentation tools to encourage collaboration throughout the care team. In addition, the organisation plans to leverage Carecast to pursue a long-term vision for disease management guided by care protocols, an important goal for the health system as a major health care provider.

"Carecast offers us advanced functionality to streamline and standardize work flow for clinicians while giving us the tools to provide even higher quality care to patients", stated Jim Mormann, CIO for Iowa Health System. "As a long-time customer of IDX, our decision to upgrade to Carecast was also strongly influenced by the company's current direction, future vision, and commitment to the ongoing enhancement and expansion of its enterprise clinical technology."

As part of its commitment to technology support of patient safety and excellent nursing care, Iowa Health System plans to build on its advanced nursing informatics initiatives, including on-line clinical documentation which promotes provider communication and helps reduce time spent on administrative tasks. Implementation of the Carecast wireless medication barcode charting and Patient Summary applications are also important components of the upgrade.

Wireless medication barcode charting will support patient medication safety during medication administration, the second most likely place for medication errors to occur, according to JAMA (1998). Furthermore, Carecast's Patient Summary application will provide nurses with a valuable on-line overview of patient information to facilitate information exchange between nurses at shift changes.

In addition, the organisation will use Carecast to further build interdisciplinary care plans designed to incorporate protocols for every member of the care team. Rather than defining care plans by clinical discipline, the pathways are unique to each patient and include data for all appropriate caregivers, from physicians to ancillary clinicians.

"As a major health care provider, Iowa Health System has an opportunity to significantly influence overall population health", stated Mike Raymer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IDX Carecast Operating Unit. "We look forward to supporting Iowa Health System's use of clinical information technology to strengthen patient safety, improve disease management, and further enhance quality of care."

Iowa Health System consists of 11 hospitals in seven Iowa and Illinois communities, including Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, the QuadCities, Sioux City and Waterloo. In addition, it supports 14 rural hospitals throughout the Iowa Health System Community Network. Iowa Health also employs more than 450 physicians practising in more than 80 communities in Iowa, western Illinois and eastern Nebraska.

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 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. IDX also provides its enterprise clinical software as a subcontractor to BT and Fujitsu Services, Local Service Providers for the United Kingdom National Health Service's National Programme for Information Technology, an initiative to establish electronic patient records for 50 million patients. More news on the company is available in the VMW September 2004 article North Carolina Baptist Hospital upgrades to IDX Carecast enterprise clinical system.

Leslie Versweyveld

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