IDX Digital Healthcare Community spotlights the next-generation EMR connecting providers and spanning care settings

Burlington 09 February 2005IDX Systems Corporation features the IDX Digital Healthcare Community, a simulated health care network that illustrates how next-generation electronic health records (EMRs) link clinicians and bridge the continuum of care at the 2005 Annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference and Exhibition in Dallas, February 13 to 17. IDX is joined at the conference by physicians and IT executives from health care organisations that are leveraging IDX clinical systems to pioneer regional health care collaboratives, build multi-state EMRs and realize significant advances in patient safety and financial ROI.


The walk-through, interactive IDX Digital Healthcare Community shows a seamless, cross continuum patient record spanning ambulatory and inpatient settings and connecting providers in disparate geographic locations. Cross-continuum exchange of patient information will be crucial to the development of regional health information organisations (RHIOs), building blocks of the national health information network (NHIN) proposed by the Office of the Co-ordinator of Health Information Technology (ONCHIT), David Brailer, M.D.

"We are looking forward to Dr. Brailer's comments on RHIOs, and to hearing the wide range of feedback he has received from industry stakeholders", stated Mike Raymer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IDX Carecast. "It's clear that the foundation of tomorrow's NHIN is being built today. The regional technology initiatives and multi-state EMRs developing throughout the country, plus models such as the IDX Digital Healthcare Community, offer proof of concept today of how cross-continuum patient records can improve quality of care, increase clinician productivity and reduce costs."

The IDX Digital Healthcare Community's tour follows a patient through the entire care cycle, including the patient's home, ambulatory, ED and inpatient care, all supported by the Carecast enterprise clinical system. With its combination of scalability, reliability and a guarantee of 99,9 percent uptime, Carecast is uniquely positioned to meet the demands of the 21st century health care organisation. Carecast runs on the HP NonStop platform, known for its extraordinarily reliable, continuously available, and linearly scalable servers.

In the Digital Healthcare Community, IDX clinicians demonstrate how physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other caregivers in different locations and specialities support high-quality, continuous care delivery through:

  • Accessing comprehensive, up-to-date patient information via the lifetime electronic health record;
  • Using computerized physician order entry (CPOE) to avoid the risks inherent in illegible handwriting;
  • Documenting care electronically in environments ranging from the physician office to the ICU, while benefiting from online decision support and access to industry best practices;
  • Better interdisciplinary collaboration through integrated work flow tools;
  • Pro-actively managing the health of patients through health maintenance alerts and the IDX Patient On-line Web-based portal;
  • Viewing enterprise-wide, full-fidelity diagnostic images, including MRIs, CTs and cardiology images;
  • Using wireless medication barcoding to increase safety and the quality of patient care;
  • Providing the patient with an interoperable portable health record that is compliant with the emerging Continuity of Care Record (CCR) industry standard.

The Digital Healthcare Community also demonstrates how Carecast supports a clinically automated revenue cycle, with patient care events automatically creating charges, ultimately supporting more efficient billing processes and a faster revenue cycle.

The interoperability showcases demonstrate electronic exchange of patient information between disparate information technology vendors. IDX will participate in both the Cross Enterprise Showcase and the Ambulatory Care Showcase. Ambulatory IT, the fastest growing component of the health care IT market, is featured at the Ambulatory Care Showcase with a freestanding diagnostic centre, a large clinic, a small practice and the patient's home. The IDX demonstration within the showcase focuses on Carecast's ability to support the emerging CCR standards.

The CCR is being developed and enhanced by a coalition of industry organisations in response to the need to organise and make transportable a set of basic information consisting of the most relevant and timely facts about a patient's condition. The ultimate goal of the CCR is to ensure that health care providers do not have to search for or guess about a patient's vital health care information. Industry organisations collaborating on the CCR standards include including ASTM International, the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), HIMSS and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Carecast supports CCR standards and interoperable communication between different IT systems. The demonstration shows how Carecast generates a portable health record mini-CD in CCR format as determined by current standards with crucial information such as allergies, medication history, vital signs and diagnoses. In addition, the demonstration shows how Carecast assists physicians in producing electronic clinical notes for patient office visits, including documenting all key clinical details of the visit, submitting medical orders to the inpatient setting and creating charge information.

At the Cross-Enterprise Showcase, IDX also demonstrates how the IDX Imagecast system is advancing the delivery of speciality care by enabling the distribution of images and information across the health care enterprise.

Physician and IT executives from the Nebraska Medical Center, OSF Healthcare System and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center join IDX at HIMSS to discuss their respective projects to establish RHIOs and to improve patient safety and reduce costs through an integrated EMR and the use of CPOE.

Jim Veline, CIO, The Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, Nebraska Telehealth Network, and working with the state governor's office, a coalition of health care organisations in Nebraska, is developing a private network and broadband capabilities to share vital electronic patient information, as well as expanding telehealth and distance learning capabilities. The network would support efforts to combat a potential bioterrorism situation or other public health crisis, and also will be valuable to improving overall quality of care across the state. Six of Nebraska's major hospitals are serving as hubs for the network, with smaller clinics benefiting from the reasonable cost structure. In addition to being a leader in this project, the Nebraska Medical Center is distinguished by its innovative use of Carecast electronic health records to span inpatient care and 22 physician clinics, and its pioneering use of portable health records.

Mike Nauman, CIO, OSF Healthcare System, Peoria, Illinois has installed a multi-state EMR. OSF Healthcare System (OSF) is live on Carecast at its six hospitals in two states, and has deployed electronic health records across an organisation that serves a population of 1,5 million and employs more than 10.000 people throughout Illinois and Michigan. The organisation has been completely live on Carecast since October 2004.

OSF clinicians value the immediate, secure access to an organisation-wide, multi-state electronic medical record. OSF is also using Carecast's rules and alerts capabilities to benefit patient safety in its pharmacy areas across multiple facilities. Carecast provides OSF with subsecond response time while performing thousands of simultaneous transactions.

Paul LoRusso, CIO, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina has implemented an Electronic Patient Record. Wake Forest's integrated clinical system allows physicians, nurses and other clinicians to view and enter information into a single database, ensuring they all have access to the same up-to-date, accurate patient data.

The organisation calculates that the system has enabled it to:

  • Prevent more than 65.700 duplicate or conflicting tests per year;
  • Realize $2,7 million annual cost savings from increased productivity and efficiencies
  • Reduce medical records costs by $322.445 annually;
  • Reduce outcomes management administrative costs by $149.000 per year.

In 2002, North Carolina Baptist Hospital, part of Wake Forest, began its project to implement CPOE as part of its IDX integrated clinical system. Today, 70 percent of NCBH's inpatient services are live on CPOE and the organisation plans to complete its implementation in 2005. The organisation recently documented a 60 percent reduction in preventable adverse drug events as a result of the technology. North Carolina Baptist's interdisciplinary approach to CPOE, bringing together physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and IT staff, is a compelling example of the power of integrated technology in clinical settings.

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 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 clinical system.

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 software solutions 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.

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.

The IDX Web strategy includes browser technology, e-commerce and Web-based tools, built using Internet architecture, that facilitates 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. More company news can be found in the VMW February 2005 article IDX Information Technology experts selected for Certification Commission work groups for the Ambulatory EHR Project.

Leslie Versweyveld

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