Near-paperless Hospital of the Future now open in south Florida

Burlington 18 March 2005The nation's newest digital paperless hospital is now open for patient care, showcasing sophisticated technology that will improve care from admission to discharge. What patients won't find at Memorial Hospital Miramar, though, is manila folders holding paper charts or X-ray films. With advanced digital and wireless technology, Memorial Hospital Miramar features a near-paperless environment, with electronic health records, facility-wide electronic patient tracking, wireless barcode medication charting, the use of digital images across the hospital, and many other innovations.


Memorial Hospital Miramar health care providers will consult electronic health records using the IDX Carecast enterprise clinical system from IDX Systems Corporation, on touch-screen computer monitors at each bed. Nurses will use wireless barcode scanners to confirm that the right patient is receiving the right dose of the right medication at the right time. Radiologists and other members of the health care team will view digital X-rays from anywhere within the hospital or remotely from their office or home.

Open to the public as of March 17, Memorial Hospital Miramar is the fifth hospital in Florida's Memorial Healthcare System, and the first in the network to be entirely digital. Memorial's other hospitals use Carecast in their emergency departments, as well as for pharmacy and scheduling. Clinicians across the organisation access Carecast to view their patients' medication history, lab test results and diagnostic imaging results. Because the entire system uses a single patient database, information about a patient's prior treatment within the Memorial Healthcare System will be instantly available the next time the patient is seen at any of Memorial's five hospitals.

"Building a digital hospital from the ground up is a huge milestone in moving health care delivery into the 21st century", stated Mike Raymer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IDX Carecast Operating Unit. "Other facilities have already made great strides in this direction, but Miramar is one of only a few that have gone digital. Clinicians will no longer have to track down paper charts or deal with illegible handwriting; they will have the advantages of complete patient information and decision support at their fingertips."

Having immediate access to a patient's complete health records including lists of a patient's prescriptions and allergies, can help prevent medical errors, improve patient safety, and avoid duplicate tests and other procedures. The system can deliver alerts that warn physicians about drug-drug interactions or suggest best practices for a patient with a specific condition. In 2006, Memorial Hospital Miramar plans to implement the IDX computerized physician order entry (CPOE) solution so that physicians will directly enter prescriptions and orders for lab tests and other procedures directly into the Carecast system. CPOE has been shown to improve the quality of care by preventing potential medication errors and significantly shortening the interval of time between when an order is entered and when medication is administered.

Carecast runs on the highly scalable HP NonStop platform, which delivers subsecond response time regardless of the number of concurrent users logged onto the system. The system also offers unsurpassed reliability and a guarantee of 99,9 percent uptime, a critical feature in a hospital designed from the ground up to operate without paper records.

"By demonstrating advanced, digital health care in action, Memorial Healthcare System gives us a preview of the future of health care IT in the U.S., a future distinguished by widespread use of electronic health records to improve both quality of care and clinician efficiency", added Mike Raymer.

President Bush has announced the goal of every American having an electronic health record within ten years. The Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONCHIT), led by David Brailer, M.D., Ph.D., is spearheading the administration's efforts to increase the prevalence of electronic health records and health care information technology.

ONCHIT's initial efforts are focused on the development of regional health care information organisations (RHIOs), which will link hospitals, ambulatory clinics, physician practices and pharmacies together to enable seamless sharing of a patient's complete medical data.

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. 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.

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 workflow 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. 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 is available in the VMW March 2005 article IDX Carecast delivers high-availability technology to support critical health information needs.

Leslie Versweyveld

[Medical IT News][Calendar][Virtual Medical Worlds Community][News on Advanced IT]