Clinical Information Systems
“The pharmacy goals in this project were clearly de- of this project was the positive impact on pharmacy–
fi ned from the outset: update and modernize equipment, anesthesia relations, according to Gerwitz.
improve charge capture, enhance medication availability “The implementation of the automated-medication
and security, and provide a higher level of customer system improved operating room effi ciency for anesthe-
service to anesthesiology,” Gerwitz says. siology and pharmaceutical services,” he concludes. “Ac-
Superior billing documentation allowed for increased curate tracking of medications for federal reimbursement
purchasing under the 340B program. Gerwitz understood programs and patient safety was enhanced through the
the importance of frequent and open communication secure storage of anesthesia medications at the point of
throughout the implementation phase in achieving the care. We also improved the charge capture in the OR,
goals at ECMC. Additionally, an unforeseen outcome leading to an increase in hospital revenue.” HMT
Medical group goes paperless
Mike Soler, IT systems and support manager connect to a remote server where the bulk of the
for Florida’s Intercoastal Medical Group (IMG), processing takes place. There is no hard drive on the
says his organization has already transitioned to unit, allowing for more secure storage on the server.
paperless operations. His group serves the residents Keystrokes, mouse movements and screen images
of Florida’s Sarasota and Manatee counties with six are the only items sent between the client and server,
locations specializing in everything from neurology to making the device more secure.
orthopedics, family practice to internal medicine, and IMG’s shift to paperless records has taken place
gynecology to cardiology. The group also operates in stages, starting with Citrix gateway access for
a weekend clinic at its Hyde Park, Fla., location for patient medication and allergy history and moving
patients unable to wait for acute, non-emergency to lab test orders and results. Soon, the practice will
medical care from their regular physicians. include doctors’ notes in the system. Once completed,
IMG handles 85,000 lab tests, studies 80,000 data should be available to all relevant medical
images and logs more than 255,000 patient visits in a professionals, with little chance of gaps in information
given year. The clinics needed a system robust enough as the patient visits bounce back and forth between
to reduce errors and ensure excellent care. primary-care physicians and specialists. The next
Before implementing its current electronic health phase of the transition will include biometric security
records (EHR) system, IMG’s 65 physicians and so doctors and nurses will not be required to log in
additional medical personnel had to manually enter and out of the system multiple times a day.
every lab test, exam result and set of visit notes, Uploading anything – particularly information
making data susceptible to human error and incorrect
as sensitive as personal health records – to an
record keeping. electronic forum raises concerns about security and
“All the transactions we track create a lot of room for privacy, admits Soler. With its HP thin clients, IMG is
human error,” says IMG Chief Administrative Offi cer prepared to address any of these security concerns.
Geoffrey Simon. “HP thin clients, packaged with Altiris
Unlike a traditional desktop or notebook computer,
and EHR software, advance our ability to detect and no applications or data are stored locally on the thin
address patient problems in a timely fashion.” client. All the data is uploaded to a remote server – in
Altiris is used for managing both the thin clients and this case, 10 Citrix Access Gateway servers .
the HP Compaq dc8500 desktop PCs being used for “With thin clients, we’re able to log in remotely with
more general tasks in the doctors’ offi ces. no drive time or expense,” says Soler. “It’s simple to
IMG executives considered a variety of solutions roll out thin clients. Imaging them takes about 10
and decided that thin clients met the signifi cant minutes or less, compared to several hours to load
cost requirements, IT management and security applications on a PC. Upgrades are fast and easy.
advantages they were seeking.
Rolling out upgrades to 300-plus traditional desktops
Currently, IMG is using and notebooks would take days, compared to a few
2500 Tamiami Tr N
For more information on
200 HP Compaq 5730t hours for thin clients.”
Nokomis, FL 34275
thin clients in exam rooms A remote server also cushions the organization’s
and check-in stations, in bottom line, since all configurations, set-up
addition to HP t5540 thin clients at nurses’ stations requirements, updates, virus scans and patches are
and front offi ces within the practice. conducted on the server rather than on site at the
In a thin-client environment, solid-state devices medical facilities’ individual locations.
34 February 2010 HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY www.healthmgttech.com
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