Running Analytical Reports For Better Clinical Decisions

David Roach, VP- IT & CIO, Kadlec Health Systems
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David Roach, VP- IT & CIO, Kadlec Health Systems

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

We have systems in our hospitals and physician clinics that enable us to capture discreet data about the Problems, Allergies, Medications and many other variables useful to the treatment of our patients. What we do not have is an easy and efficient mechanism for being aware of where the patient’s data is stored, what data types are available and how to quickly present the current and past medical record information to the provider that has the patient sitting in front of him. We need data awareness and a transparent methodology for handling the complex exchange of patient information.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

Due to a Congressional mandate, we lack the single patient identifier in the United States. So we do our best using “fuzzy logic” to compare patient information that we can gleam from other data sources to attempt to provide our care givers sufficient clinical data so that they can efficiently and safely start treatment in an Emergency Room setting without exposing the patient to unnecessary or redundant tests. This pain point presents itself over and over on a daily basis, and is becoming a much greater problem as we work to implement the Health Information Exchange systems (HIE’s) and other data transfer and forwarding objectives required to implement by the ARRA Stimulus Bill.

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen

It is only recently that many hospitals began capturing discreet data in sufficient amounts for a large enough sample that we could begin running analytical reports and analysis that help us make better and more informed clinical decisions. We provide alerts to physicians “before” the push the button to place an electronic order for a medication, that it may be too large of a dose given the discreet data about the patient that has been entered by the nursing staff.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

Our clinicians are using PC’s, laptops and even some tablets at an increasing amount to perform the data entry and data reviews necessary to thoroughly utilize the many features and functionality provided by our modern Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. Virtual desktop software from VMware, Citrix or Microsoft all gets traction as we pilot different ways to integrate the virtual desktop into our clinical environments. If we can couple this desktop upgrade with an appropriate single sign-on solution to simplify and expedite the remembering and typing the cryptic passwords – we may actually receive a couple of Thank You’s from the doctors and nurses.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

We gradually assumed more and more responsibility for the growth of the healthcare business and the productivity of staff in nearly every department, not just Accounting and HR. We oversee the implementation of complicated applications that impact the direct care provided to our patients and extract data from a variety of sources to create reports and dashboards and scorecards used to analyze our profitability, measure our physicians workload and even provide reasonable data modeling and profiling. We enjoy our new role, but it comes at the price of a new set of knowledge and understanding, that goes far beyond the technical magazines and trade shows and vendor demonstrations.

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