By Houri Yeghiayan and Shawn Le
The City of Hope Information System, or CIS, is progressing quickly, and staff members have advanced the project on many fronts, according to interim results presented at a March 24 public forum.
More than 200 City of Hope staff attended the forum to learn about the first phase of ongoing CIS projects from colleagues on various user advisory teams that are guiding the design and implantation of CIS. This integrated information system will manage City of Hope’s various administrative, financial and clinical data.
Virginia Opipare, executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Alexandra Levine, M.D., chief medical officer, opened the forum by thanking CIS project participants. They noted that the institution’s various information system improvements have transitioned seamlessly into the new CIS.
Susan DiBiasi, director of patient business services, discussed a new integrated billing system implemented through CIS. The system will enable City of Hope to more efficiently collect bills and increase revenue and cash flow. The institution’s current daily revenue ranges from $3.7 million to $4.2 million.
Speakers also described progress on systems that will improve care. Kathleen Dorsey, R.N., B.S.N., talked about the Enterprise Scheduling System, a tool for scheduling patient appointments that will replace the EPIC Scheduling System. The new system, which will be ready for use later this year, will streamline workflow for schedulers and integrate billing to accurately reflect patient care. The improvements aim to improve patients’ experiences at City of Hope.
Donald David, M.D., chief of gastroenterology, shared CIS changes particularly relevant to medical staff. He discussed a program that medical staff can use to review patients’ results online. Staff will be able to customize reports to provide data on patients in the hospital or who have appointments that day, as well as reports that highlight specific vital data that need to be monitored for each patient. The information will be available to the physician instantly and electronically.
The information system also is going “green.” William Goicochea, director of health information management services, outlined the institution’s transition from paper medical records to completely electronic medical records. During CIS implementation, medical staff will use a hybrid medical record that combines both written records and new electronic records. Over time, the hybrid record will contain less paper as paper documents are scanned and become part of the electronic medical record.
Joan Hoppe, information management architect in the CIS project, told attendees about a new data warehouse, which will store information from patient surveys, electronic medical records and tissue banking. The integrated information will enable scientists to assess trends, offering a powerful research tool.
Attendees had an opportunity to ask questions of project team members. Opipare and Levine also noted that the CIS team will survey certain City of Hope staff members to assess the progress and communication about CIS development, and survey results will later be disclosed to employees.