New enhancements on tap for the City of Hope Information System (CIS) promise to bring greater efficiency to the everyday tasks of physicians, nurses and other care team members.
Upgrades to be implemented in the summer will improve several key areas of patient care: prescriptions, the taking of patient vital signs, and tracking of medications, allergies and patient problems.
New software will allow physicians to submit prescriptions directly to pharmacies from the point of care, eliminating delay and costs associated with writing prescriptions manually.
|From left, Lucille Leong, Jaclyn Kim, Mary Beth Nelson and Nick Lemon test upgraded prescription software. (Photo by Houri Yeghiayan)|
“Prescription Writer will enable us to be more efficient in how we care for patients,” said Alexandra M. Levine, M.D., M.A.C.P., chief medical officer. “There are alerts for drug-drug, drug-allergy and other interactions in real time. The best part is the convenience to patients; their medication will be ready at the pharmacy when they arrive, and refills can be handled much more efficiently.”
A new component called Vital Signs will allow nurses to record and view patients’ vital signs, patient height, weight and pain scale and fatigue scores in patients’ medical records. Care team members no longer will need to document these data manually, so they will be able to devote more time to patient care.
“Through Vital Signs, a physician has immediate access to accurate vital signs and can spot clinically significant problems more quickly,” Levine said. “Also, chemotherapy orders can be written directly from CIS data without having to go to the paper chart to find patient height and weight. The cumulative effect is enhanced care for our patients and more efficient use of our time.”
The Patient Summary List
Replacing the current Medication Allergies and Problems System, the Patient Summary List will enable caregivers to capture patient home medications, allergies and problems electronically. Members of the care team will be able to review multiple aspects of a patient’s medical history within CIS.
“Among numerous functionalities of the Patient Summary List is the ability to compare medication orders to a home medication list at key points in the care process. It also helps minimize drug-disease contraindications and unintended reactions through a comprehensive patient allergy list recorded and managed through Sunrise Acute Care,” Levine said.
Organizers expect user training sessions for the upgrades to begin in June.
Naveen Raja, D.O., chief medical information officer, encourages CIS users to become involved in improvements by attending subject matter expert council meetings and design sessions as well as by participating in the Accelerating Care Excellence program’s rapid improvement events.
“There are many ways to participate in the process. We want to hear feedback and collect ideas to ensure our transition to these new features is a smooth and effective one,” he said.
Said Virginia Opipare, executive vice president and chief operating officer: “Technology has a profound ability to enhance care and a patient’s experience. We are pleased to offer these new CIS enhancements to support the care team and to make patient care both safer and more effective.”