EHR vendors aim to meet pandemic demands

Healthcare CIOs are going through an unparalleled time, and they are taking care of that unparalleled time by outfitting wellbeing programs with new equipment as properly as repurposing existing equipment, which include people supplied by EHR vendors.

Take Michael Garcia, senior vice president and CIO at Jackson Health and fitness Process in Miami, Fla. He is aiding clinicians use an existing EHR resource from Cerner Corp. to remotely monitor COVID-19 individuals. Jackson Health and fitness Process has been a Cerner customer considering the fact that 2007 and in the beginning applied Cerner Individual Observer for its supposed reason — to monitor various individuals at just one time from a central monitoring station.

Garcia is not on your own in his search for new equipment that help wellbeing programs meet up with the troubles brought on by the pandemic, especially people from established vendor partners. EHR vendors are also striving to meet up with the desire, accelerating launch schedules and offering equipment at decreased or no expense.

Repurposing existing products

Just before COVID-19, Jackson Health and fitness Process experienced Cerner Individual Observer digital camera and speaker programs mounted to the partitions of affected person rooms, enabling experts to monitor individuals at risk for slipping from a centralized monitoring area, according to Garcia. As a end result of the pandemic, the IT workforce moved people units from the affected person rooms onto rolling carts so companies could interact with and monitor COVID-19 individuals remotely.

The distant affected person monitoring resource has assisted the health care procedure avoid unwanted get hold of with COVID-19 individuals, reduce the use of particular protective equipment (PPE) and enhance interaction with individuals, Garcia mentioned.

“In some instances, doctors have manufactured quicker scientific conclusions regardless of whether a affected person demands to be placed on or taken off from a ventilator because of to distant monitoring of, not only the affected person, but also all of the patient’s encompassing biomedical equipment,” Garcia mentioned.

Healthcare CIOs are repurposing existing products from EHR vendors to meet current needs during the pandemic.
Jackson Health and fitness Process is making use of the Cerner Individual Observer resource to remotely monitor COVID-19 individuals.

Dick Flanigan, senior vice president of ITWorks at Cerner, mentioned the EHR vendor has been aiding clientele use existing equipment like the Cerner Individual Observer in new means to deal with troubles brought on by the pandemic.

“Quite a few of our clientele are making use of their existing Cerner options to struggle COVID-19 and help continue to keep employees and individuals risk-free,” Flanigan mentioned. “In numerous cases, Cerner has supplied updates or recommendations on how to greatest use or reconfigure existing equipment for present-day demands.”

EHR mega vendor Epic Programs Corp. has also viewed health care programs repurposing its existing products to regulate the pandemic. The vendor launched an infection handle application referred to as Bugsy in 2014 to monitor and prevent infections in hospitals. Whilst the software package has been all around for years, not every single Epic customer was paying to use it, mentioned Jim Russell, a pharmacist on Epic’s scientific informatics workforce.

With the onset of COVID-19, Epic started offering the resource at no expense to hospitals considering the fact that March, extra than 70 Epic users started making use of the infection handle characteristic, according to Russell. Bugsy and other equipment applied to regulate COVID-19 are getting presented at no expense during the pandemic, whilst businesses that desire to continue to keep making use of the equipment article-COVID-19 will eventually be questioned to pay out the licensing payment, Russell mentioned.

Quite a few of our clientele are making use of their existing Cerner options to struggle COVID-19 and help continue to keep employees and individuals risk-free.
Dick FlaniganSenior vice president of ITWorks, Cerner Corp.

“The software package routinely notifies employees when a affected person has a suspected or verified circumstance of COVID-19 so the treatment workforce can take isolation precautions,” he mentioned. “It also includes get hold of tracing equipment to establish companies and individuals who may have been uncovered to COVID-19 within just the healthcare facility.”

Rolling out new products

Cerner and Epic are not only optimizing existing products for the COVID-19 crisis, they’re also releasing new products to help health care programs struggle the pandemic. They are joined by other EHR vendors such as Meditech and PointClickCare, which are repurposing existing products or releasing new types, normally at no expense or decreased charges.

EHR vendor PointClickCare released an infection handle and prevention resource at the conclude of April, months ahead of timetable, to give health care programs a monitoring resource for COVID instances. PointClickCare gives EHR products to competent nursing and senior living facilities.

Russ DePriest, senior vice president and common supervisor of competent nursing at PointClickCare, mentioned the organization at first prepared to launch the merchandise this drop, but the present-day crisis prompted the vendor to accelerate improvement of the resource and launch the merchandise to the industry about 6 months ahead of timetable.

The resource is not distinct to COVID-19, but the organization improved some of the infection reporting capabilities to be extra valuable during the pandemic. To use the resource, PointClickCare prospects obtain an infection dashboard in the EHR that displays all infections described within just a facility and position of all contaminated individuals.

Vicki Nordby, nurse advisor at Marquis Providers Inc., which operates competent nursing facilities in three states and has been a PointClickCare customer for ten years, mentioned the organization was an early adopter of the resource.

Marquis Providers is making use of the resource exclusively for respiratory infections and COVID-19 instances ideal now, according to Nordby. Just before making use of the resource, employees would either doc respiratory infections making use of pen and paper or in an Excel spreadsheet. They would then electronic mail her the info at the conclude of the working day. PointClickCare’s infection prevention and handle resource automated that course of action, she mentioned.

“In the morning, I go in and I look at every single facility and I am completed extremely swiftly,” she mentioned. “It is ideal in PointClickCare, so it is really not an exterior resource of info. Any resident I have questions about, I can instantly go ideal into that resident’s scientific record.”

EHR vendor Meditech has also launched new attributes for clientele during the pandemic. Janet Desroche, Meditech affiliate vice president, mentioned the vendor has launched some new attributes to all platforms in places such as telehealth, analytics, reporting and risk management. Desroche mentioned the present-day places of best customer desire are online video take a look at operation, affected person risk evaluation and management, and equipment to regulate social distancing, reduce the risk of exposure and preserve PPE.

Going ahead, Desroche mentioned the vendor will focus on scientific surveillance, reporting and analytics, and prioritizing digital treatment.

“We have been in unexpected emergency management mode to make certain that our prospects have the greatest we can present to help regulate the troubles they are going through ideal now,” Desroche mentioned.

Maria J. Danford

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