EHR vendors aim to meet pandemic demands

Jeffrey Cuebas

Health care CIOs are going through an unprecedented time, and they are managing that unprecedented time by outfitting wellbeing programs with new instruments as perfectly as repurposing present instruments, which includes people supplied by EHR sellers.

Take Michael Garcia, senior vice president and CIO at Jackson Overall health Process in Miami, Fla. He is supporting clinicians use an present EHR instrument from Cerner Corp. to remotely keep an eye on COVID-19 sufferers. Jackson Overall health Process has been a Cerner purchaser because 2007 and in the beginning made use of Cerner Patient Observer for its intended function — to keep an eye on various sufferers at one time from a central monitoring station.

Garcia is not by itself in his lookup for new instruments that support wellbeing programs meet up with the issues brought on by the pandemic, especially people from recognized vendor associates. EHR sellers are also striving to meet up with the desire, accelerating launch schedules and giving instruments at lessened or no value.

Repurposing present merchandise

Right before COVID-19, Jackson Overall health Process experienced Cerner Patient Observer camera and speaker programs mounted to the walls of patient rooms, enabling specialists to keep an eye on sufferers at hazard for falling from a centralized monitoring place, in accordance to Garcia. As a result of the pandemic, the IT group moved people units from the patient rooms on to rolling carts so suppliers could interact with and keep an eye on COVID-19 sufferers remotely.

The distant patient monitoring instrument has served the healthcare program prevent pointless contact with COVID-19 sufferers, minimize the use of own protective products (PPE) and raise conversation with sufferers, Garcia said.

“In some instances, doctors have designed more quickly medical selections no matter whether a patient demands to be put on or taken off from a ventilator thanks to distant monitoring of, not only the patient, but also all of the patient’s encompassing biomedical products,” Garcia said.

Jackson Overall health Process is employing the Cerner Patient Observer instrument to remotely keep an eye on COVID-19 sufferers.

Dick Flanigan, senior vice president of ITWorks at Cerner, said the EHR vendor has been supporting shoppers use present instruments like the Cerner Patient Observer in new means to tackle issues brought on by the pandemic.

“Quite a few of our shoppers are employing their present Cerner remedies to battle COVID-19 and support retain personnel and sufferers secure,” Flanigan said. “In numerous occasions, Cerner has supplied updates or tips on how to best use or reconfigure present instruments for recent demands.”

EHR mega vendor Epic Methods Corp. has also seen healthcare programs repurposing its present merchandise to deal with the pandemic. The vendor launched an infection management application named Bugsy in 2014 to keep an eye on and stop bacterial infections in hospitals. Though the program has been all-around for decades, not every Epic purchaser was paying out to use it, said Jim Russell, a pharmacist on Epic’s medical informatics group.

With the onset of COVID-19, Epic began giving the instrument at no value to hospitals because March, much more than 70 Epic consumers began employing the infection management characteristic, in accordance to Russell. Bugsy and other instruments made use of to deal with COVID-19 are becoming presented at no value all through the pandemic, while organizations that would like to retain employing the instruments article-COVID-19 will ultimately be requested to shell out the licensing price, Russell said.

Quite a few of our shoppers are employing their present Cerner remedies to battle COVID-19 and support retain personnel and sufferers secure.
Dick FlaniganSenior vice president of ITWorks, Cerner Corp.

“The program instantly notifies personnel when a patient has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 so the treatment group can acquire isolation safety measures,” he said. “It also consists of contact tracing instruments to determine suppliers and sufferers who may possibly have been exposed to COVID-19 inside the medical center.”

Rolling out new merchandise

Cerner and Epic are not only optimizing present merchandise for the COVID-19 crisis, they’re also releasing new merchandise to support healthcare programs battle the pandemic. They are joined by other EHR sellers this sort of as Meditech and PointClickCare, which are repurposing present merchandise or releasing new types, generally at no value or lessened prices.

EHR vendor PointClickCare launched an infection management and avoidance instrument at the end of April, months forward of program, to give healthcare programs a monitoring instrument for COVID instances. PointClickCare delivers EHR merchandise to expert nursing and senior living facilities.

Russ DePriest, senior vice president and basic manager of expert nursing at PointClickCare, said the company initially prepared to launch the products this drop, but the recent crisis prompted the vendor to speed up improvement of the instrument and launch the products to the sector around six months forward of program.

The instrument is not specific to COVID-19, but the company increased some of the infection reporting capabilities to be much more practical all through the pandemic. To use the instrument, PointClickCare consumers entry an infection dashboard in the EHR that shows all bacterial infections described inside a facility and position of all infected sufferers.

Vicki Nordby, nurse specialist at Marquis Providers Inc., which operates expert nursing facilities in 3 states and has been a PointClickCare purchaser for 10 decades, said the company was an early adopter of the instrument.

Marquis Providers is employing the instrument completely for respiratory bacterial infections and COVID-19 instances proper now, in accordance to Nordby. Right before employing the instrument, personnel would both doc respiratory bacterial infections employing pen and paper or in an Excel spreadsheet. They would then email her the info at the end of the day. PointClickCare’s infection avoidance and management instrument automatic that procedure, she said.

“In the morning, I go in and I seem at every facility and I am done quite quickly,” she said. “It can be proper in PointClickCare, so it truly is not an external source of info. Any resident I have queries about, I can straight away go proper into that resident’s medical record.”

EHR vendor Meditech has also launched new options for shoppers all through the pandemic. Janet Desroche, Meditech affiliate vice president, said the vendor has launched some new options to all platforms in areas this sort of as telehealth, analytics, reporting and hazard management. Desroche said the recent areas of maximum purchaser desire are online video take a look at performance, patient hazard evaluation and management, and instruments to deal with social distancing, minimize the hazard of exposure and preserve PPE.

Transferring forward, Desroche said the vendor will concentration on medical surveillance, reporting and analytics, and prioritizing virtual treatment.

“We have been in unexpected emergency management manner to ensure that our consumers have the best we can provide to support deal with the issues they are going through proper now,” Desroche said.

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