Time Critical Data Exchange Expected to Improve Patient Safety and Reduce Costs Region-wide
March 24, 2010; Charleston, SC: The Carolina eHealth Alliance (CeHA) performed its first live demonstration of a new online patient information system that will soon connect 11 emergency departments around the Lowcountry.
“CeHA members unanimously feel that this new technology is impressive,” said David Dunlap, President and CEO of Roper St. Francis Healthcare and CeHA’s governance committee chairman. “Our original governance committee organizer, Dr. Raymond Greenberg, President of MUSC, focused our guiding principles around improving the quality of healthcare across the region through an enabling technology that links caregivers, though a common system, with key patient data,” continued Mr. Dunlap. “As a by-product, an improved patient experience combined with reduced care delivery costs are anticipated region-wide. And we are incredibly fortunate to have The Duke Endowment as our partner. They have provided the initial funding for this initiative, thereby having no up-front cost by any of our hospitals.”
The first demonstration took place at Summerville Medical Center’s emergency department (ED). ED physicians and nurse clinicians were able to test the system with live patient information that was being exchanged between MUSC and their own ER. “Trident Health System continues to improve service in our three emergency departments by providing this new technology system to our physicians and patients,” said Todd Gallati, President and CEO of Trident Health System, a participating member of the Alliance. “This is another example of how this new information exchange will enhance the level of care we provide to our patients in the ER.”
2 | Patients and Hospitals Benefit with New Information Exchange
The information systems’ partner for this program is TELUS Health Solutions, which is opening a local office in Charleston next month. Allison Larsen, Vice President with TELUS added, “Our system will provide each of the Alliance’s emergency departments with a means to accurately identify patients and quickly aggregate/consolidate key electronic portions of their medical records from participating institutions. Examples of such information are: emergency department/clinic notes, discharge summaries, lab/pathology and radiology results, care/referral data, Rx and e-prescriptions, problems lists and more. We’re excited to be opening an office in Charleston and truly becoming part of this community.”
“When I arrived as CEO of East Cooper Regional Medical Center in the fall of 2008, I had a vision that the award winning care we provide to our immediate community would ultimately touch the broader region,” said Janie Sinacore-Jaberg, CEO of East Cooper Medical Center, a participating member of the Alliance. “The first phase of this vision is becoming a reality by interconnecting our regional emergency departments. As East Cooper Medical Center doubles the size of our facility in 2010, it’s even more important that we begin connecting with other institutions throughout the region,” concluded Sinacore-Jaberg.
The Carolina eHealth Alliance exists to provide South Carolina citizens with more effective and efficient delivery of healthcare services through networked systems that share patient-specific information. By testing and studying this data exchange across all phase 1 emergency department access points, the participating hospitals will continue to evaluate the benefits of expansion in patient data as well as in health system facilities and geography. Participating care delivery organizations presently include: MUSC’s ED sites at three different hospitals: the main hospital’s ED, the new Ashley River Tower ED and the Pediatric Hospital’s ED. Additional sites include: East Cooper Medical Center, as well as the New East Cooper Medical Center and all three Trident Health System ED sites at Trident Medical Center, Summerville Medical Center and Moncks Corner Medical Center. In addition, all four existing Roper St. Francis Emergency Departments (Roper downtown Charleston, St. Francis West Ashley, Roper Berkeley in Moncks Corner and Roper Northwoods in North Charleston) will participate and be brought on board in phases with plans to include the new Mount Pleasant Hospital ED opening November 1.
About TELUS Health Solutions
TELUS Health Solutions is a leading provider of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the health industry. We develop, implement and manage healthcare applications, ICT processes and industry consulting services that optimize the efficiency of caregivers, drive better decisions, and foster prevention in the health system. For more information about TELUS, please visit telushealth.com. TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.7 billion of annual revenue and 11.6 million customer connections including 6.2 million wireless subscribers, 4.2 million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers.