There have been several technological innovations sweeping through medical facilities. Along with electronic medical records (EMRs), e-prescribing software has become widespread. It can increase efficiency in distributing medication to patients and ensure that the proper drugs are given, with no adverse reactions.
As organizations are implementing new systems, partnering with a firm that specializes in healthcare IT consulting will ensure that all employees are properly trained and the crossover period runs as smoothly as possible.
One California hospital has taken its e-prescription module one step further by making it open source, which allows any private organization free access if they operate on the same electronic health record (EHR) system.
Oroville Hospital released a module that was created for the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA). According to a company press release, eRx VistA provides all the capabilities of e-prescribing as required by stage two of meaningful use requirements.
Dr. Narinder Singh, Oroville's chief medical informatics officer, said in the release that through the system, his hospital has been able to create a mini-health information exchange (HIE). The VistA record is kept current at the same time that all the record keeping systems accessed through Newcrop - a service provider that interfaces medical data services. They are also updated with the new patient information contained in Oroville's VistA.
Dr. Singh explained that this new system will have a significant impact on patient safety.
"Use of the e-prescribing service increases patient safety because of the protection from drug-to-drug interaction, adverse drug reactions and potential allergy reactions," Dr. Singh said in the press release. "It also checks duplicate drug class interaction."
Medical facilities that are looking to implement similar systems into their daily operations would be wise to use a hospital consultant to make the transition easy for employees and patients. Additionally, it's crucial for organizations to keep themselves HIPAA compliant, even as patient data is being transferred through new systems.