Tuesday, March 22, 2005

University Centered IT Systems

UPMC IT Plans Could Foster Commercial VenturesMarch 22, 2005
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday looked at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's five-year, $500 million information technology strategy, which includes an electronic medical record system and the creation of a single computer system for its 19 hospitals. UPMC officials hope the technology initiatives will improve patient care and facilitate commercial partnerships. For example, a commercial partnership currently in negotiation could include IBM or Hewlett-Packard, the Post-Gazette reports. The proposed deal would have UPMC and its commercial partner invest more than $500 million and then share any revenue produced, said UPMC spokesperson Jane Duffield.UPMC launched its electronic records project in January 2000, and Children's Hospital in October 2002 became the first of two UPMC hospitals to begin using a computerized order entry system. Medication doses for children are based on patients' weight, so the system prompts physicians to enter a child's weight in the system before ordering medication. As a result, height and weight drug errors have declined from 12 in fiscal year 2002 to three in both fiscal years 2003 and 2004, the Post-Gazette reports. Children's distributed 85 wireless carted computers throughout the hospital for physicians and nurses to use at patient bedsides. The system has helped eliminate errors related to handwriting, improved efficiency and increased the speed of medication delivery. UPMC is developing a computerized medical record system, which includes an electronic system for scheduling surgeries, tracking patients in the emergency department and a computerized system for checking test results (Snowbeck, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/22).


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