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Industry Insight

Impac Software Selects 2009 Cancer Registrar of the Year

Impac Software, part of the Elekta Group, recently presented the 2009 Impac Software Registrar of the Year award to Deanna Derdelinghen, a certified tumor registrar (CTR(R)) at Stamford Hospital’s Bennett Cancer Center in Connecticut.

The company’s Registrar of the Year program honors cancer registrars who make valuable contributions to the success of their registry and extend their contributions to benefit the broader medical facility and community. This year, Impac received 46 nominations for 14 nominees, all of whom demonstrated an impressive level of professionalism and expertise.

Recognized for her efforts to promote growth and excellent patient care, Derdelinghen oversees all aspects of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer accreditation process, management of related cancer program activities, and Stamford’s tumor registry. She also helps with grants and proposals for oncology-related continuing education programs, as well as supports physicians with cancer staging compliance and evidence-based treatment planning tools used to track and measure oncology patient care.

Cancer registry and data specialist Linda Boire, LPN, CTR, of CVPH Oncology Data Center in Plattsburgh, N.Y., received an honorable mention.

— Source: Elekta


Patient Records at Rush University Medical Center Now Fully Electronic

Medical records at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center are now fully electronic, allowing real-time communication and coordination of patient care across departments and within the entire healthcare team.

The two-year, multiphased transition from paper documents to full clinical documentation using the new EHR system was completed in March. Fewer than 2% of hospitals nationwide have adopted a comprehensive EHR system such as Rush’s that covers all clinical units.

“The new system allows physicians, nurses, and other members of the healthcare team to review and document every aspect of patient care online—from medical histories, clinical notes, and physician orders to diagnostic tests and prescriptions,” says Julio Silva, MD, the hospital’s chief medical information officer.

Rush’s EHR management system is a key component of the medical center’s 10-year Transformation project, begun in 2006, which includes new facilities, renovations, and technologies to improve clinical outcomes and the entire patient and family experience.

“We began the transition to electronic health records while simultaneously planning our new facilities so that the benefits of the system could be incorporated into the buildings’ design and layout,” says Larry Goodman, MD, Rush’s president and CEO. “With medical charts online, our building design was able to move away from large central nurses’ stations to decentralized work areas and mobile computer platforms at the point of care, dramatically changing how caregivers work with each other and with patients.”

The new EHR system also supports Rush’s efforts to further improve patient outcomes. The system’s clinical decision support features pop-up screens with alerts, reminders, and checks for healthcare providers when they log in to a patient record. For example, medication alerts signal if a patient is allergic to a drug that has been newly prescribed based on the patient’s medical history. Medication alerts are also triggered when interactions between drugs could be harmful. Calculations are automatically provided for drugs whose dosage is weight dependent. Other electronic reminders prompt caregivers about recommended evidence-based clinical guidelines, such as the diagnostic tests and medications to consider for patients with congestive heart failure based on a nationwide knowledge base of experience.

By dispensing with paper records, the electronic system improves safety (eg, by minimizing errors that could occur in transcribing physicians’ orders) and makes the delivery of care more efficient. Patient records are all located in one electronic document, rather than lying in archives in different departments. Every record, note, order, and assessment can be accessed online through a secure login.

“The records are available in real time and from anywhere both within the hospital and outside, through a secure-access online system,” Silva says. “Even when physicians are not at the hospital, they can quickly access a patient’s records and take any necessary action, such as prescribing a medication or ordering a test.”

Rush’s EMR system was designed by Epic Systems Corporation.

— Source: Rush University Medical Center


Partnership Announced on Hospital Revenue Recovery Programs

HANYS Solutions, a national company affiliated with the Healthcare Association of New York State, and Cain & Associates have formed an alliance that will enable hospitals across New York to recover lost Medicaid revenue and identify opportunities to improve their bottom lines.

Cain & Associates’ Medicaid Outlier Revenue Enhancement product identifies Medicaid inpatient accounts that qualify for Medicaid outlier reimbursement, thus recouping lost Medicaid revenue and ensuring that hospitals receive the level of payment that they are entitled to for Medicaid-eligible patients.

— Sources: HANYS Solutions; Cain & Associates