February 2, 2012

Patient summary system attracting more users

Patient summary system attracting more users

Under a patient safety and clinical quality initiative, by next fall nearly all Vanderbilt Medical Group clinicians will be using StarPanel (Vanderbilt’s medical records application) to assemble clinical summaries to be handed to each patient at the conclusion of the visit, and they’ll use a prescription writer called RxStar to issue all outpatient prescriptions.

To date, about 290 providers have been trained on use of the patient summary and RxStar.

In a related upgrade, a new electronic form for patient intake, expanded to include documentation of race and smoking status, went live for all of VMG on Jan. 3.

The clinical summary requires clinicians to log in while with the patient (or immediately afterward), posing a new work step for perhaps most VMG clinicians.

“We’re asking people to change the way they do their work, and we’re seeing great adoption, 100 percent in most of the clinics that we’ve reached so far. Kudos are due these providers,” said Danny Bonn, who leads the Meaningful Use Group, or MUG.

The term meaningful use relates to a federal program providing financial incentives to clinicians and hospitals that adopt clinical IT.

Bruce Beyer, M.D., medical director of the Women’s Health Center, said his patients appreciate receiving the summary of their diagnoses, allergies and medications.

“I think the project is very worthwhile. It requires some adjustment by clinicians, but the changes are now settling nicely into our routine.

The VMG staff who serve this initiative have been a pleasure to work with, attentive and responsive, willing to modify their approach based on our circumstances,” Beyer said.

Implementation is now wrapping up in Cancer, Urology, Neurology, the Center for Women’s Health, the ASAP clinic and Pulmonary.

Implementation has begun in Pediatric Primary Care, Pediatric ENT and Pediatric Hematology. The goal is to complete training for all of Pediatrics by April 1.