Glenview, IL (PRWEB) October 6, 2008
Winston-Salem, NC (PRWEB) October 6, 2008 -- Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" for 2008 by U.S. News & World Report, has eliminated over 1.2 million pieces of paper from its emergency department (ED) operations since the deployment of The T SystemEV® EDIS (emergency department information system) in mid-2006. Among the many related benefits of Wake Forest's EDIS, an all-digital computerized system that spans the entire ED patient experience from triage to discharge, has been a significant reduction in ED patient wait times as well as faster billing and a near total elimination of document transcriptions. Overall, the center has realized annual cost savings of between $1.5 and $2 million through its new system.
Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is one of the Southeast's leading teaching hospitals, housing a Level I trauma center, Chest Pain Center, Primary Stroke Center, Clinical Decision Unit and the Brenner Children's Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. The department is at the cutting edge of healthcare technology, having been named one of the nation's "Most Wired" hospitals in a 2007 survey and benchmarking study by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. Committed to providing the best possible care to patients and families, the ED was recognized in 2006 as the "Overall Best Performer" for emergency department flow by the University HealthSystem Consortium.
Wake Forest's quest for a comprehensive EDIS began with a review of its ED operations. "We realized we were being inundated with paper," said James Bryant, Emergency Department Director. "Each patient record was comprised of nine pages, not including discharge papers, charge sheets, consent forms and the like. With an annual ED patient volume of 90,000 people, that's a great deal of paper. Records would be on the shelf for days, awaiting approval signatures from physicians."
The medical center's overflow of paper had its effect in other areas of the hospital as well, Bryant said. "By our estimation we were spending over 1.5 million dollars annually on clerical staff for transcription, scanning, collating and other resource consuming steps. The time it took for a sheet of paper to find its way through the system meant that weeks could go by before billing was completed for a given emergency department visit," he noted.
After deciding to pursue an EDIS and evaluating applications from several vendors, Wake Forest decided on T SystemEV. Said Bryant, "T SystemEV is very intuitive. It's set up the way we practice emergency medicine, being organized by the chief complaint. Also, we can chart at the patient's bedside and spend more time with them, which is important for providing good patient care."
Featuring one of the shortest learning curves in the industry, T System EV spans the entire ED patient cycle, covering physician and nurse charting, tracking, discharge instructions, prescription writing, statistical reporting, ICD9 coding, and order result capture. Furthermore, the application includes a powerful Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) module that allows attending physicians to place orders for lab, radiology, medications, consults and other ancillary services.
Implementation of T SystemEV was a major undertaking, but according to Cynthia Holland, the department's EDIS Coordinator, cooperation between T-System and Wake Forest made the process relatively stress-free. "We received tremendous support from the T-System staff," reported Holland. "Their people customized our application's front end to satisfy the needs of our resident staff. Then when 'go live' day came, T-System had people on site 24 hours a day for a full week. It was a show of force I've never seen before from a vendor."
Bryant stated that, despite being rolled out on 150 devices around the ED and throughout the hospital, T SystemEV has been easy for employees to understand and use. We regularly have new crops of residents and medical students in our ED. It's pretty easy to bring them up to speed," he noted. "After a 90-minute, hands-on training class, they have what they need to be productive. With so many providers who must document, it's great to know the system provides a consistent, automated and secure way to capture and store patient data. Additionally, nurses' notes are now clear, timed and signed."
Since implementing T SystemEV in mid-2006, Bryant says that Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has seen benefits that extend far beyond the dollar savings that have paid for the system many times over. "T SystemEV is constantly updated to include the latest medical rules, such as the federal government's PQRI guidelines and Core Measures," he said. "Physicians are automatically prompted for basic treatment protocols such as aspirin on arrival for AMI patients. Coding is regularly updated as well, which helps with insurance and now facility reimbursement."
Furthermore, Bryant noted that T SystemEV's reporting features allow him to check at any time for up-to-the-minute data on ED performance, such as stroke or heart attack outcomes. "T-System stays on the cutting edge, which allows us to do the same," he said. "The company is committed to the best in emergency medicine."
Founded over a decade ago, T-System, Inc. and T-System Technologies, Ltd. (The T System), combine an uncommon collaboration of clinicians, technologists and service professionals dedicated to serving the current and future clinical information and technology needs of emergency medicine. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, T-System is the leading provider of clinically accepted emergency department information system (EDIS) solutions. Today, more than 2,000 civilian and military EDs in the United States, Puerto Rico, Australia and around the world partner with T-System to make the best patient care a reality for everyone. For more information, please visit http://www.tsystem.com or contact Joe Lastinger at (800) 667- 2482.