Alegent Health Introduces Design Clinicals' Medstracker Software To Enhance Patient Medication Safety

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Five Alegent Health hospitals implement MedsTracker for electronic medication reconciliation. MedsTracker meets the Joint Commission Patient Safety Goal for medication reconciliation and helps satisfy most of the criteria needed to demonstrate meaningful use and secure ARRA incentive payments and avoid penalties.

Alegent Health, the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa, contracted with Design Clinicals, Inc., and has successfully implemented MedsTracker for electronic medication reconciliation. Alegent Health, first in the nation in quality and patient satisfaction according to the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI), has five hospitals in the metro area: Bergan Mercy Medical Center, Lakeside Hospital, Immanuel Medical Center, Mercy Hospital (Council Bluffs, IA) and Midlands Hospital (Papillion, NE). MedsTracker works by capturing a detailed medication history and providing alerts for potential allergy or drug interactions with any change in medication regimen. At every hospital visit, patients receive updated, printed lists of their medications with clear instructions and information. This improves communication and compliance, and saves critical time in emergency situations.

“MedsTracker is a key component of our patient safety strategy,” said Michael Westcott, M.D., chief medical information officer for Alegent Health. “We saw immediate benefit: 100 percent of admissions and discharges were reconciled electronically on day two of go-live.”

Dr. Westcott added, “The software alone is not the solution; it complements what only patients and families can tell us—what medications they currently take, including any herbal supplements or over-the-counter preparations. Our goal is to work closely with patients to ensure we obtain accurate information when they come to us. And now, with each new prescription, our patients receive clear, easy-to-understand printed instructions and information they can take home and refer to as needed. It helps our nurses ensure that patients understand their medications.”

Hospitals around the nation continue to struggle with the issue of medication reconciliation as they move from paper to electronic systems. MedsTracker meets the Joint Commission Patient Safety Goal for medication reconciliation, and also helps satisfy most of the criteria needed to demonstrate meaningful use and secure ARRA incentive payments and avoid penalties.

MedsTracker integrates with existing hospital and clinic systems. The software provides electronically generated safety checks and comprehensive medication lists. It can automatically fax a prescription to a patient’s pharmacy of choice, and eliminates errors due to illegible handwriting. It helps ensure the highest standards of patient medication safety while being user-friendly for physicians and registered nurses.

“With any investment in software, our number one question is always, ‘How will this benefit our patients?’” said Ken Lawonn, senior vice president and chief information officer for Alegent Health. “We want to ensure Alegent Health offers patients the best protection against medication errors, dangerous drug interactions or allergic reactions.”

About Alegent Health
Alegent Health is the largest, not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa with 10 hospitals, more than 100 sites of service, over 1,300 physicians on its medical staff and 9,000 employees. Sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems, Alegent Health provides patients and their families a continuum of care, from women’s and children’s services, primary care, wellness counseling, and senior care to cardiovascular services, orthopaedics, oncology, physical rehabilitation and behavioral health. For more information visit http://www.alegent.com.

About Design Clinicals
Design Clinicals, Inc., is a healthcare information technology company dedicated to providing leading-edge tools to improve the delivery of patient care. Design Clinicals’ premier product, MedsTracker electronic medication reconciliation software, was awarded exclusive endorsement by the American Hospital Association. Founded in 2005 by practicing physicians and hospital IT professionals, Design Clinicals offers innovative, intuitive software solutions that enhance communications, improve workflow, increase patient safety and ensure regulatory compliance. Products are highly adaptive, able to integrate with any hospital information system, with superior clinician adoption rates. For more information, visit http://www.DesignClinicals.com.

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Kyle Baird
Design Clinicals
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