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Electronic health records

Vancouver Coastal Health goes live on IDX Carecast

BURLINGTON, Vermont – Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) announced it has completed its upgrade to the IDX Carecast enterprise clinical system from IDX Systems Corp. at four of its facilities, marking the first activation of Carecast in Canada.

VCH is one of the largest academic health authorities in Canada and a nine-year IDX customer. News of the activation follows the announcement of another international “first” for Carecast: a first activation in the United Kingdom at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in June.

VCH will use Carecast’s integrated clinical and administrative functionality to improve patient safety, streamline care delivery, and support its ongoing expansion of lifetime electronic medical records.

The Carecast upgrade is the latest milestone in IDX’s track record of adapting its clinical and administrative IT systems for the Canadian healthcare system.

“For nearly a decade, we’ve counted on IDX as a trusted partner in our commitment to improving the health of the communities we serve, and enhancing the quality and standardization of care delivery across facilities,” said Greg Feltmate, Chief Information Officer. “IDX has consistently shown its commitment to meeting the needs of Canadian clinicians – and our patients.”

VCH previously used Carecast’s predecessor, IDX LastWord, and has moved to Carecast to support its long-term electronic health record strategy, which will include computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and electronic clinical documentation. In addition, VCH uses the IDX(R) Imagecast solution to manage radiology and imaging workflow at three of its facilities.

Clinicians at four VCH facilities – the 358-bed University of British Columbia Hospital, the 820-bed Vancouver General Hospital, the George Pearson Centre and G.F. Rehabilitation Centre – are now using Carecast to support medication safety with pharmacy decision-support tools.

They can also share patient information such as laboratory results with other members of the care team and across facilities.

The Carecast go-live also includes patient registration capabilities for the facilities, with an additional registration go-live planned for the 175-bed Richmond Hospital in 2006.

“VCH clinicians are dedicated to providing our patients with the absolute highest quality healthcare,” said Dr. David Ostrow, Vice President Medical and Clinical Innovation for VCH and Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. “This activation is a significant step forward in reaching our goals for patient safety, and establishes a strong foundation for our upcoming computerized physician order entry and online clinical documentation initiatives – critical tools for physicians, nurses and every member of the care team.”

During 2006-2007, VCH plans to roll out computerized physician order entry, which will make the health authority one of the first Canadian providers to adopt the integrated technology. CPOE allows physicians to enter orders for medications, laboratory tests and other procedures electronically, reducing the risks inherent in illegible handwriting and providing clinicians with alerts about possible drug interactions, patient allergies, and overall best courses of treatment.

Carecast’s clinical documentation capabilities will integrate medication charting, nursing assessments and vital signs online, and will enable VCH clinicians to thoroughly document each patient’s condition, track the progress of their health and plan treatment. Electronic clinical documentation also has been shown to reduce the amount of time nurses spend on administrative functions, enabling them to reallocate time to patient care instead of paperwork.

In addition to Carecast clinical functionality, VCH is in the process of rolling out Carecast Patient Accounting software at five of its facilities. By integrating clinical, administrative and financial functions, Carecast will allow VCH to automatically generate charges from clinical activities, capture comprehensive billing information, enhance analysis and reporting and minimize lost data – helping staff and clinicians to save time.

“VCH is a superb example of a provider that leverages integrated technology to improve quality, productivity and efficiency across the spectrum,” said Mike Raymer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Carecast Operating Unit. “We are enthusiastic about continuing to support VCH’s initiatives, and committed to meeting the needs of Canadian providers – and patients.”

About Vancouver Coastal Health
VCH is responsible for the delivery of about $1.9 billion in public, acute, and residential health care services to more than one million residents in the cities of Vancouver, Richmond, North Vancouver and West Vancouver, 13 other municipalities and regional districts and 15 First Nation communities. It is one of five regional authorities (plus one provincial health authority) serving 16 health service delivery areas throughout British Columbia.

About IDX Systems Corporation
IDX Systems Corporation provides information technology solutions that currently serve approximately 150,000 physicians and are installed at over 3,400 customer sites, including more than 850 group practices and approximately 370 integrated delivery networks servicing more than 500 hospitals. Web site: