Tuesday, March 27, 2012

At Least Some Small Proof There Is E-Health Beyond the PCEHR! Good News Indeed.

The following article appeared today.

E-medical records help streamline Sydney's new cancer centre

LOCAL oncology software developer Charmhealth will supply a $5 million e-medical record system for the $230m Lifehouse cancer treatment and research facility under construction in Sydney.
Cancer patients are typically treated by a diverse team of medical specialists, and the oncology-based e-medical record (EMR) system will support secure sharing of patient information across the facility.
Chief executive Tim Dugan said Lifehouse had signed a multi-year contract with Charmhealth after an implementation study showed its solution would deliver significant clinical and business benefits.
"The fully integrated ICT system will be one of the cornerstones supporting the Lifehouse vision," Mr Dugan said.
"The expected efficiencies will enhance the patient experience, making it safer and simpler."
Charmhealth's unified EMR suite will streamline patient appointment bookings, provide advanced clinical decision support, create treatment orders and handle medication management, including the procurement of medicines.
Lifehouse recently signed up TechnologyOne to provide OneHealth -- its pre-configured suite of financial, asset management, planning and customer relationship modules -- as the facility's core corporate system.
Lots more here:
Usefully I also had an e-mail today from Alicia Cook who is the Clinical Systems Project Manager for the clinical aspects of the project. She sent me a release and some other material.
Here is a release on the planned system:

Charmhealth preferred vendor for Lifehouse Oncology Information System

Charmhealth - Australia's leading developer of oncology information technology solutions, today announced it has been named as preferred vendor to provide to deliver the Lifehouse Oncology Information System - a comprehensive oncology electronic medical record (EMR) solution to The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia.

Comprehensive EMR

The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA (Lifehouse) is due to open mid 2013 and will be a world-class cancer treatment and research facility providing integrated care and support services to public and private patients.
Lifehouse have now finalised contract negotiations with charmhealth for a multiyear contract to supply a comprehensive EMR solution after the preliminary implementation planning study completed in December 2011 identified significant clinical and business benefits that will be delivered by the charmhealth solution.
The expected efficiencies have direct flow-on effects that will enhance the patient experience - making it safer and simpler.
Charmhealth will provide a comprehensive, unified EMR that supports the accurate and efficient creation of treatment orders; facilitates and streamlines patient bookings for treatment; supports the manufacture, purchase, prescribing and administration of medicines and provides advanced clinical decision support, an intuitive user interface and effective tools to enhance the collection and sharing of information across the continuum of care.
Patients and their families can expect:
·         Enhanced safety in relation to medication prescribing and administration with a closed-loop electronic medication management system
·         Reduced waiting times due to efficiencies in scheduling
·         Improved communication between care providers through access to a unified patient record
·         Increased involvement in care via a patient portal giving access to the nominated care coordinator and information important for patient wellbeing
·         Expanded geographical reach of services due to the use of appropriate technology
·         A seamless experience throughout the entire patient journey from diagnosis to survivorship

Tim Dugan, Lifehouse Chief Executive Officer, said “Our patients are the focal point of our care philosophy and the fully-integrated ICT system will be one of the cornerstones supporting the Lifehouse vision.  As a centre for excellence, it is essential for us to select a solution that delivers a standards driven platform that aligns with Australia’s contemporary E-Health Strategy.”
Anne-Marie Hadley, Chief Information Officer of Lifehouse, said “The charmhealth solution has been designed on best-practice principles both in software architecture and health informatics. It offers a seamless experience for patients, families and staff across the entire patient journey and the unified patient record will support effective communication for safer patient care.”
"We are putting a large effort into the change management aspect of the project and expect this focus will enable new users to have a seamless transition when the system goes live," she added.
Janine Garrett, CEO of charmhealth, said: “The charmhealth team is committed to a long term partnership with Lifehouse that will deliver improved service and quality outcomes for the integrated cancer centre and its patients. 
Our solution incorporates the latest Microsoft technologies and will complement the state-of-the-art facility and services by offering the most advanced functionality of any oncology EMR solution on the Australian market today.” 
----- End Release
For those interested in the technology base I was given this description:
"The Lifehouse CHI EMR/EMM solution leverages and builds on charmhealth’s existing CHARM-ONCOLOGY solution platform, introducing a web based interface layer built using Microsoft .NET technologies and Silverlight. The emphasis is on providing a seamless user experience across all layers, while ensuring ease of access is balanced with security at all levels. The solution is scalable and growth can be accommodated as non-traditional care models, like telehealth and video consultations, are introduced.  Moving forward the CHI solution will form the technology platform for all charmhealth clinical applications. It uses the .NET Framework 4.0 making full use of the new user experience technologies of Silverlight 4.0 and ASP.NET 4.0.  CHI takes full advantage of features offered in SQL Server 2008.  The solution design and build has taken a standards based approach and incorporates many features of the Microsoft Common User Interface, as designed with the NHS in the UK."
She also kindly provided me with a link to a (high-level) video on what was being planned.
Here is the link:
For those that do not know the company their site provides a lot of useful information. See here:
What to say other than to encourage Lifehouse to take a path less travelled with a system tailored specifically to meet the needs of their type of care delivery.
The only risk I see is in the development of some core modules such as PAS which are not presently in the suite against a fairly tight timeline. I am sure they have the problem covered - but such systems are not quite as simple as they may appear sometimes.
To offset that risk there does seem to be a pretty good development and implementation track record.
It is, however, really good to see that delivery of useful speciality e-Health has not been totally drowned out by all the fuss around the PCEHR!
Great to have what seems to be a very good news story to write about!


Paul Fitzgerald said...

and a local Qld company! they beat Cerner and Global Health, I understand. Nice one!

Anonymous said...

May they stay 'charmed' and well removed from the PCEHR.

Anonymous said...

Good advertorial promotion
I'm getting a bit over the antiPCEHR diehards.....let's get a bit more positive instead of the school girl attitude of negativity and snide remarks.

Anonymous said...

At our site CHARM is "being implemented" for about four years now. Still not clinical and no light at the end of the tunnel as yet... Good luck, LightHouse.

Anonymous said...

Great to see the hard working, domain savvy local companies still delivering in the real e-health world. Congratulations to Charm Health and Lighthouse.

At $5million it will cost less than one year of the interest bill for the $150 million wasted on the generic multinational spruikers portal. Think about it!