The role of Medi-Span Clinical in achieving advanced EMR/EHR capabilities
In early December 2019, after another three-day intensive evaluation, CMUH became the second medical center in Taiwan and the first in central Taiwan to achieve Stage 7 of HIMSS EMRAM certification. This is the highest level of accreditation HIMSS offers, and it certifies that CMUH has achieved maturity in information security, closed-loop management of medical operations, smart management, and clinical decision-making system, which can safeguard patient safety.
“After passing HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6, the assessment report identified areas that needed to be improved, which were mainly system-related issues,” said Dr Pai. “By ‘system-related issues,’ they are generally referring to establishment and optimization of digital information-based systems. But HIMSS’ focus is actually on how the hospital can improve the flow of information and cut staff workload to reduce human error, improve the quality of care and patient safety.”
To address these issues, after referencing proposals from different vendors, CMUH decided to adopt Medi-Span Clinical. Medi-Span Clinical is data-rich, fully functional, and meets HIMSS certification requirements as well as those of the hospital for system optimization.
Considerations for adopting Medi-Span Clinical
Initially, there was interest in having the hospital build its own information system.
“At the beginning, everything was relatively simple: Medical units will explain their requirements to the IT team, who will build the corresponding system,” Dr. Pai recalled. “But as the system became more complex, functionalities began to overlap. Subsequent requirements were sometimes not met, so as not to conflict with existing functionalities. Coupled with the shortage of IT staff and busy clinician schedules, issues began to occur with in-house development.”
CMUH had planned construction of a thorough drug screening system, complete with alerting mechanisms that included drug interaction, drug allergy, drug-food interaction, dosing range, prescription duplication, cumulative dose, and other contraindications. However, it was hard to manage with existing staffing resources. After considering many different solutions, the final decision was made to introduce Medi-Span Clinical from Wolters Kluwer.
“After passing HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6, we realized the need to look externally, and found Medi-Span Clinical through the pharmacy department. We spent a lot of time evaluating it, and another year to fully integrate it with our existing system,” Dr. Pai said.
“Medi-Span Clinical is the best solution to meet the original plan framework,” Dr. Pai pointed out. “Including the interactions between drug-to-drug, allergies or food, Medi-Span Clinical’s global database is very exhaustive. There is a dedicated editorial team responsible for data collection, organization, and review, as well as system updates. These are features that local hospitals, with relatively limited IT staff and busy pharmacists, cannot match.”
Implementing Medi-Span Clinical enabled CMUH to advance its accreditations. “After achieving HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7, we continuously worked with the Wolters Kluwer team to enhance and optimise the system,” Dr. Pai said. “Firstly, we integrated the original hospital database with that of Medi-Span Clinical, to compare the hospital’s existing domestic drug information with Medi-Span Clinical’s database. This allows us to obtain more complete information and further reduce risk.”