Healthcare // Clinical Information Systems
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Web Portal Links Doctors To Patient Info

Butler Health System is rolling out PatientKeeper software to make it easier for physicians to access medical information.

Pittsburgh healthcare provider Butler Health System is implementing portal software from PatientKeeper to give physicians access to patient information and improve care. Butler is rolling out PatientKeeper Platform and Physician Portal to more than 200 physicians, aiming to significantly increase patient quality of care.

Butler chose PatientKeeper because of its high adoption rate, reputation, ability to exchange information with other systems, and the ease of use of its mobile and client desktop applications. Butler wants to improve clinical and documentation workflow for physicians and build a foundation for connecting its various information systems.

Using the PatientKeeper software, the 300-bed health system in north Pittsburgh will be able to integrate information across the enterprise, let physicians access the information on the Web and mobile devices, provide business continuity, and automate the sign-out process. Physicians will be able to review, edit, and sign charts, including transcribed reports, orders, and scanned documents, from any Web browser.

"One of our primary goals is to provide a much friendlier front end to our healthcare system," said Peter Schogel, Butler's director of the program management office. PatientKeeper is available on various smart devices, including BlackBerrys and iPhones, he said.

The healthcare provider started rolling out the system in late September, and expects it to go live in February. Connectivity and bringing up the system is pretty seamless, Schogel said. "I've implemented several dozens of systems and this was one of the smoothest I've done," he said. "Now we're just in the process of tweaking the front end to make it more customized for our end users." Butler is initially rolling it out to doctors who work full time at its hospital.

The cost of implementation is about $300,000. Butler expects reimbursement from the U.S. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which has set aside funds for hospitals and doctors who provide "meaningful use" of healthcare IT. The Department of Health and Human Services, which is overseeing the healthcare IT portion of the funding, has yet to define the criteria by which meaningful use is judged. Butler Health System is undergoing a $175 million building program, opening 75 new beds, a new operating room, intensive care unit, and more, in a seven-story tower. Its operation includes a hospital, regional lab, and about 20 physician practices.

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