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Building a hospital from scratch presents the opportunity of a lifetime to a CIO who embraces innovation. At the Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas, Linda Reino took that opportunity to the limits.
As CIO of Universal Health Services Inc., a $3.6 billion-a-year for-profit health-care-management company that owns Spring Valley, Reino insisted the facility be built to accommodate the latest IT innovations and be adaptable to technology developments. The hospital has a state-of-the-art wireless infrastructure, as well as innovative applications that outfit each employee with the tools to provide the best patient care while working at optimum productivity levels.
A primary partner in the endeavor was clinical software company Opus Healthcare Solutions Inc. The vendor installed six of its Web-based clinical applications in the facility, including a data repository that provides Web access to the entire clinical history of a patient and an interface engine that acts as a translating gateway for clinical systems. Opus provided its order-management application, which manages interdepartmental communication about physician orders, test results, and rounds reports. Opus' physician Web-access and clinical-documentation apps let doctors and other users update patient charts on their handheld devices, while the laboratory app lets them manage and communicate lab data.
All these applications and the Spring Valley network are connected via a wide area network to Universal's headquarters in King of Prussia, Pa., where secure servers store the hospital's data.
So far, the technology is being used successfully at the hospital, largely because the staff was well-trained and the employees are as new as the facility. "We've had the technology from day one, so we were more successful than if we were going in with new technology to a place where we're fighting change management," Reino says.
Success is contagious as workers in sister facilities visit Spring Valley or hear from colleagues about the new technology. Spring Valley is the fourth hospital in the 1,100-bed Valley Health System in Nevada. The goal is to have the other three facilities, which use a combination of paper and mainframe-based clinical systems, running on Opus clinical software and wireless infrastructures by May.
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