Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland are developing a technology that can link patient data in various electronic medical record (EMR) systems across multiple hospitals and other medical facilities.
The researchers in Case Western Reserve University’s nursing school and engineering and biostatistics experts developed a digital, interface template that creates a uniform table with 42 areas of information for consistent data reporting. The result is a process that enables clinicians to identify a piece of data, request information in an individual EMR system, and download it on a local warehouse.
The particular aim of this project are patients transported between hospitals by helicopters. According to Case Western, 400,000 patients are transported annually by helicopter and another 150,000 by jet and an unknown number by land. These patients are at risk because of a lack of care coordination, the researchers say, and have a 30 percent higher death rate than had they stayed put.
“Families also need the information to determine what’s best for their loved ones—move the patient or stay,” stated Andrew Reimer, PhD, RN, KL2 Scholar instructor at the Dorothy Ebersbach Academic Center for Flight Nursing at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.
The technology, researchers say, will allow them to track patterns and ultimately when it's necessary to move a patient and when it's not. For the project, the Case Western researchers will aim to link records for the 350 patients annually transported between the Cleveland Clinic and non-system hospitals.
The research is funded through grants from the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Science from the National Institutes of Health.