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EHRs Get New Perch

April 17, 2007
by Michelle Grey
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Looking to be innovative, HealthCare Partners looks to EnovateIT.

Los Angeles-based HealthCare Partners Medical group recently selected Troy, Mich.-based EnovateIT to design and deploy a wall mount computer solution to complement its upgraded electronic health record system (EHR).

Zan CalhounAccording to HealthCare Partners, moving the EHR system from the desktop to the wall will facilitate physician/patient relations, while increasing data efficiency and patient safety.

The solution consists of PC blades mounted on the wall of the physician's exam room, using an extendable and height adjustable PC arm. "The monitor, called an iport, is essentially a dumb PC. Information entered into the iport is routed to an offsite server, which dramatically decreases the possibility of theft or loss of sensitive patient information," says Zan Calhoun, CIO, HealthCare Partners.

"We probably made every mistake possible. However, it was a natural learning curve, which I think is a very important way to go about doing something like this. If we had to repeat the process, I think we would have gone about it in the exactly same way."

"There were a variety of reasons why we thought mounting the monitor was the best approach. We looked at giving physicians wireless devices, but were concerned about battery life, and loss. We were also concerned about theft of laptops and other hardware, particularly in places with high patient volume," Calhoun says.

Other benefits include more personal interaction between clinician and patient, and the ability to multi-task, he adds. "The arm has many movable parts so that during a patient exam the clinician can, with the touch of a hand, move both the monitor and keyboard to achieve the correct ergonomic position, while still maintaining eye contact with the patient." Calhoun says.

"The wall mounted computer system gives us a long term, financially advantageous solution to the problem of device placement in the exam room," explains Calhoun. He estimated that the cost of the arms plus the cost of the iport is less expensive than buying new laptops for each physician's exam room.

When asked about process, Calhoun says, "We probably made every mistake possible. However, it was a natural learning curve, which I think is a very important way to go about doing something like this. If we had to repeat the process, I think we would have gone about it in the exactly same way."

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