Investing in Technology
URMC will support translational efforts in its signature programs by strengthening its current research cores -- fundamental technologies and programs shared by all of its scientific programs. Over the next several years, URMC will spend over $5.3 million to acquire new scientific technology. These investments will provide an advantage to all URMC scientists, not only those in the signature programs.
Another key area for strategic investment is information technology. Today, health care is delivered across a variety of settings by multiple providers, creating new communication and patient safety challenges. Meanwhile, consumer-minded patients are demanding greater access to information about their conditions and their own health care, expecting to engage their providers rapidly and electronically. Successful cross-institutional research collaboration will also hinge on an ability to share information. And in nearly every instance, the web is the tool that enables these communications.
|Components of the Electronic Health Record|
Over the next several years, URMC expects to invest over $40 million enhancing its information technology infrastructure. The choices we make will improve the effectiveness and productivity of our workforce. By enabling interaction, these investments will also make URMC more accessible for patients, students and residents, peer institutions, prospective faculty and employees – within Rochester, the region, nationally and internationally.
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR). While URMC has already invested heavily to give its providers access to EMRs, the next level of investment will bring systems that dramatically enhance patient safety, quality of care, and efficiency. New generation EMRs, built on best-practice-based protocols, prompt users with the patient’s existing conditions, validate that medications have been administered properly, and more. They give providers access to a wealth of information in real-time, impacting decisions at the point of care. Plus, they offer the ability to interface with other community sources, such as payers’ drug formularies and medication lists. Having URMC systems participate in the Rochester RHIO, a community-wide secure health information exchange, allows for sharing data securely across the community, giving providers a more complete picture of their patients’ health histories over time. Such systems help to minimize errors due to omitted data and aid in reduction of duplicate testing.
The Five Generations of EMR Systems
- Patient Health Record (PHR). A byproduct of consumer-driven health care, the PHR houses individual patients’ information such as medical history, immunization records, laboratory results and medication lists in a single record that essentially replaces the paper “clipboard.” Through direct links with our EMR and the PHR, our patients will be able to securely and authentically request prescription refills, schedule appointments, pay bills, receive on-line consultations, and get preventative information pushed directly to their record. Via the PHR, patients can complete pre-visit registration forms in advance of visits or admissions; the provider imports that information into the EMR saving time and ensuring accuracy. Essentially, the EMR-PHR connection will form an “electronic-partnership” between the patient and his or her care providers, effectively “empowering the patient.”
- Clinical Data Warehouse (CDW). The same operating systems that enhance patient care quality and safety also provide essential infrastructure for clinical research. Electronically mining coded patient care and condition data housed in a CDW will allow researchers to analyze care retrospectively, and identify and screen candidates for clinical trials prospectively. Further, merging clinical data from the EMR with matched research data from microarray and other databases, allows us to develop treatments that are personalized to a patient’s specific genetic makeup. With a CDW, we can use aggregated information to target specific patient populations and then measure the outcome of our intervention.
- Enhanced IT for Basic Research. The creation of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) strategically positions URMC to provide a new level of support to clinical-translational researchers. The Biomedical Informatics Program of the CTSI is focusing on these researchers’ information technology needs. By providing educational sessions, professional consultations on data management and analysis, tools for research collaboration, and centralized clinical trials data management, our researchers’ efforts will be significantly streamlined and enhanced.
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