Using Information Technology to Increase Emergency Department Efficiency

by Denise Helfand

January 29, 2007

Wellsoft Corporation is theleading developer of softwaresystems for emergency medicine,pioneering client-drivensolutions for 18 years.

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“Half a million times each year – an average
of once every minute – an ambulance carrying
an emergency patient is diverted from an
Emergency Department (ED) that is full and
sent to one that is farther away.” (From the
Future of Emergency Care in the U.S. Health
System by the Institute of Medicine of the
National Academy of Sciences.)

Overcrowded and underfunded, many EDs
are reaching the breaking point.While the
number of patient visits to the ED is increasing,
the total number of hospitals providing
emergency care is declining. Increasingly
responsible for primary care, particularly for
the uninsured, emergency departments bear a
disproportionate share of costs while financial
losses mount. And although EDs are on the
front lines of disaster preparedness, they have
not seen a significant increase in funding.

The Institute of Medicine recommends
increasing the use of information technology
as one component in improving efficiency,
patient safety and overall quality of ED care.
Wellsoft Corporation is a pioneer in providing
software for emergency medicine, with
18 years of experience. The top-ranked product
in its field eight times, the Wellsoft v10
Emergency Department Information System
(EDIS) leads the market.


Experience

A blend of clinical and technical expertise,
the Wellsoft team is committed to exceeding
their clients’ needs. With EDIS implementations
ranging from a 6-hospital,
enterprisewide installation to a single community
hospital, Wellsoft meets the needs
of each emergency department. Recognized
for providing the most complete functionality
and most configurable product in the
marketplace, the Wellsoft solution is more
than just software. Every step of the way,
from redesigning work flow and improving
processes, through implementation, training
and support, Wellsoft provides expert,
personal assistance.

Streamlined Process

Extensive work flow analysis by Wellsoft
project managers is a defining feature of
Wellsoft v10 implementations.Wellsoft performs
a thorough on-site review of the emergency
department process, identifying normal
clinical flow and exceptions, anticipating
potential bottlenecks. The Wellsoft system
is then custom-configured to tightly weave
the software into the work flow of the
department.Wellsoft work flow engineering
streamlines processes, reducing length of
stay, left without being seen and wait times.

Flexibility

Flexibility is a key attribute of the Wellsoft
system. Wellsoft v10 accommodates multiple
platforms, is highly configurable to
meet individual hospital work flow requirements,
interfaces with any system that
supports the Health Level 7 standard and
requires no proprietary hardware. The system
supports any standard input devices,
including touch screen and wireless
devices. Clients choose only the functionality
they need, and the EDIS can be expanded
at any time. This flexibility enables Wellsoft
to configure the system easily to support
the goals of any hospital system.

Return on Investment

Using the Wellsoft system results in
increased efficiency in patient throughput
in the emergency department.Wellsoft v10
patient tracking, nurse and physician documentation,
orders and results, reporting and
charge capture provide the tools for greater
efficiency. “Working smarter” reduces waiting
time, length of stay and elopements,
maximizing capacity. Documentation templates
result in improved charge capture and
reduced paper costs. Real-time chart availability
eliminates lost charts, improves communication
and reduces errors. Patient aftercare
instructions and electronic prescriptions
decrease liability. Auto-faxing and reporting
decrease manual labor costs. Meaningful
data for addressing bottlenecks, increasing
accountability and meeting CMS, JCAHO and
Emergency Medical Treatment and Active
Labor Act reporting requirements is automatically
collected. In today’s financial climate,
IT expenditures must deliver overall
value and real cost savings – the Wellsoft
system achieves both.

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