December 16, 2009

Tom Sullivan, M.D.

Video Blog: DrFirst and MEDITECH

Imagine if an ER patient did not remember the strength and dosages of their given medications. The nurses, physicians, and staff could potentially be placing the patient at risk for drug interactions.

For nearly two years, MEDITECH and DrFirst have engaged in a strategic alliance, allowing MEDITECH facilities rapid online access to their patients’ medication history at the time of admission to the hospital or entry to selected ambulatory settings such as an Emergency Room or certain institutional affiliated clinics. MEDITECH has selected DrFirst as their partner for both electronic prescribing and medication reconciliation functionality, which are of ARRA.

Now at the time of admission, DrFirst allows providers to instantly pull medication history information from data sources such as Surescripts and 80+ health IT vendor partners as well as other selected practices so that harmful drug interactions can be prevented. In addition, many studies have demonstrated the importance of accurately and efficiently documenting and communicating the med list upon discharge from an inpatient site to the patient. This is beneficial to both the pharmacy and the physician, or other providers who will be following the patient after they have left the acute care setting.

These “transitions” of care have been identified by many Quality Improvement Organizations as targets for greater scrutiny and accountability, since errors created by the “discontinuity” are relatively common.

MEDITECH’s customers can incorporate DrFirst’s medication history module (MedHx) to improve performance and patient safety. DrFirst’s medication management module is also being used to improve the amount of data which is accessible in Continuity of Care Documents (CCD), such as the one used by MEDITECH’s South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, MA.

I have summarized this information in a video blog:

About Tom Sullivan, M.D.

Thomas E. Sullivan, M.D is a board-certified specialist in cardiology and internal medicine with over 40 years of clinical practice. He currently works for DrFirst and sees patients part-time in Massachusetts. His expertise in the application of information technology to health care has helped to create an international standard (ASTM) for the exchange of medical record information called the Continuity of Care Record (CCR). With AMA, he was founding chair of their e-Medicine Advisory Committee, worked with the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, represented the AMA and helped create the Physician EHR Coalition and is past chair of the AMA Council on Medical Service.