Spectrum: Rounds Are Tech Savvy

July 6, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS —Physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants on the Spectrum Health medical staff can now securely and promptly access their patients’ medical records by downloading important patient data to their personal data assistant (PDA) at the Blodgett and Butterworth campuses.

“Health care providers have a growing network of high-tech tools to help them provide quality care,” stated Peter Lundeen, M.D., vice president of medical affairs for Spectrum Health hospitals. “Mobile rounding technology allows physicians and other providers real time access to patient data in a quick and seamless manner. It helps physicians and staff round more efficiently and ultimately provide better patient care.”

The MData application integrates data from Spectrum Health’s existing information system. With a click of a button, it securely delivers patient information — such as laboratory results, medication lists, radiology results, pathology reports, consults, demographics and other reports — directly to physician PDAs.

Physicians can synchronize their Palm OS or Windows CE-based PDA using a wireless connection (20-30 seconds) or infrared stations (60-90 seconds) located on either campus. The MData service is provided free to physicians and mid-level providers.

More than 30 Spectrum Health clinicians participated in a pilot program prior to the system-wide launch.

“The ability to round with patient data at my fingertips enables me to make sound clinical decisions,” said Jeff Wilt, M.D., a participant in the beta program and wireless PDA user at the Spectrum Health Blodgett Campus. “I have access to the latest clinical information on demand. This technology allows me to practice medicine more efficiently and with greater mobility. Health care is moving toward total data integration, and this is the next step in the process.”

Confidentiality of patient information is maintained by the use of provider-specific passwords, the ability to synchronize only when at Spectrum Health Blodgett or Butterworth campuses and prevention of beaming information from one PDA to another.

MData is provided by MercuryMD Inc., of Durham, N.C.    

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