Implementing a new patient information system requires grit and creativity

Published 12.05.2017

Implementing a new patient information
system requires grit and creativity

Wouldn’t it be great if you just found a treasure map which walked you through implementation of a new patient information system? By following the correct route, you’d find your way to endless riches, happy users and excellent treatment outcomes.

– Unfortunately, there is no such treasure map. Implementation of a new patient information system takes perseverance, creativity and plenty of hard work, says Anand Dighe, Associate Professor of Pathology and specialist in laboratory IT systems at Harvard University in Boston.

At Mylab’s anniversary seminar, Dighe shared his experiences of implementation of the Epic system in the Partners Healthcare hospitals, including Dighe’s workplace Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Epic patient information system has been implemented in Partners Healthcare hospitals gradually over the course of five years. There have been lots of challenges, but also successes.

– Epic is not an out-of-the-box product. Instead, implementation requires a lot of local development, customization and teamwork, Dighe says.

Epic has also been selected as the systems provider for the Apotti project in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District

Independent information systems holding on

Although the development trend is for hospitals to become bigger and to use increasingly extensive patient information systems shared between several hospitals, Dighe said that independent laboratory information systems are still needed. This may be the best way to develop new, innovative analytics to support diagnostics and patient care.

Dighe’s research group has, for example, developed methods to detect a patient's incipient kidney damage or a latent anemia caused by lack of iron from routine laboratory tests.

– In 31 cases out of 33, an alert of imminent kidney damage resulted in changes in the care given to patients, Dighe kertaa tutkimustuloksia.
Dighe said, describing the research results.
He pointed out that all the patient’s diagnostic data is available in the patient information system. That is why the analysis should take place in the system as well.

For Anand Dighe’s full presentation, click here


Text Virpi Ekholm, photo Olli-Pekka Latvala

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