Doctors have to "do procedures in the morning, make rounds in the hospital and see patients in the office," says Joseph Testani, corporate director for business development at Continuum Health Partners, New York.
"It is more accessible for the doctors to have their entire calendars, appointments and rounds [downloaded] into the palms of their hands and data waiting for them as they go from the procedure area to the bedside of the patient, so they know exactly where they're going." Continuum
, which is made up of Beth Israel Medical Center
, Long Island College Hospital
, the New York Eye
and Ear Infirmary
, and St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center
, is rolling out a Web-based product from Cerner, Kansas City, Mo., that allows for order entry and results reporting over the Internet.Though the original system will run on a PC, Testani plans to make it available on a PDA as well.He
hopes to do this by dovetailing Cerner's
lab system with the charge capture application offered by Boston-based PatientKeeper
(formerly Virtmed).From there, Testani
would like to include e-prescribing, physicians' notes, radiology and cardiology handheld capabilities for physicians in both the clinics and hospitals."That's sort of a vision," he
says, "but I don't think we're far from it."
Testani's vision matches that of Maulin Shah, M.D., PatientKeeper's
director of product marketing.Unlike many of its competitors, PatientKeeper
, a software provider focusing on charge capture and physicians' notes, chose to enter the healthcare market through the hospital instead of the clinic."Right from the beginning, the focus of this company was on how to bring handheld technology--distributed technology--into the healthcare enterprise," Shah says.
Despite the complexity of hospitals' information infrastructures, PatientKeeper
saw the inpatient market as having the most compelling return on investment and the biggest need for improvement in workflow.Other wireless vendors, such as Autros
and Data Critical
, Bothell, Wash., also started on the inpatient side, choosing to move into the outpatient setting later.