Solutions

Heart of the System

Medical College of Ohio

Easy access to patient records is a vital tool when providing complete and comprehensive medical care. And at the Medical College of Ohio, CARE® patient records are organized by means of a vast, flexible database — built around FileMaker Pro, the award–winning database software application from FileMaker Inc.

Overview

  • Easy access to patient records is vital when providing complete and comprehensive medical care. And at the Medical College of Ohio, over 170,000 patient records are organized by means of a vast, flexible FileMaker Pro–based solution. The solution — more cost–efficient than other medical record systems — allows doctors to access patient records from home and other remote locations

Industry

  • Healthcare/Medical Services
  • Information Technology

CARE® was designed to meet the medical records standards at the time of implementation and has proven flexible enough to withstand modifications in the ensuing years to meet the changing Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) Standards.

— Pam Brewster, Database Manager, Medical College Hospital

Business Challenge

In 1994, when the Medical College Hospital, in Toledo, moved its Cardiology Clinic across the campus from its former location — its patient records made the move as well. 'The patients' charts that were kept in the cardiologists' offices were also moved to the hospital clinic,' recalls Database Manager Pam Brewster. 'Because their offices were in a location on campus remote from the hospital, they no longer had access to office charts for their patients. To address this problem the Cardio Clinic database was developed to provide online access to patient information from remote locations, including from the Physicians' homes.'

Successful Solution

Using FileMaker Pro as its basis, the Cardiac Automated Retrieval and Entry system — or CARE® — was the first remote–access electronic medical record system on the MCO campus, but it was quickly joined by others. 'The success of the clinic system spurred the development of several more databases that assist the Cardiologists' in managing their inpatient practice,' says Pam, 'including three inpatient services: acute and critical coronary care, consult, and congestive heart failure (CHF) / transplant. Another clinic system was developed to assist in the management of patients who are receiving anti–coagulation therapy, a service which the cardiologists' provide for all patients at MCO. Two years later development of a system to generate reports of diagnostic testing done in the Heart Station was undertaken. All of these databases are interconnected and provide multiple levels of service from registration of patients to automated faxing of results to physicians, clinics and inpatient floors.'

This system has eliminated the need for the transcriptionists and technical/clinical staff to manually fax study results and other clinical information to those requesting the information.

— Pam Brewster, Database Manager, Medical College Hospital

Today there are over 170,000 records contained in the network of CARE® databases, tracking every aspect of every patient's treatment — from office visits to long–term hospital stays, from registration to discharge. At a keystroke, medical staff can call up every vital detail in a patient's file. It's a system designed for the way doctors work — adaptable, efficient, and thorough. 'CARE® was designed to meet the medical records standards at the time of implementation,' says Pam, 'and has proven flexible enough to withstand modifications in the ensuing years to meet the changing Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) Standards'

One area in which the CARE® system has made a real difference is in allowing for the automated faxing of information to referring physicians, clinics, hospital units, and medical record departments. 'This system has eliminated the need for the transcriptionists and technical/clinical staff to manually fax study results and other clinical information to those requesting the information,' Pam points out. 'The overall outcome has been increased customer satisfaction and care coordination.' On average, the system handles 546 faxes per 5 day week — or 14 per hour per 8 hour day, with employees having to devote an average of eight seconds to each fax. Doing it manually required over two minutes per fax, for a dramatic savings in both time and effort.

Customer Benefits

And, although custom designed for the needs of MCO, FileMaker's flexibility ensures that the CARE® system is always cost efficient. 'Commercially available electronic medical record systems cost several million dollars, and most commercially available products don't provide the functionality that CARE® does,' affirms Pam.

With FileMaker Pro at the heart of this ever–expanding, ever–reliable system, the staff at Medical College of Ohio knows that essential record keeping functions are in good hands — and that skilled hands are thus freed up for the vital duty of treating patients and saving lives.

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For Medical College Hospital:

Pam Brewster
Database Manager
Medical College Hospital
419-383-3613
pbrewster@mco.edu