Technology and innovation
Innovation has been a vital part of our network from the start. Community continues to seek and create new ways of delivering quality care and exceptional experiences for patients, physicians and employees. Below are numerous examples that demonstrate our innovative spirit.
- Community spearheaded an innovative health information exchange network that allows local providers to share medical information electronically—it’s now seen as a national model.
- Community has been an early adopter of electronic medical records, improving care and making life easier for physicians and patients.
- A state-of-the-art, 22,000-square-foot digital data center completed in 2009 connects 200 facilities, hospital and physician office EMR systems, and home health nurse charts to the virtual Single Patient Record (vSPR). The data center houses all equipment used for clinical and administrative systems and utilizes self-sustaining generated power and uninterruptible power supply in case of disaster. More than 600 servers hold more than 50 terabytes of data. Read more (PDF) >>
- Community opened the first all-digital heart hospital in the world in 2003. In 2009, The Indiana Heart Hospital, over 30 cardiovascular physicians and Community Health Network created Community Heart and Vascular, the first integrated model for cardiovascular care in central Indiana.
- Community has embraced the ambulatory surgery center concept, launched in partnership with physicians beginning in the 1990s under the name Indiana Surgery Center. Today there are outpatient surgery centers adjacent to the Indianapolis hospitals, as well as in Noblesville, Greenfield, Kokomo and Hancock County, and the network also operates specialized surgery centers in Indianapolis and Anderson that focus on the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal illness.
- Community houses four da Vinci Surgical Systems throughout its hospitals to offer patients the latest advances in minimally-invasive surgical procedures.
- In 2010, the “next evolution of health care” was ushered in at Community Hospital South through an expansion and renovation. In 2007, similar advances were made at Community Hospital North through an expansion designed with the input of physicians, nurses and patients.
- Community South’s expansion exemplified a commitment to green building practices, incorporating construction and design elements that are environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient. In 2007, the emergency room expansion of Community South was the first building project in Indiana to receive LEED® Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.
- Community has been a pioneer in the single-room, labor-delivery-recovery-postpartum model of childbirth.
- At HomeHealthMedical.com, launched in 2010, customers can select from a wide variety of home medical equipment and supplies and have them shipped to their home. Additional online stores scheduled to launch in 2011 include FigLeaf Boutique, which offers specialty women's products, and Wellspring Pharmacy, the onsite pharmacy at Community Hospitals.
- By logging in to the myCommunity patient portal, patients can access 24-hour online health resources, maintain a personal health record, find a doctor, request an appointment, and pre-register. Members receive the myCommunity card with a unique member number that can be used to acquire discounts at health and entertainment retailers, obtain test results, view photos from events, and more. Learn more
- Medical Information Access allows patients to electronically store their medical information in a secure location that is accessible to a doctor's office, emergency departments, hospital facilities and EMS providers anywhere in the world there is Internet access (including smartphones). Health care providers can simply access the information using just the patient's myCommunity card number and date of birth. Learn more
Spotlight: Virtual single patient record
Community's virtual single patient record compiles data from many sources onto one screen.
It’s 2 a.m. in the emergency department, and the physician could really stand to know a little more about the patient’s medical history than the patient is able to recall, given the stress of the moment. What prescriptions has he been taking, for how long? What about all that recent lab work? And didn’t the patient suffer symptoms sort of like this a few years ago? It would sure be nice to have all these details at one’s fingertips.
If it’s a Community patient who sees a Community physician, that information is at the ED doctor’s fingertips. It’s right there on the computer, on one screen, contained in Community’s virtual single patient record. The vSPR, as it’s known for short, is the groundbreaking result of a Community Health Network collaboration involving physicians, health information professionals, nurses and others with expertise in electronic medical records.
“When a patient comes in, we’d like to know all we can about that patient,” says Harry Laws, M.D., Community’s chief medical information officer. And in countless cases, Community does know lots about a particular patient—but some of that information is stored in an electronic medical record maintained by the patient’s physician, some might be in an EMR from the patient’s last visit to the hospital, some in the lab’s computer system, some in imaging’s records. The vSPR pulls data from all of those sources and more, all onto one screen, in one longitudinal view of patient encounters of all kinds, going back as far as 10 years.
Information from everywhere. The system provides as little or as much information about a particular patient encounter as the clinician requires. Each interaction the patient has had with the network is represented by a mark on the timeline, and moving the computer mouse over that mark pops up a dialog box with more information about that office visit, hospital stay, test or other kind of encounter.
In addition to the longitudinal view of patient records, the vSPR offers a daily view that brings all pertinent inpatient info from the past 36 hours onto one easy-tonavigate screen, a feature Dr. Laws says has proven especially popular with users. “Having the vital signs, labs and meds all on one page greatly helps my rounding,” says cardiologist Don Ziperman, M.D. Without the display, he says, “I had to navigate to three or four different sites just to get the data.”
The vSPR is here now. Those currently using the vSPR technology include all of the network’s hospitals, Community Physician Network and MedCheck urgent care centers. Doctors can even securely view records from home, if necessary. A gradual phase-in will bring Community Home Health Services and Indiana Surgery Centers onboard, and plans call for the vSPR technology to integrate with the myCommunity program, allowing patients access to their family health record and a patient-friendly summary of their medical encounters.