As our current fiscal year comes to an end, I am pleased with all the progress we have made this year and look forward to new and exciting information technology (IT) projects on the horizon.
Last February, we welcomed a new vice president and chief information officer, John Henderson, to our organization. He joined us from Texas Children’s Hospital and has been a huge addition to our leadership at CHOC. A seasoned IT leader, John has a successful track record of guiding cohesive teams in the design, deployment, administration and enhancement of enterprise IT applications and infrastructures. We are also excited to onboard our new chief technology officer, Adam Gold, who will also be a great addition to our team. The CTO is a new position for CHOC and Adam will be responsible for all our infrastructure including computers, networks, data center, communications and other technologies.
Currently, our technical staff just finished the roll-out of tap-and-go access to our clinical computers in the inpatient areas, emergency department, surgery (outside of OR and procedure rooms) and Outpatient Infusion Center. Now, when you log-in to our systems from these clinical areas, you can tap-in with your badge. This has been a huge win, especially for our nursing staff, saving them a lot of time during the day as they frequently log in and log out. We hope to continue to optimize the performance of this technology and implement it in our clinics and other outpatient service areas beginning in July.
Remote access to our systems is also changing with the addition of two-factor authentication (2FA), a security process in which the user provides authentication factors to verify they are who they say they are. This is just as essential for protecting patient medical records as it is your bank account. While 2FA is not new, it has become more prevalent in the current digital age. Beginning in June, we will be cancelling access to remote.choc.org for those who have already registered for two-factor authentication and over the following months, we will be switching all remote users to secure.choc.org. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.
We are currently implementing a new Dynamic Documentation build in our Children’s Medical Group (CMG), replacing their current PowerNotes documentation. Beginning in July, we will be implementing our Cerner EMR in our other primary care practices, along with Cerner Pro Fee billing, and a new version of Cerner’s registration and scheduling called Cerner Practice Management (CPM). CMG and our specialty care clinics that are part of CHOC Network will also be going to the new Pro Fee billing and CPM over the next year. These enhancements are a huge undertaking, which are currently consuming our IT resources and may delay some of the requests that are frequently submitted. We ask for your patience over these next several months.
In addition, we are continuing to advance our work in population health, data science and analytics. We are also continuing to develop new technologies to improve the care of our patients with chronic diseases, advance home monitoring technologies, better support our care management staff both in and out of the hospital, and develop predictive models for readmission and patient deterioration, among other things.
Lastly, we are eagerly awaiting the final word on our capital budget for FY19 to determine what new projects are approved for next year. Our highest priority right now is to implement E-prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS), which we hope to do in the first half of FY19.
Should you have any questions about any of these developments, or other issues related to current information technology systems, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com, or at 714-509-7637.
William Feaster, MD
CHOC Chief Health Information Officer