Future State of Clinical Systems

This week nearly 300 participants in five day-long and two two-hour physician sessions contributed their thoughts and ideas about redefining Cedars-Sinai's clinical care environment in the next five to 10 years.

The medical staff was well represented in this first step in a three-phase process to select a vendor with a proven clinical information technology system capable of meeting the needs of Cedars-Sinai's future clinical care environment. Thank you to all who offered your input and comments. Staff and management from nursing, pharmacy and a variety of ancillary departments also participated.

The process to gather this information was effective. A "story" approach based on Cedars-Sinai scenarios was used by the facilitators to refine the Medical Center's vision for care delivery. Concepts gained in one of the physician sessions were tested and discussed in the next, resulting in a constantly evolving process.

Input from these participants will help to identify a "wish list" of needs and wants from the new technology that will encompass Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE), Electronic Medication Administration Record (EMAR), Multidisciplinary Clinical Documentation, Pharmacy and Decision support. As soon as the information is compiled, more detailed information about the "future state" results will be included in an upcoming issue of Pulse.

The criteria specified in the "story" will be used to develop the functional requirements for the new clinical system so that only vendors who can meet Cedars-Sinai's unique needs will be considered. A team of consultants from IBM Healthlink has been assisting the Medical Center, calling upon their expertise in vendor selection and their experience with academic hospitals similar in size and complexity to Cedars-Sinai to guide the process and ensure nothing is missed along the way. Because they do not offer a product as a vendor, their objectivity is of great value.

Success of the vendor selection process will be dependent upon feedback from all of us. You are encouraged to contact any of the 60 members of the Physician Advisory Team who serve as your representatives in the process. Equally important, however, is your direct participation when possible.

The next scheduled Advisory Team meeting will be held from 11 a.m. to noon in the Board room on February 22. It is open to anyone interested.

There will be many other opportunities for medical staff to get involved, including a vendor demonstration and capabilities review scheduled for early April. During this approximate three-week time period, vendors will demonstrate their systems using Cedars-Sinai scenarios provided by the Medical Center, rather than having them simply highlight the bells and whistles of their system. You are all invited and encouraged to "test drive" these different products and to provide input and comments.

To keep you up to date on this topic of great importance to all of us, weekly updates will continue to be provided in Pulse throughout the process and culminating in system selection by July. In addition, an Intranet page is in development and nearly complete, and an e-mail address for questions and comments will be established. That information will be available in the coming week.