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Mobile Triage for the Emergency Room
By Tony Rizzo
DSHI Systems has been chosen by the Veterans Health Administration to create a mobile triage solution for the emergency room. The idea for the touch-screen triage tablet came from a VA Employee Innovation Competition. The event generated over 6,500 ideas, but only 26 were slated for development and testing.
DSHI's triage expert system automatically determines how urgently a patient needs to be seen by a doctor. This allows the emergency room nurses to identify and care for the sickest patients first. The expert system elevates the standard of care by improving the accuracy of triage and standardizing the process. In addition, it improves workflow by automating documentation and identifying which patients require additional resources, such as cardiac monitors, CT scans, x-rays, blood tests, and other diagnostic tests.
For the past 12 years, DSHI has provided the VA with a triage call center solution that is used by call center nurses across the country. "Our experience in the VA gives us an advantage in creating this exciting new tool for the emergency department," says Dr. Stephen Schueler, an emergency medicine physician and DSHI founder. "Our goal is to improve triage decision making and streamline work flow in the emergency department. This can lead to better patient outcomes, while increasing the efficiency of the ER."
DSHI Systems is partnered with Document Storage Systems, which is the primary contractor on the project. Document Storage Systems develops and supplies integrated enhancements to the Veterans Affairs VistA system and specializes in healthcare IT solutions that improve quality and productivity. The organization also designs applications that are compatible with the Indian Health Services RPMS and the Department of Defense's healthcare systems.
DSS will provide an interface into the VA electronic medical record, as well as pass vital signs and other biometric data to the triage expert system. The combined solution, called ER Mobile, will allow nurses to perform timely, accurate triage on a mobile device anywhere in the ER, as well as create a comprehensive record that will be recorded in the VA EMR.
The ER Mobile prototype is scheduled for completion in August 2012.
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