HIMSS 2012 – Merge Healthcare, Teecie Cozad

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Dr. Howard Rollins, EHRtv AIMS specialist and medical consultant, interviews Teecie Cozad of Merge Healthcare.

Category: AIMS, HIMSS12, Tradeshows
Date: March 12, 2012
Views:22,545 views
Information:

Dr. Howard Rollins:This is Dr. Howard Rollins with EHRtv. I’m here at HIMSS 2012 with Teecie Cozad of Merge healthcare. Hi Teecie!

Teecie Cozad: Hi Howard!

Dr. Howard Rollins:Thanks for being with us today.

Teecie Cozad: Nice to be here.

Dr. Howard Rollins:So, Merge does a lot of things obviously,—

Teecie Cozad: Yes!

Dr. Howard Rollins:A big company, you do a lot of things really well.

Teecie Cozad: Yes!

Dr. Howard Rollins:But we’re going to focus on AIMS, okay?

Teecie Cozad: Right!

Dr. Howard Rollins:Tell me about the Merge AIMS, what is— tell me for instance how long has it been around, what’s special about it.

Teecie Cozad: The Merge AIMS actually, has been around for a while. It’s tried and true which is significant in this industry because with anesthesiologists and their clinical records, they are somewhat paranoid about things going wrong,—

Dr. Howard Rollins:Right.

Teecie Cozad: Part of their culture. So, the fact that this has been tried and true in hospitals around the country is very helpful and reassuring to that.

Dr. Howard Rollins:But market penetration has been very low until recently, I think, where with all the health information technology—

Teecie Cozad: Yes!

Dr. Howard Rollins:Revolution if you will, things are starting to pick up a bit, right?

Teecie Cozad: Yes they are. The Anesthesia Information Management System has been around probably for 25 years with a market penetration that has been bordering on 10% for a long time. That actually by now is moving to a 15 – 20% penetration which still leaves a lot of room for growth but it’s starting to take off, I think, primarily, as hospitals start getting EMR implementations under their belt,—

Dr. Howard Rollins:Right!

Teecie Cozad: Then their moving into the more special areas like anesthesia.

Dr. Howard Rollins:I know that it’s— the penetration is much greater in the academic practice but I know a lot of clinical anesthesiologists that really don’t know what AIMS is and what it can do.

Teecie Cozad: Right, and if anesthesiologists in community hospitals, which by the way is one of our sweet spots, if they don’t go to meetings like HIMMS or the American Society for Anesthesiology, they make get left out—

Dr. Howard Rollins:That’s Right.

Teecie Cozad: And not know what’s happening in the industry.

Dr. Howard Rollins:Yes, now you said it’s one of your sweet spots—private practice. Tell me why?

Teecie Cozad: Because our anesthesia system is meant to work the way anesthesia providers work at a very rapid clip. In academic centers, they are always— they don’t necessarily—

Dr. Howard Rollins:Right.

Teecie Cozad: Operate at the same fast pace but in community hospitals, throughput is everything.

Dr. Howard Rollins:So, workflow is not really interrupted, but is it actually enhanced?

Teecie Cozad: It is actually enhanced. We can actually help an anesthesia provider document a case, especially short cases, much faster than they can on paper. And the reason I say mostly short cases is that’s where it really counts the most—

Dr. Howard Rollins:Right.

Teecie Cozad: When you have a quick rapid turnover environment to be able to document exceptionally well in a small amount of time. It counts.

Dr. Howard Rollins:And why can Merge do that?

Teecie Cozad: We have a workflow and system that really is modified to work the way the provider works in that particular institution. It’s a very configurable system, easy to use, bam bam bam bam.

Dr. Howard Rollins:Right.

Teecie Cozad: And, you know, that works out really nicely. Besides that ease of use, something that’s important more so to the hospital than to the anaesthesia provider, is our ability to talk to other systems.

Dr. Howard Rollins:So when a physicians or a facility makes the commitment to get an AIMS solution for their Operating Room, one of the things I hear a lot is implementation. How long will this take? Is this going to disrupt the flow of work in the Operating Room? Are cases going to be delayed? Are we going to have problems? How does implementation— how is it handled with Merge?

Teecie Cozad: Implementation is really a set of events that occurs over a period of about five months. And that occurs outside of the ORs. The only thing that occurs in the ORs is the transition of equipment, adding that in—

Dr. Howard Rollins:Right.

Teecie Cozad: And we have immediately thereafter, a mock live in which we test the system in one or two ORs and then thereafter, we go live. So—

Dr. Howard Rollins:Now you’re ready?

Teecie Cozad: We’re ready to go. Most clinicians find that if they see a case and do a case, they’ve got a pretty good handle on how to create a record.

Dr. Howard Rollins:Who is there when you go live? Are there people from Merge at the very beginning?

Teecie Cozad: Always, always! And we take a whole team of folks with us to the site and depending on the size of the site, it will be anywhere from 3 to 6 or even 9 people.

Dr. Howard Rollins:How does that go usually?

Teecie Cozad: It goes great.

Dr. Howard Rollins:Really?

Teecie Cozad: Always to the surprise of the clinicians. It generally goes off without a hitch.

Dr. Howard Rollins:We were talking about interfaces a little. With whom can the Merge AIMS interface ? What other departments? What other facility?

Teecie Cozad: In terms of other departments, we have standard interfaces for the lab, admissions, discharge, ADT systems, surgical scheduling. We send information outbound to pharmacy and materials management for charging. We’ll send information out to the anaesthesia group’s professional billing company for professional fee billing. And the trickiest part to that is interfacing with the clinical systems like the EMR, but we do a nice job of that as well.

Dr. Howard Rollins:So, all setting done, tell me why I, an anaesthesiologist, should buy Merge.

Teecie Cozad: We have a very nice easy-to-use system which will not detract from their workflow. Most importantly, it allows them to focus on the patient and not on the record. We also interface with all of those systems. Many companies say they can but have a little difficulty doing that. And we have some unique capabilities with our system—the ability to capture information from the patient from home about their health history,—

Dr. Howard Rollins:Tell me a little bit about that.

Teecie Cozad: We have a product called the Pre Surgical Solution which allows either from home or from a surgeon’s office, or if they need some help from the hospital surgery clinic, to be able to answer questions about their health history. Separate questionnaires are supported for a pediatric versus an adult versus an obstetric patient. So, we take that information from the patient and we feed it through a series of algorithms and actually help the hospital and the anaesthesia staff to triage those patients in advance to surgery. Find out who needs to come in, who doesn’t need to come in; who needs to be seen in advance, who doesn’t; what kind of test do they need—all of that becomes part of an algorithm.

Dr. Howard Rollins:How about the schedule, the central scheduling of the Operating Room on a given day. Is there a central board that can be—

Teecie Cozad: Yes!

Dr. Howard Rollins:Used?

Teecie Cozad: Yes! We call it an electronic light board and it’s driven as a side effect really of routine documentation. So, it’s not—

Dr. Howard Rollins:Is it touchscreen?

Teecie Cozad: It— there is a touchscreen application on a desktop—

Dr. Howard Rollins:I see!

Teecie Cozad: But the big board, typically the plasma screens are not touch capable and nor do they really need to.

Dr. Howard Rollins:Right. They’re often out of reach anyway..

Teecie Cozad: That’s right. The status of the patient changes as patients roll through the OR, so it’s a nice really helpful way to help maintain good throughput, know what’s coming down the pack so that you can prepare for it.

Dr. Howard Rollins:Thanks! One last question—clinical decision support, can you speak to that a bit?

Teecie Cozad: Yes! The Merge AIMS has a robust engine for decision support. It’s the Microsoft Logic System. And it’s very configurable so we can help a group improve their record keeping by well-placed prompts for the clinicians as they’re documenting. We can also look out for safety. We can provide information in advance of drug delivery about the patient and which drug you’re about to deliver through a series of barcodes scans. So there’s a lot of capability for improving safety, meeting quality objectives for the hospital and the group, and ultimately getting data out of the system. That’s a—

Dr. Howard Rollins:What it’s all about.

Teecie Cozad: Very key component.

Dr. Howard Rollins:All right! Thank you very much Teecie.

Teecie Cozad: Thank you, my pleasure!

Dr. Howard Rollins:Very nice talking to you.

Teecie Cozad: Nice talking to you.

Dr. Howard Rollins:Teecie Cozad with Merge Healthcare. Thank you!

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