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A Digital Transformation at Sapporo Heart Center Improves Workflows and the Culture at Work

2 older doctors wearing masks looking at a tablet

CUSTOMER: Sapporo Heart Center

CHALLENGE: Improve the efficiency of medical treatment to meet growing demand for care

OUTCOME: Complete and accurate data, greater efficiency, better utilization of facilities with InterSystems IRIS for Health and partner solutions

 
Japan’s Sapporo Heart Center performs more coronary angioplasty procedures than anywhere else in Japan, and no one is denied care. To meet the growing demand for its expertise and prepare for the future, the 85-bed hospital embarked on a digital transformation of its information technology systems.

Three Goals for Transformation

The transformation began with a triple focus: Implementing scalable, cutting-edge technology to help future-proof its systems; creating a single view of each patient’s data without disrupting existing best-of-breed departmental applications; and ensuring patient safety. “We also realized that digital transformation would be meaningless for us if not implemented quickly,” says Dr. Yuwaito Okada, digital transformation project lead, “so it was important to choose vendors with demonstrated success.”

Using InterSystems for Interoperability and Unified Data at the Core

Sapporo Heart Center finished signing contracts with more than 10 system vendors, including InterSystems and its partners Intec and CoreCreate, in December 2019. Ten months later, “Despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Okada says, “we completed integration of 18 departmental systems, a new electronic medical record system from CoreCreate, and our new data collaboration platform from Intec.” The system went live in October 2020.

Sapporo Heart Center used InterSystems IRIS for Health® to aggregate patient data from the departmental systems into a single data repository. InterSystems IRIS for Health also connects the repository with CoreCreate’s electronic medical record for bi-directional data flow with the departmental systems.

“With the repository at the center of our transformation,” says Dr. Okada, “we can add or remove applications as needed and ensure that we still have a single, consistent view of the patient. It also makes it possible for us to collaborate with other applications around data without vendor lock-in.”

Yuwaito Okada, MD
Digital Transformation Project Lead
Sapporo Heart Center

Complete and Accurate Data, Greater Efficiency,Better Utilization

Unified data from the InterSystems IRIS for Health repository ensures that everyone is working with the latest information to streamline use of catheterization rooms, improve interdepartmental communication and efficiency, and nurture a change in culture throughout the hospital. In the catheterization rooms for example, clinical engineers used to take notes on paper and later enter it into the medical record. Now, tablet computers have replaced the paper for direct input into the record. At bedside in the wards, vital signs go directly from instruments into the medical record, and nurses take and automatically upload photos of injuries to the EMR using smartphones to document progress.

Digital Transformation with a Cultural Twist

One of the most significant effects of the digital transformation was on staff members. “We’ve always customized our systems to fit our organization,” says Dr. Okada, “but now our organization has changed. Advanced technology has enabled new workflows that better fit our staff and the organization we want to be going forward. I think this is the very essence of digital transformation.”
 

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