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Focus on Reducing Medical Errors Reported by Institute of Medicine

Cambridge, MA – May 31, 2001 – InterSystems Corporation today announced that Boston-based CareGroup Healthcare System, Inc. is launching a Web-based system aimed at radically reducing medical errors. The innovative Physician’s Order Entry (POE) system, now being piloted at Beth Israel Hospital, works via a seamless data connection built on InterSystems’ high-performance CACHÉ database.

InterSystems is the database software leader in the healthcare sector, with CACHÉ in use at America’s 10 best hospitals, as rated in the latest survey by U.S. News and World Report .

The new POE system aims to allay a problem cited in reports recently published by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. The report “To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System” states that more people die each year as a result of medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer or AIDS.

“Typically, physicians either write a prescription by hand or call it in by phone; both scenarios leave openings for error,” says CareGroup CIO Dr. John Halamka. “The Web-based POE presents physicians with medically accepted drug options for their patient’s condition. Orders can be crosschecked for drug interactions, patient allergies and duplicate drug orders. Additionally, lab results can be displayed to help with prescription decisions.” Orders are automatically sent to an in-hospital pharmacy system that, in turn, relays the order to a medical device that automatically opens the right door for the appropriate medication which is date- and time-stamped.

“Voice communication, handwritten orders and re-keying data are eliminated. As a result, patients will receive optimal care, and medication-related errors should be cut significantly,” states Halamka.

ROI on $2M Investment Predicted in One Year

The POE system is wireless-ready and can be accessed through wireless laptops and handhelds as well as from physicians’ home PCs. CareGroup will invest $2 million in a system-wide rollout after production. With costs from each adverse medical event estimated at $5,000, the system is expected to pay for itself within a year. “This is a best-case scenario where care quality and patient safety are increased while reducing the cost of healthcare delivery,” Halamka says.

“CareGroup is aggressively leveraging new information technologies to address healthcare issues that can affect everyone,” says Paul Grabscheid, InterSystems vice president of strategic planning. “InterSystems is privileged to work with them to build top-tier healthcare solutions.”

About InterSystems

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., InterSystems Corporation ( is a leading provider of high-performance database systems for Web applications, with over four million users worldwide. InterSystems’ flagship product, CACHÉ, is a post-relational database with a multidimensional data and application server offering ultra-fast and massively scalable objects and SQL. CACHÉ features breakthrough rapid development technology for building objects and object applications.

About CareGroup

CareGroup Healthcare System is the second largest integrated delivery system in the northeastern United States with revenues of $1.2 billion annually. It is comprised of six hospitals and serves over 800,000 patients. The CareGroup hospital members include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Mount Auburn Hospital, New England Baptist Hospital, Deaconess-Waltham Hospital, Deaconess-Glover Hospital and Deaconess-Nashoba Hospital.

Trademark Notes:  Caché is a trademark of InterSystems Corporation.  Other trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Editorial Contacts

Maureen Flaherty
InterSystems Corporation
(617) 621-0600

Ashley Sizemore
Shoor & Company
(803) 699-0710