Since 1986, the Institut Municipal de Asistencia Sanitaria—IMAS—has been able to access, in real time, the evolution and medical history of patients at the centers that make up the institution
Madrid, Spain – December 19, 2001 – The Institut Municipal de Asistencia Sanitaria IMAS— was founded in 1983 as a public institution encompassing all the healthcare centers that depend on the Barcelona Town Hall. IMAS recently has renovated its computer systems with the goal of improving economical and clinical management, as well as the quality of care at all the centers that make up the institution.
The project, which was started in 1984 with the automation of the institute’s purchasing and storing departments, has just completed the phase of building a comprehensive information network encompassing the clinical histories of patients since 1986. Over 2,000 users of this system including medical clinicians such as physicians and nurses have access to patient information from admission to discharge,including all facets of patient care including analysis, pharmacy, emergencies, reports, etc.
Since 1986, the database has allowed access to clinical and medical assistance data gathered at the five healthcare centers (Hospital del Mar, Hospital Esperança, Institut Psiquiatric, Centre Geriatric, Centre Peracamps). The IMAS database contains approximately 1 million clinical histories, 81 million analysis parameters, 40 million endorsed medications, 3.7 million diagnostic testing reports, 250.000 pathological anatomy reports, 150.000 discharge reports, all available in real time and at any of the centers.
According to Ignasi Planas, IMAS’s computer director, “Logistics, admissions, pharmacy, accounting, personnel, laboratory, pathological anatomy, surgery, clinical histories, nursing are all stored on a single database that allows the sharing and distribution of information in accordance to the needs of each department by any PC or terminal on our network. This has allowed us to unify work concepts and methods and facilitate the work of the medical professionals at the diverse centers, improving medical care to our patients.”
The future of IMAS
The main challenge facing IMAS’s overall computer system project is improving the exchange of clinical information, incorporating multimedia information, and having the most adequate workstations available.
The main subprojects that are currently being executed are the following: Medical Workstation (ETM), Nursing Workstation (ETI), Pathological Anatomy, Radiology, Additional Explorations ,and Emergencies.
All the solutions are based on tools developed by the IMAS computer team with cooperation from medical assistance professionals.
The main goal of the IMAS computer department is the development of applications that facilitate research, training, management, epidemiological activities, etc. of the medical professionals. These applications include word processors, databases, spreadsheets, electronic mail, electronic agenda, data warehousing, DDS, EIS, etc. using equipment that gives fast response with the minimum amount of computer equipment.
The current technological platform is based on Caché, technology that perfectly meets the users’ needs in terms of immediate response time, 24-hour support, security, and efficient use of resources.
According to Ignasi Planas, “The efficient use of resources provides a response to any user’s request in record time. Since 1999, when migration of the hardware platform took place, service has only been interrupted for 30 minutes in order to carry out the date changes for the year 2000.
“With Cache, the IMAS has achieved a substantial increase in the performance of its systems and reduction in custs due to Caché’s optimum use of the computing resources. For example, all information pertaining to analytical testing at the Hospital del Mar since 1986 are stored in only 8 GB.”
IMAS was founded in 1983 as a result of the integration of various healthcare centers pertaining to the Town Hall of Barcelona. IMAS is a multicentric organization that encompasses medical assistance centers, and training and research centers with close to 2,000 professionals working on staff. IMAS attends to the health needs of the population as well as running full training and research functions.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., InterSystems Corporation is the 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. InterSystems is the database software leader in the healthcare sector, with Caché in use at the majority of major hospitals and labs around the world, including America’s 10 best hospitals as rated by U.S. News and World Report
Trademark Notes: Caché is a trademark of InterSystems Corporation. Other trademarks belong to their respective owners.
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