The local health authority of Novara (Authority) provides medical assistance to approximately 331,000 people in 77 towns. Organized into four districts in the Piemonte region of Italy, it manages three hospitals totaling 410 beds, several community- based clinics, and a clinical laboratory with three locations. In a typical year, the Authority registers 48,000 emergency room episodes, 14,000 inpatient admissions, and 6,000 day hospital treatments.
In 2007 the Authority’s lab received samples, on average, for 1,700 patients each day, and performed 3,100,000 tests. The lab now handles this workload smoothly and efficiently, with immediate delivery of validated results to requesting physicians and facilities, thanks to its implementation of the InterSystems TrakCare® LAB module.
TrakCare Lab Streamlines Tests and Lab Workflow
Before switching to TrakCare Lab, the lab ran on numerous, non-integrated applications. And the lab had to connect one PC to each analyzer, complicating management of the lab’s network while occupying valuable space that could be used for additional analyzers. The lack of integration among the lab systems, the lack of integration between the lab and the hospital information system, and a requirement of one PC per analyzer led to inefficient registration of test requests, duplicate entry of patient demographic information, and sub-optimal utilization of the lab’s space, technology, and human resources.
We’re saving time and money in nearly all facets of our operation. This is efficiency that has a direct effect on the quality of care our local authority can deliver.
Health Authority of Novara
The installation of TrakCare Lab to address these issues was part of an overall transformation of the Authority’s clinical IT infrastructure that began in 2003 with adoption of the TrakCare Emergency Management module. The Authority currently uses the TrakCare Patient Administration, Clinicals, Emergency Management, and LAB modules. Dr. Anna Tinivella, head of the ASL 13 Novara laboratory, notes that, “We needed two primary capabilities to improve our productivity and keep pace with demand. We needed an information system to streamline the diverse activities of our lab, including integration with the Authority’s other TrakCare modules, and we needed a way to centralize control of interfaces to our automated analysis equipment. We got much more than that with TrakCare Lab.” InterSystems’ systems integrator partner CIC played a key role in implementing TrakCare Lab, managing its integration with the lab’s analyzers and other applications, and providing 24/7 support.
- Integrate lab workflows
- Increase productivity
- Eliminate test duplication
Higher Productivity with TrakCare’s Shared Electronic Patient Record
All modules of the TrakCare healthcare information system share the InterSystems Caché® database and the single Electronic Patient Record (EPR) that is at the heart of the system. These crucial integration points have enabled an efficient laboratory workflow that eliminates the need to enter patient and test registration information, completely automates check-in of samples by the pre-analysis stations, automates test procedures, reduces administrative overhead, and dramatically shortens the time required for delivery of results. For example:
- In the Emergency Departments (soon to be available in all departments within the hospitals), every validated test result is displayed on the computer in the doctor’s examination room. When the complete report is validated, it is automatically printed on the workstation in the triage area.
- Family doctors in general practice soon will have a Web portal for viewing laboratory results on-demand, in compliance with privacy laws.
Positive Results from TrakCare Lab
“TrakCare Lab, and its integration with the other TrakCare modules, has produced striking results for us,” says Dr. Tinivella. “We’re saving time and money in nearly all facets of our operation. This is efficiency that has a direct effect on the quality of care our local authority can deliver.” The benefits of ASL 13 Novara’s switch to TrakCare Lab include:
- Reduction in the number of test requests by up to 25%, and consequent savings.
- Better use of lab resources, with the ability to manage and validate any test from any facility. When required (a sudden peak of activity, or a facility closing for a local holiday), information is available to guide movement of samples from one site to another, while ensuring delivery of test results to the original request site.
- Improved turnaround time – patient- and procedure-related data is available in realtime within the laboratory, while reports can be accessed by requesting entities immediately following their release.
- Better data quality – the shared EPR has enabled complete and accurate management of patient data for better clinical decision making.
- Reduction in administrative time – the laboratory is no longer burdened with patient database updating and the management of admissions and invoicing systems. Direct access admission frees up resources and avoids tedious booking procedures for the patient.
- Improved report quality and availability of a cumulative report which groups hospitalized patients’ results. Doctors can now verify test result trends while patients are in their care.
TrakCare not offered in the United States.