Technology Update

computerThe world of technology is constantly evolving and the technology at CVMC is no exception. In 2009, technology projects included updates to the nursing admission database, creation of a barcode technology strategy, improved wound documentation, and enhancements to the operating room’s documentation on the use of the cell-saver device.


Admission Data Collection Process Revision

In an effort to improve patient satisfaction and decrease duplication of data entry, the admission data collection process revision project was tasked with revising the electronic data collection tools used during the admission phase of patients’ visits to ask only what is needed for care of the patient, required by regulatory agencies, and most importantly, to ask the questions only once per visit! This change enabled the data to be shared among all users and be accessed easily. The goal was the data collected would the only data essential to provide care or meet regulatory compliance. Another goal in revising the process was to ensure that data is current and comes from a reliable source.

Project team members included Mike Helton, Kenny Whiteside, Angela Revis, Terrill Coulter, and Phyllis Whitener.



The outcomes of the project included:

  • revised ER data collection screens,
  • revised Registration data collection screen,
  • revised Day Surgery data collection screens,
  • revised Inpatient Admission Databases 1 and 2, and
  • revised process flows for data.

CVMC Barcode Utilization Strategy

In an effort to be prepared for increasing bar code technology, a project was undertaken to create a barcode utilization strategy. The scope of the project included organization-wide information gathering, consideration and planning for CVMC’s current and future use of barcodes/scanners.

The project had two phases: 1) mapping of all barcodes currently in use, and 2) creation of an organizational Barcode Technology Strategy.

Phase 1:

This phase entailed identifying each barcode currently in use at CVMC.

Then for each barcode:

  • determine where it was located or what is was attached to;
  • determine what information was contained in the barcode;
  • identify the barcode device that reads it and list all formats that the device can read;
  • identify each system that used the barcode and for each system, compile a list of what information the system needed from the barcode and what that system uses it for.

All of the information obtained from the above list would be used to produce a database that can be used to determine the inter-relationship of barcodes.

Phase 2:

After mapping all barcodes currently in use, an organization-wide strategic plan for use of barcode technology would be created. The primary focus of the strategic plan will be making a provision for positive patient ID scanning using the account number (V#). This plan will ensure that only barcodes used for positive patient ID can be read by scanners used for those purposes thus preventing user “work-arounds” using other barcode labels. Secondarily, the strategic plan would provide a framework for making future changes or additions to our barcode usage to ensure that such changes/additions will have no adverse effects on other systems and is in keeping with our strategic plan.

Project team members included Kenny Whiteside, PCIS; Jim Dellinger, Laboratory; Alan Miller, PCIS; Lori Kent, IS as well as representatives from Medical Records, Materials Management, Clinical Technology and Radiology.

The outcomes of the project included:

  • A database to map and pool all relevant information about CVMC’s barcode utilization into one source of information. This information will then serve as a reference to be used for any proposed changes or additions to our use of barcode technology.
  • A clearly defined Barcode Strategic Plan that ensures that only barcodes found on the patient ID armbands can be read by scanners for positive ID purposes. This is important in helping to prevent staff “work-arounds” where they scan non-armband barcodes.
  • An administrative policy detailing the Barcode Strategic Plan as well as the process to be followed for future changes or additions to the use of barcode technology. This policy will help ensure that future barcode technology implementation is compliant with CVMC’s Barcode Strategic Plan as well as to help prevent unintended consequences of a change made to a barcode used by multiple systems. The policy developed is Administrative Policy, IM-37, Barcode Technology Usage:

Wound Documentation Project

A re-design of wound documentation in Meditech was launched to provide comprehensive documentation of individual wounds.

Project team members included Kenny Whiteside, Kellie Hodges, Nancy Hammer, Brian Badders, Kelly Yang, Linda Krider, and Terrill Coulter.

The changes included leveled interventions in the NUR module of Meditech allowing all wound documentation for each wound to be completed using the same intervention while using levels to provide appropriate screens based on the type of wound. The initial level acts as a wound evaluation level and serves to guide the user in the proper classification of the wound as well as suggesting the appropriate level for further documentation.

Cell Saver Documentation Enhancements

In order to improve patient safety, the Operating Room process for completing a double check to verify Normal Saline as the correct fluid used for both irrigation solutions and wash solutions during Cell Saver cases was modified. This process change led to enhancements to the Cell Saver intervention in the electronic documentation system.