Hospital IT director builds in-house HIS

Telemed system remarkably beats commercial IT prices

The Torrevieja Salud Hospital, in southern Valencia, serves a population of 200,000 - but this swells to 600,000 in holiday periods.

To meet demand Luis Barcia Albacar, General Director of Torrevieja Salud UTE, faced the challenge of creating a modern, versatile and efficient hospital that could also provide the benefits of top technology.

In early planning, it was decided that the hospital would have its own computer platform, and would also become paper-less. The hospital’s in-house IT staff subsequently built a robust, end-to-end hospital information system using commodity, off-the-shelf developer tools, software, and technologies from Microsoft. The resulting system has been created for a fraction of what most hospitals spend on commercially produced IT solutions.

‘Florence – the name of our processing and management tool – includes everything,’ Luis Barcia Albacar pointed out. The system allows all of a patient’s medical care information to be seen by the specialist and family doctor. Florence is focused on three essential points, improved provision of medical care for patients, as is the case of SMS with the word URGENCIAS, which offers patients a waiting time according to different emergencies; the SMS informs the user of a free appointment; or the day and time of a test he has asked his doctor for, or the automatic appointment reader, which reads the health card, informs the doctor that the patient is waiting to be seen.’

The system also enables teleradiology and teledermatology. Physicians on duty at home can receive urgent requests and send back reports. ‘Recently we have the surf-table – a mobile laptop computer with incorporated washable and resistant screen, which allows access to data by a surgeon in the operating theatre. It can also be used by a patient as an entertainment station. The same versatility is provided by the PC Tablet, another innovative mobile device that is compact and light, washable and resistant to blows and which, in emergencies, means we can see patients in different cubicles at the same time, and check their clinic history, change it, ask for tests, and so on.’
‘Florence also brings potential for resources, throw the information at the control panel about emergency waiting times, surgical rates, appointments, tests, entrees, discharges, medical stays, etc, all allows making decisions to keep improving healthcare.’

Our technology’s heart
Florence was born with the Torrevieja Hospital, Luis Barcia Albacar proudly points out. ‘The computer system was created by our Systems Director, using Microsoft tools, at low cost, very below other programmes on the market. Besides being created here, for total synchronization it is also constantly adapted for organizational needs and the software of the other companies that provide the hospital with equipment.’

* The hospital was built on public grounds by a Private Finance Initiative (PFI), which will also provide healthcare services to the area for 15 years. However, after five years, according to an administrative concession, the hospital will be owned by the Health Department of the Valencia Community Government, and the PFI will be managing public funding.

30.04.2008

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