Medsphere Successfully Implements Electronic Medication Administration Solution in West Virginia State Facilities

Press Release | Medsphere, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources | January 27, 2009

Software Integrates Long-term Care Facilities with Outside Pharmacies, Improving Patient Care and Communications for Medical Staff

Medsphere Systems Corporation, the leading provider of Open Source healthcare IT solutions, today announced the successful implementation of Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) capability at all eight facilities in West Virginia's network of acute, psychiatric and long-term care hospitals.

Medsphere provided Continuum Care, a pharmacy located in Barboursville, West Virginia, with secure access to the state's OpenVista electronic health record (EHR) network so that the pharmacy could provide services to five West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WV DHHR) facilities: John Manchin Sr. Health Care Center, Welch Long Term Care, Lakin Hospital, Pinecrest Hospital and Hopemont Hospital. An onsite state-run pharmacy takes care of the state's other three facilities: Welch Community Hospital, Mildred Mitchell Bateman Hospital and William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital.

"The implementation of the bar code solution in West Virginia's diverse network of facilities, including those contracting with an outside pharmacy, demonstrates OpenVista's ability to easily integrate with all kinds of  healthcare IT programs," said Michael J. Doyle, president and CEO of Medsphere. "In all BCMA implementations, we are ensuring that every patient gets the right medication with the right dose at the right time."

By capturing patient data and improving the information available to staff at the point of care, BCMA safeguards how patients receive medication. Each patient at a West Virginia facility wears a wristband containing a medical record number, which identifies them and their pharmaceutical requirements through electronic medication administration records. With BCMA, vital medication information such as dosage, allergies and administration times is easily accessed for the patient. Continuum Care supplies medications and uses patient records to verify all pharmacy orders from the patient records.

"The goal of the bar code implementation was to provide these five long-term facilities with the same patient care and safety as those facilities that have an in-house pharmacy," said Laurie Larson of Medsphere, pharmacy lead analyst for the project. "We were able to integrate the bar code solution with Continuum Care so that all of West Virginia's facilities could be on the same page."

Medsphere implemented the OpenVista EHR at all eight of West Virginia's acute, psychiatric and long-term care facilities in 2008. The integration of BCMA is one more step the state is taking to create a secure and nearly paperless system uniting all West Virginia state-owned healthcare facilities to even include outside contractors.

"We're excited with Medsphere's quick turnaround in implementing this pharmacy program," said Jerry Luck, director of facilities system administration for WV DHHR and project manager for the OpenVista program. "Medsphere had a potentially Goliath task in integrating an outside pharmacy with the state's network of healthcare facilities, but they accomplished this quickly and smoothly. We couldn't be happier with these results."

In April 2006, WV DHHR selected OpenVista as the cornerstone of an effort to standardize access to all patient health records, as well as clinical, operational and administrative systems, at state-run facilities. The program, among the first of its kind nationwide, allows personnel to more accurately document patient care, obtain the most current information and easily access all records from multiple locations, effectively creating a closed-loop, electronic repository of patient data.

OpenVista is the commercialized version of the VistA EHR created and developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) over more than 20 years and credited with helping turn the VA into a national leader in quality patient care. OpenVista technology uses Open Source code available from the VA through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Medsphere implements and supports the technology and works collaboratively on updates, enhancements and modifications with the Healthcare Open Source Ecosystem, a community of healthcare facilities, developers, value-added resellers, clinicians and other interested parties dedicated to improving patient care through Open Source tools.

OpenVista last year enabled Midland Memorial Hospital in West Texas to be named a Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics Stage 6 facility for 1/3 the cost and in 1/3 the time of alternative solutions. Through the Stage 6 designation, HIMSS Analytics recognizes healthcare facilities that have implemented healthcare IT solutions and achieved established levels of automated patient care and clinical process improvement.