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Carolinas Health Care System

Making physicians mobile: Carolinas HealthCare System sees provider adoption grow in PowerChart Touch Ambulatory

Continued development and innovation of health information technology (HIT) offerings have come a long way from the days of point-and-click solutions. Expanding data and device integration offers today’s providers with a vast array of options and opportunities.

Deciding which new solutions and devices to implement can be an overwhelming decision and investment for health systems.

Charlotte, NC-based Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) is known as a forward-thinking and innovative organization. Always looking ahead, it decided to implement PowerChart Touch, Cerner’s mobile solution that allows providers to view patient data and perform typical visit functions on the Apple iPad and iPhone.

Rather than requiring providers to learn and adopt another suite of technology and workflows, CHS chose to launch a voluntary PowerChart Touch Ambulatory adoption program. 33 providers elected to participate in the initial pilot in October 2014. As of April 2016, that number has grown to 400, an increase of over 1100 percent from the small pool of initial users.

Jeffrey Cleveland, MD, FAAP, serves as medical director for the CHS Medical Group Division. As a practicing pediatrician, he also served as a participant in the PowerChart Touch program.

“I use it for all of my patients,” said Dr. Cleveland. “I’m more as efficient using PowerChart Touch than I am using the desktop version.”

And when your patients are children, you’re always on the go, so mobility matters.

Using PowerChart Touch on an iPad, Dr. Cleveland reviews each patient’s record before entering the room. Upon entry, he reviews and updates the record while engaging with patients and parents without being tethered to a mouse or hidden behind a laptop.

“The main benefit is that it lowers the technological wall between my patient and me,” said Dr. Cleveland.

While the most common use of PowerChart Touch among CHS providers who participated in the voluntary program is for Chart Review, many leverage the embedded speech recognition capabilities to document and perform History of Present Illness (HPI), Review of Systems (ROS) and Physical Exam (PE) in real-time.

“I ask [my patients and their parents] if they mind if I summarize what they've told me and I'll dictate the HPI into PowerChart Touch - in front of the patient,” said Dr. Cleveland. “When I get done, I'll hit the pause button and ask the patient if I've summarized it correctly."

That added interaction provides the patient with a better experience and helps providers efficiently build more accurate notes.

“I can choose my words and get subtle color about what I’m trying to say very easily, compared to clicking on a template to select terms,” Dr. Cleveland noted. Getting the narrative aspects of his documentation done in real timealso ensures accuracy of the notes.

By the end of the initial adoption program in October 2014, 33 providers signed 315 and saved 4 notes total. By the end of April 2016, those numbers grew to over 7,500 notes signed and saved from 400 users, with over 40,000 charts reviewed in total.

PowerChart Touch adoption continues to grow as CHS providers like Dr. Cleveland share the value they see from both the provider and patient experiences. Looking at the program’s growth, CHS leadership is now looking to be more prescriptive in the integration of PowerChart Touch, as well as continued development and standardization of best practices, to its entire population of over 2,000 physicians.

“There’s enough value here that positioning it in the standard work early on would be an advantage,” said Dr. Cleveland.

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realised by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.