New CalVet system streamlines prescriptions

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The State Department responsible for helping veterans and their families has released an online system that is a crucial part of a larger initiative – and is vitally important to some of its most dependent users. .

the California Department of Veterans Affairs rolled out e-Prescribe, a new software system that streamlines how the entity and its medical staff prescribe medications for the more than 1,700 veterans and their spouses who live in eight California veteran homes across the state , from Yountville in West Los Angeles to Chula Vue. The system sends “all regular drug orders” electronically to CalVet pharmacies, the department’s public information officer Jeff Jardine wrote on April 16 CalVet Connect. This not only makes life easier for residents. The go-live on December 8 enabled the ministry to comply with the state Assembly Bill 2789, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2018; generally, it has required health practitioners to be able to issue prescriptions by Jan. 1 “as an electronic data transmission order.”

“This is just the first step. I think what’s even more exciting is what’s to come,” CalVet’s chief information officer said. Isaiah Mall Told Techwire. Among the takeaways:

  • CalVet streamlined its pharmacy processes nearly a decade ago by implementing a pharmacy management system, and a module added about five years ago enhanced its capabilities. But, Mall said, “it didn’t go all the way.” This meant that healthcare providers would enter prescriptions into the system, but prescriptions were not automatically routed electronically to its pharmacies. At some point, a document would be printed and/or hand-delivered to the pharmacy, where the pharmacy technician or pharmacist would fill the prescription – and the MED-PASS nurses would hand it to the resident. E-Prescribe has made the process fully electronic, working with the supplier netsmart to remove it from the paper and smooth it out. (The pharmacy management system, which works well and is interoperable, will remain.)
    “The power of this for us is, as it applies to veterans, if a veteran goes for treatment outside of CalVet, let’s say they go to see a doctor … and the pharmacy order goes to a CVS or Walgreens-type pharmacy,” Mall said. “They can electronically send that prescription to the CalVet system. No pain. Which means it’s safer, it streamlines the process and again brings us back to our mission, we’re here to serve veterans. This makes the process more transparent, more robust, faster and safer. »
  • There’s a lot more to come. E-Prescribe is the first component of CalVet’s Electronic Health Record (CEHR) program, for which Netsmart was the successful bidder. (E-Prescribe is a component of CEHR.) Plans are underway for a phased, house-by-house rollout of CEHR to CalVet’s eight veterans homes this fall, which will provide a single electronic record and measure the results. The contract with Netsmart, worth approximately $16 million, sets two years for implementation and two years for maintenance and operation. It is also possible to add two additional years of maintenance and operation. The system will be software as a service (SaaS) in the cloud, will be interoperable with other CalVet “specialty systems” like nutrition management and pharmacy management, and will help eliminate errors in transmission of data. Its rollout, Mall said, will include digitizing paper that “cannot be turned into data easily,” to make it searchable and usable; and in-person training “by the real trainer” to ensure that users are well trained on the new solution – and can even refresh their knowledge if necessary.
  • Mall praised the team of more than 200 people who worked on e-Prescribe, saying, “It starts with, you have to lay a good foundation.” CalVet engaged “future users” of the system — including doctors, nurses and pharmacists — to learn more about the absolute necessities and wants of the new system. Leaders also conducted high-level market research prior to the solicitation and spoke to users in a wide variety of disciplines that would affect the new system, from clinical to financial to administrative. The IOC also praised CalVet secretary Dr. Vito Imbasciani for making the modernization of electronic health records his number one priority, and commending the work of the Chief Project Manager Carlos Chavezwho took the role in February, and Rochelle Dann Castroits project manager since its creation.
  • The IOC donated CEHR project takeaways. Testing a new system is essential before a go-live, he said – including integration testing, unit testing and user acceptance testing – to ensure functionality and usability. interoperability. And, in the age of SaaS in the cloud, which can eliminate the need to build software, the challenge may lie in the contract or service level agreement. It is in this language that managers must determine where servers and hardware are actually located, whether in the United States or abroad; and it is here that the hours of work and the general availability of the contractor must be specified. The contract must also specify the security standards to be respected as well as the technical requirements. “We also have provisions in the contract if a vendor goes bankrupt or discontinues support for a product. We have to think like that,” Mall said. “You have to. Because it happens.

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