Charm Health gets ready to launch CHI

Health informatics specialist Charm Health is working on the final stages of its new CHI platform, which was recently selected as the preferred solution for the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.

Charm Health CEO Janine Garrett said the company had been working on the new platform for some years and had incorporated developments such as the Microsoft Health Common User Interface (MSCUI) and its .Net framework for better user experience.

CHI (pronounced 'chee') will include an electronic medical record (CHI eMR), a medications management module (CHI eMM), a patient administration system (CHI PAS) and enterprise scheduling. At the Lifehouse – a new collaborative cancer treatment and research centre based at RPA Hospital – will be known as the Lifehouse Oncology Information Solution, or LOIS.

CHI is a different product from Charm Health's current platform CHARM, first developed by Ms Garrett, a pharmacist with a master's degree in IT, in 2003. The original platform focused on cancer management for doctors prescribing cancer medications, pharmacists managing the chemotherapy drug orders and also includes an enterprise scheduling module to assist scheduling of patient treatments.

CHARM was installed at Queensland's Mater Health in 2005 and at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in 2008. Charm also has a state-wide contract with Queensland Health and is used in the ACT and at Cabrini Health in Melbourne.

The Chris O'Brien Lifehouse at the RPA, named after the late cancer specialist, is Charm's first customer for the new CHI platform, with clinicians involved in its design from the outset, Ms Garrett said. “Charm Health is developing a patient portal for Lifehouse to allow patients to connect more easily with care providers throughout their cancer journey.

“Our platform is browser-based and we are building a system that is very focused on specific functionality tailored to each of the system's user roles. As a doctor when you jump on the system you just need to launch into your landing page and from there everything that you need to know to do your job is readily available. For nurses and pharmacists it is very similar.

“Patients will be able to access the system via the patient portal and they will be able to share information with their GP, their parents or their children. We want to make sure it goes way beyond just the walls of the Lifehouse.”

The Chris O'Brien Lifehouse is a greenfield site, a new not-for-profit private hospital on the campus of the RPA hospital that is due to open in July next year. “Our vision is that it will be an integrated cancer centre supported by integrated electronic information,” Lifehouse CIO Anne-Marie Hadley said.

“Initially we will transition ambulatory services from the Sydney Cancer Centre including radiation services. We will have a service level agreement with the Sydney Local Health District to provide ambulatory cancer services.”

Inpatient services will begin in 2015, when the new centre will also open its 96 inpatient beds and seven of its 10 theatres, she said.

“One of the unique aspects of the Lifehouse is that we will be providing integrative medicine as part of our holistic care model. The development of evidence-based care plans which can be personalised for the patient is central to our patient-centric model of care.”

Ms Garrett said LOIS includes four components, with the design in particular influenced by work done on standards by the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).

“We are aligning our EMR with the PCEHR, and will extend on the clinical content model to include openEHR archetypes that are being developed by the international community. We have also incorporated the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT) in its native format and our drug catalogue links with Australian content, making prescribing much faster and easier for these very complex medication orders that are the basis of chemotherapy treatment regimens.”

The electronic medications management module is a “closed loop” system that captures very quickly and easily what the nurses need to do, she said. “We have focused on doing the really complex medicines first and have looked at some of the great work coming out of Sydney University that has evaluated the effectiveness of existing systems currently in the marketplace in their ability to reduce medication-related errors.

“Whilst the results from one particular study show an impressive reduction in clerical errors, there was a 35 per cent increase in system design-related errors, which are our area of concern. We are very interested in the design features that we can incorporate in our system that will reduce these types of errors, such as those resulting from the mis-selection of the wrong drug, route and dose.

“We have a patient management system which includes enterprise scheduling, waitlist management and billing and we are working with the Australian company Direct Control to seamlessly integrate it into LOIS. Whilst initially we planned on a third party theatre management solution, we are now working with the Lifehouse team to build the necessary components into LOIS.”

Ms Hadley said she was in a very fortunate position to be the CIO of a greenfield site. “It’s an enormous challenge, but very cool to be part of such an innovative program particularly with such great support from RPA, the Lifehouse board and executive, patients and carers and our vendor partner Charm Health. The timeframes to deliver are tight but we are confident given the talent that we have attracted that we will be successful.

“This is an opportunity to connect people and technology and you don't get the opportunity very often to say 'forget what you know; now here is the opportunity to develop a system that not only works for the cancer patient, but also empowers the staff'.”

Ms Hadley said the selection of the LOIS vendor was long and protracted and her team had looked at a number of different clinical system vendors and embarked on a rigorous evaluation process. The decision was ultimately made by the end users of the system with Charm Health scoring highly on alignment with the Lifehouse vision, a future roadmap, Australian Standards based, useability and affordability.

“I guess what we found with Charm Health is that they got it," she said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Comments   

# Birdy 2013-04-04 23:29
I would ask about LH's procurement process and the tender process in selecting CharmHealth as a potential partner, surrounding the due diligence piece surrounding 3 year audited transactional history. Moreover, CHARM underwent a restructure early last year, where Janine Garrett elected not to be the CEO of the company. This is contrary to the company's website. This raises another question on LH's procurement process surrounding company stability.

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