VA Innovation Initiative completes adverse drug events pilot

July 19, 2012 in Medical Technology

JUNO BEACH, FL – DSS and Hospira have announced the completion of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Innovation Initiative adverse drug events (ADE) project, which provides decision support technology that alerts clinicians to potential drug-related risks.

DSS, which offers software and support for the VA’s VistA EHR, and Hospira, which develops injectable drugs and infusion technologies, started the pilot by integrating TheraDoc software, a clinical surveillance application, with VistA.

[See also: VA a good model for EHR systems and implementation.]

“With ADEs accounting for an increasing number of patient abnormalities and mortality rates, we’re proud to collaborate with DSS on this project to help minimize this risk,” said France Pitera, vice president, clinical information technology, at Hospira. “TheraDoc not only helps clinicians analyze medication data but also alerts them to potential adverse events, helping to save time, lower costs and improve compliance.”
To ensure interoperability between departments and successful integration of TheraDoc with VistA, DSS developed three new data interfaces as platforms to assist clinicians in the ADE alert process, including:

  • an outpatient pharmacy interface listing all medications from active to inactive prescriptions, giving clinicians a holistic view of a patient’s history as it relates to ADEs;
  • a problem list interface, allowing them to create custom alerts and view patient problem lists along with their admissions diagnosis; and
  • a bar-coded medication administration interface that hosts medication administration records, allowing providers and pharmacists to see specific details about dosage and patient alerts.

“Now that the 13-month Innovations project is complete, we look forward to gathering informative, actionable results over the next year as VA Medical Centers interact with the TheraDoc system in a live environment,” said Mark Byers, CEO and president of DSS. “This project serves as yet another example of how the open source, VistA system can be quickly adapted to meet the ongoing demands in healthcare, including ways to establish a safer environment for patients.”

[See also: VA announces 26 winning ideas of its health IT initiative.]
The VA Innovation Initiative aims to develop new, cutting edge solutions to help the VA improve quality service, enhance operations, reduce or control costs of care and ultimately better provide for veterans in the complex, technology-driven healthcare space. At the time of selection, the ADE pilot project was among only one percent of ideas selected from more than 10,000 submitted, officials say.

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