VA taps DSHI to develop triage app for tablets

By: Brian Dolan | Jan 30, 2012        

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Veterans Affairs Innovation InitiativeThe Veterans Health Administration (VA) has tapped DSHI Systems to create a tablet-based mobile triage system for the emergency room that determines how urgently a patients needs to be seen by a physician. The application, called ER Mobile, will help emergency room nurses better identify the sickest patients so that they can be cared for first. The app also aims to improve workflow efficiency for care providers since it automates some documentations and speeds up the process of determining which patients need cardiac monitors, CT scans, x-rays, blood tests, or other diagnostic tests.

The idea for ER Mobile came out of the VA Employee Innovation Competition, which generated 6,500 ideas, but only about two dozen were chose for further investigation.

DSHI plans to complete its first prototype of the ER Mobile app by August of this year.

DSHI is working with Document Storage Systems (DSS) to create the offering. DSS is the primary contractor for the process and it will provide an interface between ER Mobile and the VA’s VistA EMR system. DSS will also pass vital signs information and other biometric data through the ER Mobile app. Because of this integration, the app will also create a record of the interactions it facilitates between providers and patients right in the VA’s EMR.

Last year the VA announced plans to deploy as many as 100,000 tablet devices — many of which would find their way into the hands of VA care providers.

More on the ER Mobile prototype in the press release below:

PRESS RELEASE: Mobile Health Innovation Seeks to Improve Quality and Efficiency in the Emergency Room

DSHI Systems has been chosen by the Veterans Health Administration to create a mobile triage solution for the emergency room. The idea for the touch-screen triage tablet came from a VA Employee Innovation Competition.

DSHI Systems has been chosen by the Veterans Health Administration to create a mobile triage solution for the emergency room. The idea for the touch-screen triage tablet came from a VA Employee Innovation Competition. The event generated over 6,500 ideas, but only 26 were slated for development and testing.

DSHI’s triage expert system automatically determines how urgently a patient needs to be seen by a doctor. This allows the emergency room nurses to identify and care for the sickest patients first. The expert system elevates the standard of care by improving the accuracy of triage and standardizing the process. In addition, it improves workflow by automating documentation and identifying which patients require additional resources, such as cardiac monitors, CT scans, x-rays, blood tests, and other diagnostic tests.

For the past 12 years, DSHI has provided the VA with a triage call center solution that is used by call center nurses across the country. “Our experience in the VA gives us an advantage in creating this exciting new tool for the emergency department,” says Dr. Stephen Schueler, an emergency medicine physician and DSHI founder. “Our goal is to improve triage decision making and streamline work flow in the emergency department. This can lead to better patient outcomes, while increasing the efficiency of the ER.”

DSHI Systems is partnered with Document Storage Systems, which is the primary contractor on the project. DSS will provide an interface into the VA electronic medical record, as well as pass vital signs and other biometric data to the triage expert system. The combined solution, called ER Mobile, will allow nurses to perform timely, accurate triage on a mobile device anywhere in the ER, as well as create a comprehensive record that will be recorded in the VA EMR.

The ER Mobile prototype is scheduled for completion in August 2012.

Document Storage Systems develops and supplies integrated enhancements to the Veterans Affairs VistA system and specializes in healthcare IT solutions that improve quality and productivity. The organization also designs applications that are compatible with the Indian Health Services RPMS and the Department of Defense’s healthcare systems. To foster the adoption of open source in healthcare organizations, DSS is a founder and supporter of a community-driven, collaboration environment Web site, http://www.vxVistA.org that acts as a forum for discussion and best practices among open source vxVistA and VistA EHR users internationally.

DSHI Systems is the leading innovator in triage decision support for consumers and health professionals. Over the past 12 years, DSHI solutions have been licensed by the U.S. government and private sector to provide health services to more than 50 million people in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. Using the TriageXpert API, customers can quickly integrate, customize, and deploy highly scalable web server solutions for consumers ( http://www.freeMD.com ) and health professionals.

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