Christiana Care launches IT initiatives for its docs, residents

By Molly Merrill
04:48 PM

Christiana Care Health System a private, not-for-profit tertiary-care hospital system with locations in Wilmington and Newark, Del., has announced two major initiatives that aim to drive healthcare IT adoption.

In its first initiative, Christiana Care in partnership with Quality Insights of Delaware has developed and launched a pilot project for a core group of community-based, primary care physicians for rapid adoption of electronic health information technology.

"Working with our regional extensive center, Quality Insights of Delaware, we are investing significantly in community-based primary care practices to help physicians with start-up costs and system change," wrote Robert J. Laskowski, MD, president and chief executive officer of Christiana Care Health System, on the Health Affairs blog.

"This rapid adoption pilot program is now underway," Laskowski wrote. "If providers can prove meaningful use they will get the federal incentives. We simply want them connected to us, to other health systems where they practice or where their patients receive care, and to each other to help improve the health of our community.  We see this initiative as a strategic  opportunity to lead and to use our managerial expertise and financial resources to partner with physicians."

The initiative also leverages Christiana Care's robust computerized provider order entry system, which first went live this past Jan., and the nation's first statewide health information network.

"CPOE transforms the way we provide care to our patients because it emphasizes patient safety by dramatically reducing the risk of medication and order entry errors," says Terri Steinberg, MD, Christiana Care's chief medical information officer. "It also helps doctors to be more efficient in patient care.

In its second initiative Christiana Care hardwired health information technology into the core curriculum for its July 2010 class of nearly 100 medical and dental residents and fellows. Christiana Care will also provide ongoing education to approximately 1,500 community physicians, helping them to be meaningful users of medical informatics for safer and more effective care.

On the blog, Laskowski writes that residents and fellows "will not graduate without being certified in computerized provider order entry training and the use of medical informatics to practice more safely and effectively." And he says that in terms of ongoing education they will "find creative ways to help busy doctors learn this vital new skill.  Rather than forcing physicians to come to us, we are creating a training program that will bring our information specialists to them, training them in their offices, with their technology."

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