Business News for Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare

Upper Chesapeake Health Selects Forerun FlexChart Physician Charting Software for EDs

Waltham, Massachusetts—Forerun, Inc., an innovator in electronic charting solutions for the emergency department (ED), announced that Upper Chesapeake Health (UCH), an affiliate of the University of Maryland Medical System, has chosen Forerun's FlexChart™ advanced physician documentation software for the EDs of Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and Harford Memorial Hospital. UCH is a not-for-profit, two-hospital system that delivers a broad range of services, technology and facilities to patients throughout a tri-county area in Maryland.


Waltham, Massachusetts—Forerun, Inc., an innovator in electronic charting solutions for the emergency department (ED), announced that Upper Chesapeake Health (UCH), an affiliate of the University of Maryland Medical System, has chosen Forerun's FlexChart™ advanced physician documentation software for the EDs of Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and Harford Memorial Hospital. UCH is a not-for-profit, two-hospital system that delivers a broad range of services, technology and facilities to patients throughout a tri-county area in Maryland.

Forerun’s FlexChart provides an intuitive and innovative physician charting solution for the ED that combines the efficiency of paper templates with the quality of electronic charting. Accessed from any Web browser, physicians document their patient’s care using familiar templates with built-in decision support, risk management, and quality indicator tools. FlexChart adapts to individual physician preferences by offering flexible data capture options for the efficient documentation of care. Using a digital pen, computer, tablet or iPad, the physician can choose to begin the patient’s chart in real-time, at the bedside. Combined with relevant information from other parts of the patient’s record, the final chart is made available upon discharge from the ED as a concise and legible note that can be easily exported to the patient’s electronic medical record for access by other clinicians.

Alternative of Choice for Meditech Implementation
The decision to evaluate ED charting solutions came as a result of an upgrade to the Meditech 6.0 Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform, according to Fermin Barrueto, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at UCH. “As we began the process of implementing the physician order entry component of Meditech, our perception was that the ED documentation included within the system was inefficient and likely to have a negative impact on physician productivity,” he said. “We had reviewed several documentation solutions over the last few years, but were unable to prove their efficiency in terms of being able to equal or surpass paper documentation in the ED. We also felt that these solutions would not integrate smoothly with in-place systems.”

After an in-depth study involving usage of the FlexChart solution in the hospital EDs, UCH executives decided to implement FlexChart as an alternative to the documentation provided within MediTech 6.0. “FlexChart’s user interface is extraordinarily intuitive and very specific to the ED environment,” said Barrueto.  “As a result, the learning curve and training period are extremely short. Clinicians often received training only during the hour before the first shift during which they worked with FlexChart,” he continued. Complementing the minimal training requirements and ease of use, UCH saw productivity increase in sharp contrast to the 10-30 percent productivity drop when compared to paper documentation that was typical of other automated ED documentation software platforms.

“FlexChart also eliminates the legibility issues that are inevitable when physicians are making notes on paper,” Barrueto pointed out. Following the pilot study, UCH surveyed the medical staff to get their reaction to the FlexChart solution. “The results were overwhelmingly positive and they literally begged us to make FlexChart a permanent part of the ED workflow.”

Plans are to roll out FlexChart on a production basis during 2Q12. “All of our ED physicians are now FlexChart champions. This is a win for the hospital organizations and for everyone in the ED,” Barrueto said.

Ken Wolfe, Forerun president and CEO, pointed out one more potential win for UCH from the move to FlexChart. “Forerun recently obtained certification as a Modular Hospital EHR by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) for our Forerun ED™ application including our FlexChart and Patient Discharge modules,” he said. “This certification will support every hospital’s efforts to obtain incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the Meaningful Use of certified health information technology.”

About Forerun
Forerun, Inc. is the leading innovator of clinical information and documentation for emergency departments. Forerun’s industry-leading technology and comprehensive feature set enable more efficient team-based care while creating a highly personalized user experience.  FlexChart™, Forerun’s flagship ED physician-designed, certified medical record, enables fast and effective clinical documentation while enhancing the quality of care.  FlexChart™ is part of a complete portfolio of high-acuity solutions, which include a full Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) for hospitals and specialty clinical environments, such as urgent care centers and cruise ships.  Forerun was founded by leading emergency medicine practitioners and IT experts associated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. Forerun is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. Visit http://www.forerunsystems.com for additional information.

About UCH
Upper Chesapeake Health (UCH) offers  the residents of northeastern Maryland an unparalleled combination of clinical expertise, leading-edge technology, and an exceptional patient experience.  Our not-for-profit, community-based, two-hospital system is the leading health care system and second largest private employer in Harford County. Our 2,700 Team Members and over 550 Medical Staff Physicians serve residents of Harford County, eastern Baltimore County, and western Cecil County. Find out more by visiting www.uchs.org.