The emergency department at Fernando Fonseca Hospital is one of the busiest in Portugal. The unit sees up to 800 emergency patients each day. The state-run hospital in Amadora, a city of 180,000 just outside Lisbon, serves about 700,000 people in the local area – and growing.
Still, numbers like these are no longer a headache for Professor Henrique Martins, MD, the hospital’s Chief Medical Information Officer. Since July 2011, the clinical IT system Soarian® Clinicals, which was specially adapted by Siemens to accommodate the Manchester Triage System (MTS) for the evaluation of emergency patients, has been installed in all emergency departments.
The triage system, which is used for initial assessment of the urgency of treatment and is embedded in the Soarian Clinicals Emergency Department (ED) module, helps make processes faster and simpler in order to get the emergency department ready for growing challenges. “Using the MTS system supported by Soarian Clinicals to quickly categorize treatment priorities and to provide direct access to findings and data by attending physicians has made our work in the emergency department faster and more efficient,” Martins explains.
A comprehensive view
There are plans to equip the other units in the hospital with the IT system by the end of 2012. From admitting a patient in the emergency department up to the point of discharge from the hospital, all information will be fed into the system.
Supporting the triage system with Soarian has a number of advantages, Martins explains: “Soarian makes processes more transparent and minimizes duplication of work. Now, everyone who needs the information – be they in the emergency department, the operating theatre, or in the wards – can always see what has already been done with a patient and what steps still need to be taken.”
Although the work of an emergency department is difficult to plan, the IT system allows doctors to maintain a comprehensive view of what is going on throughout the emergency department, plan processes better in advance, and respond to possible peak periods and staffing shortages.
Soarian helps save time and money
Soarian also helps the hospital save on costs since orders for tests or X-rays, for example, can be performed much faster due to the direct access the system offers to individual departments, Martins explains.
The time and cost savings are considerable. And that is certainly an interesting aspect, particularly during the current economic crisis.
Faster, more efficient processes
Fewer duplicate tests
Comprehensive view, better planning ability
Emergency management can be optimized
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The outcomes achieved by the Siemens customers described herein were achieved in the customer's unique setting. Since there is no "typical" hospital and many variables exist (e.g. hospital size, case mix, level of IT adoption) there can be no guarantee that others will achieve the same results.