The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says it has created an app doctors can use to receive important patient data via their BlackBerry smartphones. In addition, the health care organization has completed a proof-of-concept of a technology platform that helps doctors and patients share information.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is teaming up with technology
partner dbMotion to create ways of making electronic medical records more
readily available to both physicians and patients.
UPMC officials on March 2 announced that the partnership had
created an application enabling physicians to receive critical patient
information on their BlackBerry smartphones.
Using the application developed with dbMotion, doctors can now look
up patients' allergies, medications and lab results on their BlackBerry
devices, whether they're at the hospital or on the road, according to William
Fera, vice president of medical technologies and medical director of
interoperability at UPMC.
"We are looking for more effective ways to make patient
information available at the point of care-and, increasingly, the point of care
isn't just in a hospital or doctor's office," Fera said in a statement.
"We need to get the right information to the right clinicians at the right
time, whether they are at home on call or in a variety of mobile health care
The BlackBerry application runs on the dbMotion Solution interoperability
platform. The platform gives doctors a single view of the pertinent information
and gives health care providers a way to transfer and organize the data usefully.
On March 1, UMPC officials announced the development of
electronic PHR (personal health record) technology that eventually may give
patients the ability to add critical health information to the EHRs (electronic
health records) kept by hospitals and physicians.
UMPC recently wrapped up a proof-of-concept project run in
collaboration with Google Health, Carnegie
The idea of PHRs has been around for three decades, according
to UPMC officials, but the push to make them electronic has been growing with
the demand for EHRs. The Obama administration has been pushing for greater
adoption of EHRs
and has earmarked $17 billion in federal economic stimulus
money for EMR projects, starting in 2011.
The key hurdle for electronic PHRs has been the difficulty of aggregating
data from a range of unconnected technologies and then presenting that
information in a way that's useful to both patients and doctors.
UPMC is using dbMotion's SOA (service-oriented
architecture)-based interoperability platform to help share and organize the
data, regardless of the technologies involved.
"The interoperability platform allows us to connect
disparate EHRs and automatically gather information from various patient-facing
applications throughout the UPMC system, including ambulatory and acute care
settings," Fera said.
The medical information not only will be aggregated, but will
be shared bidirectionally between doctors and patients through the PHR.
"This is the first step in creating an interoperable,
actionable PHR," Fera said.