As companies continue to implement the government's meaningful-use incentive program for electronic health records (EHRs), FrontRange has introduced what it calls a change-management application to facilitate the move toward EHR implementation.
Launched on July 31, the IT service-management (ITSM) application is part of the company's Helpdesk Expert Automation Tool (HEAT) product line and guides health care organizations on the move from paper to electronic records by helping them assess the hardware and software components they will need. It enables an IT department to manage the software and hardware stack required to roll out a particular EHR application.
HEAT is available as a cloud, on-premise or hybrid platform.
FrontRange claims that HEAT can improve a health care organization's operational efficiency by reducing time spent on EHR application deployment by up to 95 percent as well as the total cost of ownership by 70 percent.
"With the introduction of our EMR [electronic medical record] change management solution, we're dramatically reducing the complexity associated with the deployment, operations and maintenance of government-mandated EMR systems," Jon Temple, CEO of FrontRange, said in a statement. "More importantly, we're in a unique position to help health care organizations preserve their profitability by enhancing their ability to comply with ARRA [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] requirements while lowering their EMR total cost of ownership."
Some health care organizations need to manage three or four EHR platforms as well as an old IT infrastructure they've inherited from other companies, David Puglia, CMO of FrontRange, told eWEEK.
HEAT defines the workflow of how IT organizations deploy EHRs, Puglia noted.
"Our system allows IT departments to handle changes from an implementation perspective, being able to manage the workflow," Puglia said. "We have this ability to define what those packages are by computer user and department and roll them out in a seamless fashion."
As companies look to maintain compliance with federal mandates such as the meaningful-use program, they can make sure they're also meeting security requirements and enabling discovery inventories, Puglia said.
HEAT also allows for provisioning from servers and PCs to mobile devices such as tablets. The application provides a way to keep track of IT incidents, such as the need for an operating system or security patch, Puglia said. A workflow engine sends out notifications to alert IT managers if they have an outstanding incident logged in the system.
Using the platform, hospitals can automate the rollout of software, such as an EHR or a radiology package. HEAT's voice automation allows hospitals to receive automated voice messages on whether devices and software in the workflow are working properly.
"It's all controlled by a single workflow engine," which allows organizations to automate tasks, Puglia said. For example a radiology technician can "log a ticket via voice mail and then can be alerted back through an automated voice message, saying you can go ahead and use your device."
In addition, a visual workflow editor allows health care organizations to view their workflow as a palette. "Many of these EMR change management workflows actually originate as Boolean workflows from an IT department," Puglia said. "It's just a direct translation from a drag-and-drop of that particular process, just assembled in a visual way, just pushed out to the different components within the EHR change management system."