Thursday, July 2, 2009
The Heritage Valley Health System has picked up a $333,000 federal grant to put more handheld medical record devices in the palms of doctors. The system with hospitals in Sewickley and Beaver recently contracted with a Chicago based company to expand its medical record system. That contract was funded with a grant from Highmark. Heritage Valley CEO Norm Mitry says right now about 270 of the system’s 400 active medical staff have been given one of the hand held devices and the federal money will allow that number to grow. Heritage Valley began inputting medical records into a data base in 1996 and the desktop computers hooked into the system can read that data. The handheld devices can look at data from the last three years. Heritage Valley Chief Information Officer Dave Carlton says the handheld devices can even look at lab results and trend them over time right at the bedside. The devices work on wireless technology that allows doctors to have access not only in the hospital but also in their offices, at home or on vacation. Carlton says along with the three years of historic data the hand held devices can get up to the minute data on vital signs and other important patient information. The funds come from the 2009 Health and Human Services budget.