MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
 
Happy New Year! Another year has flown by and it is hard to believe that 2017 is officially here. At IPeople, we are greatly looking forward to a wonderful new year... and to start things off we would love to share some information with you.  

Please enjoy 'The Life and Grind as a Nurse' section of this newsletter to learn more about how IPeople can assist your hard-working and extremely busy nursing staff. We understand the balancing act that nurses face between spending time with patients and their many other responsibilities. Dealing with patient assignments, physicians, students, patient's family, and other departments may be an ongoing issue with no resolution. However, getting the most out of MEDITECH and assisting it to work in a more efficient manner can help the nurses get back time that can be spent with the patients. In addition, we would like to share new NPR tips and tricks, information regarding how kaizen events can help your organization get lean, and much more.
 
We do hope that you are off to a great new year and please know that we are here to assist you in any way.

 
Sincerely,
 
Jenny Blue
Partner and CEO

In This Edition:
 
  • Message from the CEO
     
  • Report Writing Tips and Tricks 
     
  • The Life and Grind as a Nurse
     
  • Product Owner Corner 
  • New Product Releases 
     
  • Lean and Heathcare

 

IPeople's new product releases are available now!

IPeople provides a series of blogs on how lean can benefit your organization. Join us at: blogs.ipeople.com to learn more!
 
 
REPORT WRITING TIPS AND TRICKS 
For Magic NPR Report Writers 
 
Do you ever wish that you could see more information behind the tables and indexes while creating your report? For example, would you like to be able to see the actual subscripts and fields for the table? When choosing a Detail Segment or Index File, MEDITECH provides a built-in tool for viewing the Subscripts and Fields.
 


When your cursor is on either the Detail Segment or Index File prompt, you can press <F9> for a "Lookup".

When the Lookup window appears, type the number of the Segment/Index you are interested in, and then press the right <Ctrl> on your keyboard for a pop-up window displaying the Subscripts and Fields:
 
THE LIFE AND GRIND AS A NURSE 
  


For many nurses, remembering how paper charting was done is becoming a distant memory.  Someday we may completely lose the art of squinting our eyes just so, and tilting our heads at just the right angle to read the written documentation from the previous shift. 

Computerized charting has eliminated the illegible documentation we once had to endure.
Computerized charting, however, hasn't eliminated misspellings.  Documentation is the legal record and spelling errors can become distracting and give the appearance of our documentation as being unprofessional and unreliable.  Although correct spelling and patient care may not be linked, many spelling errors may reflect negatively on our ability to accurately and reliably deliver care.

IPeople can help minimize errors in charting by giving users the ability to have a spell check feature when documenting free-text fields.  It may be impossible to eliminate all errors in charting, however, utilizing spell checking can help produce a more professional and trustworthy legal patient record.

But don't stop there...  IPeople offers innovative solutions to help fill the gaps in workflow automation, data validation, and even missing features from your current healthcare applications.  Do you have ideas on how you wish your current software would work but are not sure how to implement these ideas?
 
Let IPeople Help
At IPeople, we help you automate your Nursing workflow so that you can give your patients what they need most... your time! Our goal is to create standardization and accountability through:
  • Sustained improved error rate
  • Decreased patient harm
  • Improved patient satisfaction
  • Higher staff satisfaction

Sample Workflow Automation:
  • Easily check spelling and grammar for assessments and intervention documentation
  • Quickly launch a second session of your assessment screen
  • Launch other 3rd party systems and pass patient identifiers based on the currently accessed patient
  • View other HCIS data directly and real-time without the need to jump from routine to routine

Sample Bi-directional Integration:
  • Interventions and Assessments
  • Clinical Notes
  • Vital Signs
  • Notes
  • Plan of Care
  • Intakes and Outputs 
1. "Hospital Nurses Forced to Develop Creative Workarounds to Deal with EH." PRWeb. N.p., 2014. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12182208.htm.
PRODUCT OWNERS CORNER: 
By Wes Wagner, CSPO
Certified Scrum Product Owner / Data Continuity & Migration
 
One of the responsibilities of a Product Owner is to maintain a "heartbeat" of the industry.  It is important for me to understand to what products and features return real value to our customers.  As I continue to reach out the hospital community, regarding downtime policy and procedures, I continue to be amazed how many sites continue to rely on paper. 
 
In anticipation of a downtime (a.k.a., planned downtimes), many will print of reams of paper for all of their existing patients.  This in turn becomes the "patient record" and used for the extent of the downtime.  In case of an unplanned downtime, all types of scenarios exist - including mass chaos. 

With IPeople's Offline Views there is no need for mass amounts of paper or mass chaos.  It is online 24/7.  Based on a SQL Server Data Repository (IPeople's DR and/or MEDITECH's DR), updates are constantly fed to the DR.  This insures that the data is current (based on the latency of the DR) and available to be viewed anytime.  This removes the necessary planning required for a planned downtime, and the chaos of an unplanned downtime.

So where is the value?  Recently, an Offline Views customer experienced a 24 hour downtime.  During that downtime they were able to electronically access:
  • 186 unique patients
  • The order history for those 186 patients
  • Lab Results for 98 patients
  • Interventions and Care Plans for 80 patients
  • EMAR reports for 50 patients
Our mission for Offline Views is to provide "a seamless transition from live-to-downtime-to-live" for your staff.   By providing quick and easy access to patient data, Offline Views provides your care giver with crucial data needed when making treatment decisions. 

Please feel free to contact me at wes.wagner@ipeople.com with any questions or comments.

NEW PRODUCT RELEASES ARE AVAILABLE NOW! 
 
IPeople Direct 7.3
This isn't just for MEDITECH anymore!

The IPeople Direct 7.3 version focuses on providing the ability to query multiple systems together and includes many feature enhancements. Enhancements include:
  • Incredible performance improvements, enhanced reliability, and fault tolerance
  • You now have the ability to query other systems, including Epic, along with MEDITECH in order to use ONE driver across the continuum of care
  • New support querying MEDITECH 6.1
IPeople Scout 7.3
Search. Find. Explore... understanding your systems has never been easier!
 
The IPeople Scout 7.3 version focuses on enhancing your ability to search, find, and explore your systems effortlessly. Features and enhancements include:
  • Ability to explore your data, meta-data, and more
  • Compare your MEDITECH system to your MEDITECH DR in order to quickly and effortlessly find the information you need in either
  • View 'Smart Joins' to ensure you get the most efficient joining of tables while preventing bad joins from needlessly taxing your system's resources
  • Create reports and grids quickly while combining data across tables, applications, and even systems
  • Export and distribute data
IPeople Echo 4.0
A Whole New Look and Feel!
 
The wait is over... IPeople Echo 4.0 is here! Enjoy the new look and feel as well as full support for additional HCIS systems including MEDITECH 6.1 and Epic. Enhancements include:
  • New look and feel for improved user interaction
  • Remarkable performance improvements and enhanced auto-recovery
  • Additional support for creating data extractions for additional HCIS systems, including Epic and MEDITECH 6.1
IPeople Offline 2.1
Merge your downtime and migration strategies seamlessly!
 
IPeople's latest release of IPeople Offline takes organizations to the next level by offering more power to help merge your downtime and migration solutions... all in one solution. Enhancements include:
  • View critical patient data from multiple HCIS and other systems through one solution
  • Access legacy data for older visits and access your current HCIS data for newer visits to create one powerful solution addressing both your downtime and migration needs 
     
LEAN AND HEALTHCARE: GETTING LEAN THROUGH KAIZEN EVENTS
   


We have spent some time discussing the impact that lean can have on healthcare organizations, what it means to create a lean culture, and understanding the lean principles... now it is time to start talking about ways to get lean! There are many ways that organizations can implement lean and sustain a lean management system. Today we are going to start with one... kaizen events!

All people in a lean organization must learn every day and gain knowledge by working to improve the business. This concept is known as kaizen which means incremental and continuous improvement. Kaizen is a Japanese term for "improvement". When applied to the workplace, Kaizen refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and processes. There are two things to remember as we discuss improvement and solving problems:
  1. To generate improvement, you have to solve problems
  2. To solve problems, you have to learn something you didn't know before
Kaizen is part action plan and part philosophy. If you think about this as an action plan, then Kaizen is about organizing events on improving specific areas. If you think about this as a philosophy, then kaizen is about building a culture where all employees are engaged in suggesting and implementing improvement.

So what exactly is a kaizen event? A kaizen event is a focused, short-term project to improve a process. Kaizen events help with the following:

  • Excellent way to formalize some simple improvement activities that are not always run in an optimal format
  • Avoids the stigma of a formalized project that may be drawn out over several weeks or months.
  • Provides just-in-time process improvements
Let's look at some frequently asked questions about kaizen events:

Q. How long should a kaizen event last?
A. The usual kaizen event takes 2 to 10 days. Remember, this should be treated as a focused, short-term project with the goal of improving something. The goal of such an event is not to solve everything. Setting those expectations will only lead to disappointment and the feeling of failure. Instead, the goal is to solve or improve a specific problem that can add the most value to the customer and hopefully have a positive rippling affect. This also goes hand in hand with one of the group rules of lean... conduct improvements incrementally. Don't try to fix everything at once or it can be overwhelming and you can be setting yourself up for failure.

Q. What are the step's involved with a kaizen event?
A. Below shows the 10 step process for conducting successful kaizen events:
1. Define the problem
2. Document the current situation
3. Visualize the current situation
4. Define measurement targets
5. Brainstorm solutions to the problem
6. Develop Kaizen plan
7. Implement plan
8. Measure, record and compare results to targets
9. Prepare summary documents
10. Create short term action plan, on-going standards and sustaining plan

Q. Why are some organizations reluctant to use kaizen events?
A. Some organizations are reluctant to use kaizen events because they feel that such events take a team of employees away from their "real jobs", even if for a short period of time. I would argue that these organizations should look at this differently. Kaizen events can be a fantastic means to improvement. A properly planned and executed kaizen event will pay for the perceived loss of time many times over. A successful kaizen event can help the staff's "real job" become easier. Since kaizen events address many of the day-to-day problems with permanent solutions instead of Band-Aids, one's day can now include less fighting fires and include more productive activities.

Q. Who should lead a Kaizen event?
A. The kaizen event needs to be facilitated by an individual who has good people skills, excellent team work capabilities, quick conflict resolution skills and in-depth negotiating skills

Q. When should kaizen events be used?
A. You can use a kaizen event to improve almost anything. For example, kaizen events can work great when organizing the workplace using the 5's, looking at how to remove waste from a process, or looking at how to reduce lead times. The trick to a successful event is good leadership and careful planning. Failure to provide either can lead to an event where the team is confused and do not understand what is trying to be accomplished. Planning the kaizen event is extremely important. You need to define exactly what it is you hope to achieve... the purpose and objective should be clear. And remember... do not let the event get too broad or last too long.

SUMMARY
In conclusion, Kaizen events can be very effective and very powerful. Kaizen and other lean tools are for continual use as part of an overall drive toward perfection. Conduct kaizen events before it is too late... don't wait until a crisis occurs. Instead, look at how to improve things now in order to avoid the crisis that could occur if ignored. It really is all about continuous improvement and this is just one of many ways to get lean.

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