Published: Aug. 19, 2010
Updated: Aug. 19, 2010
Innovative, integrated use of information technology benefits cardiac patients, sets Duke Heart Center apart
The Duke Heart Center is pioneering the use of information technology on a number of fronts in an ongoing effort to further improve patient care and outcomes.
Faculty from the Duke Heart Center and the Fuqua School of Business’s health sector management program have added new, novel tools to HealthView, Duke Medicine’s secure Web site for patients.
Designed to help patients better understand and manage their health, the online tools let patients:
The application is just part of Duke’s ongoing, health system-wide effort to give patients access to customized content through HealthView. The new tools also include multimedia procedure descriptions and disease-specific information about six prevalent conditions treated by the Duke Heart Center:
Although the new HealthView tools are currently available only to Duke Heart Center patients, their development has created an infrastructure that will enable other clinical programs to implement these concepts over time.
The HealthView expansion also allows Duke patients to do something that patients at no other medical center can: View and print their own cardiac images from home.
Duke University Health System contracted with IBM Research Laboratories to use novel imaging software -- fine-tuned to Duke’s specifications -- making Duke the first institution to give patients access to their electrocardiograms, cardiac caths, and other cardiac images.
The hope is that seeing actual images of their hearts will motivate patients to do the work necessary to reach their health goals.
Duke patients aren’t the only ones benefiting from information technology advances.
Heart Center clinicians now have secure, single-location access to every type of cardiac image rendered at every Duke hospital, clinic, or affiliated medical center -- from cath-lab images and echocardiography to computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The viewing software has been installed in virtually all of health system’s 5,000 workstations, giving providers a clearer, more comprehensive clinical picture of their patients whenever and wherever they need it.
Heart Center faculty are also working toward a unified cardiovascular information solution for managing patient data. In response to the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- which, in part, encourages hospitals to use electronic health records to both document patient data and capture it for use in clinical decision-making and disease management -- these efforts are built upon and integrated with information from the acclaimed Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease.