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In an ideal world, patients would remember their entire medical histories and inform their care providers immediately of events such as allergic reactions or side effects of treatments.
In the real world, of course, such patients are rare. So at Intermountain Health Care, a client/server system called Healthcare Enterprise Management System (HEMS) will do the remembering and reporting of important patient data. The system, still under construction but currently being rolled out to a few facilities, will also refer to an extensive knowledge base to generate medical practice recommendations and warnings about side effects.
HEMS differs from typical health industry systems that focus on billing and health insurance reimbursement. Although some of the data entered in HEMS is also sent to various billing systems, HEMS addresses treatment issues. It captures medical information from patient transcripts at doctors' offices; coded data from a variety of sources, such as a patient's chart; and data from various laboratory and pharmacy systems to create a comprehensive record of the patient, regardless of whether the patient was treated in a doctor's office, an outpatient clinic, the emergency room, or the hospital.
In the future, HEMS will also capture data feeds directly from the various monitors and devices to which …