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The Power of Plugged-In Physicians

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, May 25, 2012

Called the "YES Board" (see the attached image) it contains a mind-boggling amount of information. Colorful icons tell a variety of caregivers the current state of individual patients. The best part: most of the data has been requested directly by physicians and nurses so that they know what has gone on with their patient since arrival, and they know it at a glance.

"There must be hundreds of data sources to pull data from any one point in time," Smith says. "The way we're handling that is by pulling all the data into one spot, and packaging it in such a way that the providers can see the information immediately."

It was not an overnight solution, by any stretch.

Around 2007, when Mayo first deployed the software that powers the monitors, all it monitored was the number of patients in the waiting area and which patients were in each room, says Andy Boggust, MD, who worked in partnership with Smith to expand the system's capabilities.

Neither was particularly enthusiastic about the new system to begin with. "We didn't have all the other clinical data," Boggust says. Smith adds a parallel about technology: "As I look back on all the times I've been told we're going to upgrade our EMR, I have never looked forward to it. It usually meant more work on my part not just as an IT person but as a clinician. The feeling was that it would make my life more difficult."

But a funny thing happened with the YES Board: Physicians started asking for more information.

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