Systems Analysis at Capital District Health Authority
Health Informaticians are faced with a tough challenge in today’s healthcare environment – to deliver innovative solutions for improving the way we deliver healthcare, while keeping within a strict budget. Capital District Health Authority is the largest health authority in Nova Scotia and due to the tight provincial healthcare budget, they are seeking cost-savings initiatives, while still hoping to maintain a high level of quality patient care. Processes need to be evaluated, updated, and streamlined, where possible. They want to implement leading-edge technologies, but while on such a tight budget, everyone is forced to do “more with less”. Systems Analysts are crucial in delivering these solutions to the healthcare providers. They act as the liaison between information technology and the care providers, assisting the clinical areas with IT solutions to improve the delivery of patient care. They make suggestions for improvements on current processes and collaborate with the clinical areas to make the changes. The author worked as a Systems Analyst during the internship in the IT department at Capital Health. Multiple projects were planned for the internship, as well as some ongoing maintenance with existing systems. The first major project involved implementing a new technology called Orders Connect, which would change the way that orders were sent to the Pharmacy department, and implement a bigger change to the way in which Pharmacy processes, fills, and checks their orders. Despite the hesitation to change, the project was a huge success with only positive comments coming from the Pharmacy department. By implementing Orders Connect, order turn-around time has decreased, while patient safety has increased. Another project for the Pharmacy department was a Profiled Pyxis project, which involved installation and configuration of new Pyxis Medstations to the Dartmouth General site and making them profiled, where the medications that are distributed from the Pyxis are linked to the patient’s profile in the Centricity Pharmacy system. This is not the case for the existing Pyxis Medstations that exist throughout other sites at Capital Health. In the future, it is the intent to make the existing Pyxis profiled. This initiative also decreases medication turn-around time, while increasing patient safety. The last project that was worked on was a Business Intelligence reporting solution for the Decision Support department. It was the intent of the project team to then look at options for further extending the reporting solution throughout the rest of the hospital. This would mean quicker access to data and should provide decision makers with timely, accurate data for making decisions about the future of our healthcare. Business Objects was the tool used for the project. A security model has been suggested by the author, and once thoroughly tested, it can easily be expanded to an enterprise-wide solution. This project is still on-going. The author applied her knowledge and experience from the Health Informatics program to bring a different perspective to the Systems Analyst role. It was a great learning experience and has increased the level of expertise in the author.