Joining the health record dots for cancer sufferers is the aim of Sydney-based eHealth companyEpiSoft’s newest offering Cancer CareZone.
EpiSoft received a grant from Commercialisation Australia during 2013 to help launch its cloud-based solution for integrated cancer management.
Enthusiasm among EpiSoft’s early adopters is very high with oncologists, nurses, nurse unit managers and administrative staff all enjoying the intuitive, friendly and deceptively simple user interface and clinical tools.
EpiSoft has been working with two very different private health providers to pilot Cancer CareZone, one a company offering screening and early stage detection of skin changes that could lead to melanoma. With over eighty clinics across Australia and New Zealand, the technical challenges included integrating administrative and clinical data between EpiSoft’s cloud-based Cancer CareZone product and the healthcare provider’s own proprietary technology for high resolution photography, image storage and diagnostic reporting.
The other healthcare provider is a Sydney-based private hospital group with day procedure centres providing oncology and haematology services in the Sydney metropolitan area.
EpiSoft’s oncology management system is underpinned by the protocol management engine EpiSteme which the company launched during 2013 for hepatitis shared care.
The Cancer Institute’s EviQ protocols are built into the EpiSteme system using an expert authoring tool that then publishes to the patient record as a draft drug order. EpiSteme expands the chemotherapy drug regimen with a more complete treatment “prescription” covering appointment scheduling, prompts to order tests, review results and perform other clinical tasks.
And the nurse administration chart has everything a nurse needs to see at a glance when administering the drug: the patient’s observations, urinalysis results, their allergies, access infection, latest relevant blood results and the weight and body surface area. Changes made by the specialist to the drug order are also visible including dose reductions, drug substitution and drugs ceased and the reasons.
The drug administration chart supports nurse co-signature and ad hoc inclusion of telephone orders and standing orders.
EpiSoft is now in the process of building further electronic bridges with more and more service providers of its lead sites. We are aiming for closed loop chemotherapy medication management with the plan being the electronic prescription will flow seamlessly from specialist to pharmacist worklist for ordering to the external compounding company for compounding back to pharmacist and then to nurse in the day infusion centre to the patient. We have most of those electronic steps in place and are now testing the remaining areas of the system that will make the medication process completely paperless, automated and instantaneous.
Developing a billing system in the same timeframe as such a challenging clinical system development project was always going to be an issue for a small company so EpiSoft enlisted the help of software company McCauley Software to help integrate CareZone with the Medicare claims and payment gateway. We explored a number of opportunities for partnership in the billing space but McCauley Software appealed because we could achieve ‘black box’ integration with a transactional claims and payment processing system living under the hood of the EpiSoft user interface. We could also enlist the nationally recognised expertise of founder Dr Vince McCauley in the Medicare claims and payment arena. Combining this with the EpiSoft’s own knowledge of the inpatient process and billing environment, they now have a Software as a Service platform that provides a comprehensive inpatient and outpatient practice management and billing system with a next generation cancer information system – web-based, iPAD friendly and now rolling out to private oncology and haematology practices.
One of the great features of CareZone is its ability to morph into so many different views for different clinical communities. Primary CareZone which EpiSoft launched in Melbourne in early 2014 is servicing the administrative and clinical needs of Medicare Locals running programs for mental health, indigenous care, alcohol and other drug and other chronic disease programs for patients in their regions is running on the same system.