BIDMC to pilot new clinical search tool with goal of improving clinician ability to search patient records

Chloe Meck cmeck@bilh.org

MARCH 30, 2021

BOSTON – As part of its ongoing commitment to exploring leading-edge technology to further enhance patient care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) will participate in an early access program to pilot Google’s Care Studio — a technology designed to offer clinicians a longitudinal view of patient records and the ability to quickly search through those records through a single secure tool.

A group of 50 physicians and nurses, working in inpatient settings, will assess the tool as part of the pilot to ensure the quality, efficacy, and safety of its use in conjunction with BIDMC data and systems. This group will assess the tool’s searchable view of patients’ medical records, which aims to provide clinicians more streamlined access to information that can be used to make important care decisions for the patient more quickly. A goal of the project is to free up more time for clinicians to care for patients and reduce the need for patients to repeat information from visit to visit. Next month, technical work will begin in preparation for the implementation of the pilot, and will include data analysis and validation over the next several months.

“As a leading tertiary care and academic medical center, we are committed to advancing health technology and to exploring solutions to healthcare’s digital challenges in support of providing excellent patient care,” said Lawrence Markson, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Information Officer and Vice President for Clinical Information Systems at BIDMC. “Participating in this early access pilot allows us the opportunity to explore a technology tool that has the potential to streamline our clinicians’ workflow, allowing them to spend more time focused on our highest priority: our patients.”

Many health care organizations store health records across multiple specialty software systems — making it challenging to get a single view of patient information. BIDMC utilizes a number of different systems, including the medical center’s core medical record system, the self-developed, web-based electronic health record known as WebOMR, as well as several clinical systems designed for specific clinical specialties. Records are stored in different formats, such as digital clinical notes, scanned documents and handwritten notes, and currently there is no central system to search across data from these multiple systems. Clinicians log-in and navigate each system individually to locate the information they need.

In this pilot program, clinicians will be able to type a word, abbreviation or phrase into the Care Studio search bar, and the tool will provide relevant information within their patient’s medical record from across multiple sources. By providing an integrated view of patient records and applying intelligent search capabilities to the hospital’s EHR and other BIDMC clinical systems, Care Studio is designed to save clinicians’ time by presenting a unified view of a patient’s vitals, labs, medications and notes.

Care Studio is designed to support the current EHR system and also designed to adhere to state and federal patient privacy regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and industry-wide standards related to protected health information. BIDMC and Google Health have entered into a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) to ensure that both parties meet patient privacy obligations required under HIPAA. BIDMC patient data will be stored and maintained in a protected environment, isolated from other Google customers.

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,000 physicians and 35,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.