Our Model

The IRM shared services hospital systems implementation and support model focuses on quality standards and best practices designed to leverage staff expertise and efficiency.

  • Customized strategy focused on patients, hospitals, physicians and staff
  • Leverage internal assets with shared services
  • More than 300 IT experts working to meet your needs
  • Local service model managed by an administrative director
  • Network IT resources from desktop to systems analysts
  • Centralized helpdesk to manage service requests

Linking Rural and Urban Hospitals
The IRM network links rural and urban hospitals across the region through the integrated information system. This serves not only to strengthen the relationship between these facilities, but also to improve patient care by giving health care providers access to a common electronic medical record. Patients in the region often move between rural and urban facilities to receive care. With a common information system, physicians who are receiving patients due to a referral or an emergency can access the patients’ medical records from across the region, assuring that they have the most current information for making decisions about treatment.

Improving Hospital Operations
Each hospital participating in the IRM network is able to implement an integrated information system that links all parts of the hospital, including clinical, financial and administrative functions. This improves hospital operations and enables more efficient management of patient information. IRM has also been able to leverage the integrated system to create new applications that allow for more effective oversight and administration of hospital activities and resources. IRM's staff has collaborated with a large area hospital to develop web-based tools that extract key information from the integrated information system and display it as dashboards showing staff and administrators the current status of every unit in the facility. This technology tool, coupled with hospital policies that provide quick resolution to any resource problems which may arise, enabled the hospital to reduce its emergency room wait times by 90 minutes, and to admit 1,000 more patients in 2005 than in prior years, all without any increase in the number of staff.

Improving Patient Safety
The IRM shared services model, coupled with the integrated information system, greatly facilitates implementation of patient safety initiatives in the region. With support from IRM, one hospital in the region became the one of the first in the country to implement a bar-coded medication verification system throughout the facility. This has dramatically improved the hospital’s ability to manage and safely administer medications. Based on this experience, IRM is now implementing this technology at other facilities in the region. IRM is also implementing additional critical new patient safety initiatives including computerized physician order entry (CPOE). With IRM's support, several hospitals in the Spokane area now have CPOE in their emergency rooms. One rural hospital on IRM's network has implemented CPOE throughout the facility. IRM is now enabling other hospitals in the region to expand their use of CPOE.

Improving Relationships Between Hospitals and Physicians
The IRM integrated information system provides a tremendous resource for physicians practicing in the region. IRM has established a variety of mechanisms for physicians to receive patient data, including viewing the information on the web via a virtual private network and receiving it electronically via HL7 messages. Utilizing another IRM-supported tool, physicians are also able to view patient data wirelessly via their personal digital assistants when they are conducting rounds in Spokane area hospitals. This saves both the physician and the hospital significant time each day by eliminating the need to track down and manage a paper record for each patient. The tools provided by IRM for physician access to patient information have helped to improve the relationship between physicians and the area hospitals. Physicians appreciate the rapid access to patient information and also the opportunity to participate in the development of tools that are being implemented in response to their needs and concerns.

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