Scripps Health to Link Hospitals via ‘Patient-File Warehouse’
Following two years of testing and development, the Scripps Health hospital system has launched ScrippsNet Secure, a central electronic "patient-file warehouse" that will connect doctors and all five hospitals in the system, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Intended to "improve the quality of care," the system will store doctors' notes and digital images, including CT scans and some X-rays. In addition to password and firewall privacy protections, ScrippsNet Secure allows only doctors and support staff who are "actively treating" a patient to have access to that patient's records. The viewer's identity will be recorded each time a record is accessed and unauthorized use will result in disciplinary action. Dr. Joseph Traube, medical director of Scripps Information services, said that about 350 doctors and support staffers have signed up for the service. He added that the number is expected to "increase weekly" as providers learn about the system's features. ScrippsNet Secure is part of a five-year, $75 million effort to connect all the system's hospitals. Eventually, prescriptions will be transmitted electronically, and each hospital room will have computers or hand-held devices (Fong, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.