Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CHADIS is cool, but not compatible with our EMR

A few weeks ago, an old teacher of mine from Maryland invited me to look at their system for integrating behavioral health into a primary care setting.  (I posted the invitation  here).  So I went to check it out a few weeks ago, and I have been slow to post my comments.  In part, that was because I wasn't completely blown away.  The system is a bit too text based for the visual learner in me, and I thought that the screening questionnaires were too wordy and that parents wouldn't like them.  Their data would suggest otherwise- they put a lot of work into this thing, and it has LOTS of potential as a source of information for our families.

The real problem, though, is that it would be one more system.  In our hospital's computers, we book appointments on IDX, we check labs on MEDITECH, we look at X-rays on IMAGECAST, we sign records on WEBESA, and our e-mail is on EXCHANGE.  Last spring, we added TOUCHSCAN as the source of our electronic medical record and soon we will be typing our noted directly into the system.  And MassHealth wants us to be passed our mental health information through the VIRTUAL GATEWAY.  Each of these systems has a login and a password.  Our computers don't allow them to easily transfer information between themselves and we are spending more and more time looking at the screen.  Can this be the way to better care for children with mental health problems?

CHADIS is a good system, developed by good people who are more interested in children's mental health than most.  But I cannot recommend to anyone that they add one more system into their lives at the present time.  Someone needs to start some serious work at integrating all of there things, so that we can return our focus to the child and the family, where it belongs.

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