Two hospitalists in the greater Houston area have developed a computer application that streamlines the hospital admission process—a major frustration for busy, office-based primary-care physicians (PCPs).
Mujtaba Ali-Khan, DO, who has practiced at Conroe Regional Medical Center since 2009, is president of Streamlined Medical Solutions (www.streamlinedmedical.com), a company incorporated in July 2011 to market the Direct Admit System for Hospitals, or DASH.1 DASH allows referring physicians to access and submit a direct-admit form, upload medical records, and order preliminary medications and tests for the patient. Once the on-call hospitalist accepts the submitted referral, a “boarding pass” with assigned hospitalist and room number is generated for the patient to take to the hospital’s admissions department. Patients bypass the ED and avoid duplicative medical tests. The process also sends a confirmation to the PCP.
With the support of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Dr. Ali-Khan and his business partner, hospitalist Ali Bhuriwala, MD, piloted DASH at two HCA hospitals in Texas. It’s now on the market and has been implemented or is in the works at several others.
“When we started using DASH, we found ourselves getting all sorts of data: Who are the referring physicians, the patients’ ZIP codes, how long do admissions take?” says Dr. Ali-Khan, who adds plans are under way to expand the software’s capacity to allow PCPs to upload tests and place medical orders from the field. “We’re also developing a full suite of hospitalist communication and coordination functions on a dashboard, accessible from smartphones and text alerts, dispensing with pagers entirely.”
Watch a video about DASH at www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUG_vQgKvE0.