Baja California Adopts First Integrated Care System in Mexico
Client:Health Secretariat of Baja California State
- Improve the quality of healthcare services
- Efficiently use limited medical resources
- xHIS and eSIAP, a highly interoperable electronic patient information system
- Improved patient tracking and communication, facilitating continuum of care
- Integrated healthcare system
- Real-time secure access to centralized patient records and data
- Optimized inventory management
- Cost savings for administration and patients
The Health Secretariat of Baja California State offers services at 120 centers, six general hospitals and 60 mobile medical units. The Healthcare Secretariat’s objectives for its estate electronic health records (EHR) program are to improve care delivery, unify the primary and secondary care information systems, and manage resources more efficiently.
Replacing paper-based processes
Before implementing the EHR, the secretariat relied on paper-based processes operating across different sites, with each managing information in a variety of formats and using complicated documentation and archiving systems. This created difficulties in making patient information available at each medical center — a problem that was aggravated whenever a case required immediate access to records for critical decision making.
The Health Secretariat of Baja California State therefore decided to replace its existing systems with a fully integrated solution that would facilitate the creation of a single patient record containing the complete clinical history, and where every step in the care pathway — from diagnosis to each subsequent stage of care — could be captured and updated, regardless of where treatment was administered within the secretariat.
In addition, a solution was needed that would facilitate follow-up and all subsequent stages of care. Importantly, the Healthcare Secretariat needed to ensure that these new systems and processes were cost effective and improved efficiency.
“It is very important to use our resources wisely,” says Dr. Carlos Maytorena, projects development director, ISESALUD. “For the Health Secretariat of Baja California State, and any other healthcare providers in all institutions — not only in Mexico, but throughout the world — funds are limited. Thus, it is important to ensure that those resources are being used effectively to realize the greatest possible benefit.”
Launching an electronic health records system
The EHR system was implemented to standardize patient medical records across the network and improve patient care and safety. The project was complex and very ambitious, with just a seven-month time frame given to integrate all healthcare centers and services across the state of Baja California.
The main goals were to decrease the number of potentially adverse patient events and create the basis for more efficient and effective medical analysis for Health Secretariat of Baja California State’s patient population, in accordance with official standards.
"One must recognize that this is a live project that has been evolving on a daily basis and is not yet complete. And the system must keep developing and growing with the institute,” Mexicali Hospital’s Managing Director, Dr. Caleb Cienfuegos, says.
Finding the right healthcare solution
The Health Secretariat of Baja California State needed a global, single solution for holistic care delivery management, with the patient at the center, developed in accordance with standards across a variety of formats, technology platforms, databases, communication and mobile devices, with the capability of responding to local regulations.
“Before selecting our EHR system, we had to consider both the institution’s needs in terms of care delivery, and Mexico-specific healthcare regulations, particularly those laid out in Standard NOM-024, which details the requirements for EMR,” continues Dr. Maytorena. “Following detailed analysis and review, we chose CSC’s integrated care solution, based on the integrated offering — xHIS and eSIAP. Because the Health Secretariat of Baja California State serves many patients, it holds a large amount of information — data that we knew could be used to great effect in population health management. Therefore, it was particularly beneficial that CSC, as a global company, could use its extensive experience in implementing similar systems in the United States and many other countries to our benefit.”
According to Dr. Rigoberto Isarraraz, director of health services, working with CSC enabled "the extraction of valuable and timely information to improve the technical quality of care. At the same time, it allows us to undertake management of resources with greater efficiency, as we can use prescriptions issued by our doctors to discern trends and patterns so we can create medication inventories accurately and in real time, allowing us to make better decisions."
“We have worked with the company without any problems,” adds Dr. Maytorena. “We have formed a good team. Both their planning and execution teams have integrated fully and successfully. CSC's external support has been vitally important in terms of clear and precise strategic planning, and this is what has made the project such a success.”
Dr. Cienfuegos says, "One of the greatest advantages of this model is that I will be able to see what actions have been taken and which interventions have been made at the first level of care. This also means the patient has a unique record for the complete treatment path.”
"Having an electronic information system will allow us to manage all information in an agile and speedy manner that is oriented toward decision making," Dr. Maytorena concludes.