YNHHS preparing for new lab information system

Yale New Haven Health System is preparing for the April 2016 launch of Epic Beaker, a laboratory information system that will standardize many functions at Yale New Haven, Bridgeport and Greenwich hospitals.

Currently the hospitals use three different lab information systems, MEDITECH at Greenwich Hospital, Cerner at Bridgeport Hospital and Soft at Yale New Haven Hospital. Beaker, which will launch at the three hospitals simultaneously, will consolidate the three systems into one.

Beaker's advantages include a more streamlined ordering process that makes it easier for clinicians to order "add-on" specimens; decision support rules to avoid duplicate tests; technology to collect and document specimens at the bedside; and improved specimen tracking and results reporting.

"With Beaker, clinicians and laboratory staff will have all clinical information in one system," said Laura Pietrosimone, director, Information Technology Services Laboratory Information Systems. "It will help everyone work more efficiently and, most importantly, enhance patient safety."

The health system has been planning for Beaker since spring 2014. Laboratory clinicians, leaders and information technology staff worked with physicians to first streamline the laboratory formulary, which dictates what tests are available, across the health system. Building on that work, this past September laboratory staff and leaders began working with clinicians to customize the Beaker system for YNHHS by building databases and creating and validating workflows.

In addition to Beaker, YNHHS will expand the SoftBank blood bank system from Yale New Haven Hospital to Bridgeport and Greenwich hospitals concurrent with the Beaker launch so all hospitals are on the same systems.

"The implementation of Beaker and SoftBank are important steps in our efforts to standardize systems across Yale New Haven Health System to ensure we're providing the safest, highest-quality care to all our patients," said Christopher O'Connor, executive vice president and chief operating officer, YNHHS.