Memorial Hermann Physician Network launches physician mobile communication solution throughout Houston

Memorial Hermann Physician Network launches physician mobile communication solution throughout Houston

DocbookMD, a HIPAA-secure mobile communication company, is in the process of deploying one of the largest physiciancentric mobile communication solutions in Texas at Memorial Hermann Physician Network (MHMD) in Houston.

Created by Austin-based physicians, Tracey Haas, D.O., MPH, and Tim Gueramy, M.D, the DocbookMD application will be embedded into MHMD’s Accountable Care Network to enhance communication between its physicians. “MHMD searched for the best technology to put this capability at the fingertips of our physicians at the point of care when referring patients to other physicians,” says D. Keith Fernandez, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the Memorial Hermann Accountable Care Organization (MHACO). “With the ability to send text messages and chat real-time with other physicians in the Accountable Care Network, DocbookMD will help us manage our workload more efficiently and improve patient outcomes.”

“We have worked closely with the MHMD physician advisory team as well as the group’s IT department to ensure the initial roll-out to the Accountable Care Organization network (MHACO) physicians is seamless and immediately impactful on patient outcomes,” says Dr. Gueramy, CEO of DocbookMD. “MHMD is a world-class healthcare organization that often sets the tone for the industry, so that means our collaboration is seen by many as charting a new way forward for healthcare systems, accountable care organizations (ACO) and other health IT solutions to work with one another, rather than in separate silos.”

MHMD decided to launch a physician communication solution to drive work-flow efficiencies and improve the secure flow of critical communications across its huge network of physician practices. “Security is a constant concern of ours even as we look for ways to empower our physician members to improve patient outcomes,” says Dr. Shawn Griffin, Chief Quality and Informatics Officer at MHMD. “A communication solution has to balance speed and ease of access with a HIPAA-secure platform that will also help physicians treat patients efficiently to lower the cost of care across our network.”

DocbookMD, which launched its Docbook Enterprise solution in November of last year to help large hospitals and healthcare groups better manage their critical communications, has been working closely with MHMD’s IT Department to ensure physician contact data is complete and accurate to ensure a seamless roll-out for the first 1,800 MHACO physicians. “Anytime you upload that much data into a mobile communication solution like Docbook Enterprise a certain amount of work is required before going live,” says David Bradshaw, CIO of Memorial Hermann Health System. “Ultimately, the key to a successful launch is to ensure all physician contact information is protected on a well-secured cloud network and to provide proactive physician support in the form of training and post-launch customer support. Docbook Enterprise has made serious strides toward a pre-launch strategy that bodes well for the roll-out.”

“Our goal in adopting this new technology is to enable our physicians to do their job more efficiently, which has a direct correlation to improving patient outcomes,” says Chris Lloyd, CEO of MHACO. “This is the next step in advancing the quality and efficiency of the care we provide within the MHACO.”


Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital debuts new implantable cardiac monitor

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the first in Fort Bend County to use an implantable cardiac monitor (ICM) that is smaller than a AAA battery on patients with an irregular heartbeat.

Board-certified electrophysiologist, Sohail Jalal, M.D., recently implanted the new Reveal LINQ™ monitor in a patient during a minimally invasive procedure at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. The implantable cardiac monitor is 80 percent smaller than other similar implantable devices or approximately one-third the size of a AAA battery. The device allows physicians to continuously and wirelessly monitor a patient’s heart for up to three years.

“The Reveal LINQ is a major step forward for patients who require ongoing monitoring due to cardiac arrhythmia, or what we call an irregular heartbeat,” said Dr. Jalal. “Because it is so small, it can be placed just beneath the skin through a tiny incision, and once in place, it is nearly invisible to the naked eye. The procedure is simple and easy for patients. Most importantly, patients with this device can undergo an MRI exam which is not possible with conventional implantable monitors.”

Once in place, the Reveal LINQ ICM continuously monitors the heart so that physicians have a real time snapshot of the patient’s cardiac activity. In the event of a cardiac arrhythmia, the device alerts the physician via a wireless network so that early intervention is possible. The system’s remote monitoring capabilities can work almost anywhere in the world, sending data to a patient’s physician quickly and easily.

Remote monitoring of cardiac arrhythmia has been shown to improve patient quality of life, reduce hospital stays and improve survival rates. The implantable cardiac monitor can also lead to early detection of atrial fibrillation, the most common form of abnormal heart rhythm and a major risk factor for stroke. With early detection and treatment a stroke could be prevented.

“Continuous, remote monitoring is the best way for patients who suffer from cardiac arrhythmia to protect themselves from future episodes that may be extremely serious,” Dr. Jalal said. “The data we collect via monitoring enables us to better understand how the heart is working and allows us to identify problems before they become life-threatening. Symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia include fatigue, dizziness, fainting, rapid heartbeat or pounding, shortness of breath, chest pain, and, in extreme cases, sudden cardiac arrest.


Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital now offers endoscopic ultrasounds

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital gastroenterologist Madhukar Kaw, M.D., recently performed the hospital’s first endoscopic ultrasound procedure, an advanced technology that enables doctors to generate accurate, detailed images of lesions in the digestive tract that are not visible through routine endoscopy.

Endoscopic ultrasound combines traditional endoscopy – in which a small, lighted flexible tube with an attached ultrasound probe is inserted into the upper or lower digestive tract. The scope includes a tiny device that creates sound waves to generate additional close-up images of organs, enabling the physician to see detailed pictures both from the camera and via ultrasound. Endoscopic ultrasound is especially helpful in guiding the physician during the biopsy of organs and lymph nodes.

Currently, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the only facility in Fort Bend providing endoscopic ultrasounds.

“Images from a traditional endoscopic camera don’t always allow the physician to detect some early-stage cancers,” says Dr. Kaw. “And routine ultrasounds, because they travel through the body, are typically not helpful until there is a mass of some size. Now we can create both close-up camera and ultrasound images with one tool that enables us to clearly see lesions or abnormalities and to directly guide biopsies for further study. The endoscopic ultrasound has become an integral technology in identifying and staging gastrointestinal cancers including esophageal, stomach, rectum, pancreatic and bile duct cancers.”


CHI St. Luke’s Health–Sugar Land Hospital becomes first in Houston to use the latest da Vinci® Xi Surgical System

CHI St. Luke’s Health–Sugar Land Hospital announced today that it’s the first hospital in the Houston area to use the latest intuitive da Vinci Xi Surgical System— making the Sugar Land Hospital the fifth hospital in the world to use this advanced technology. The new system offers threedimensional high-definition visualization and allows for enhanced dexterity, greater precision and control for the surgeon.

General surgeon Michael Kleinman, MD, recently performed the hospital’s first two surgeries—gall bladder removal and a nissen fundoplication for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)— using the da Vinci Xi-a cholecystectomy.

The 3D-HD image can be magnified up to 10 times, to provide the surgeon a close-up view of the area. The da Vinci system also has mechanical wrists that bend and rotate to mimic the movements of the human wrist, which allow surgeons to make small, precise movements inside the body.

“We’re excited to offer this incredible technology as part of our continued efforts to provide the best medical care possible to our patients,” said Robert Heifner, President, CHI St. Luke’s Health–Sugar Land Hospital.

In addition to general surgery procedures, surgeons at CHI St. Luke’s Health–Sugar Land Hospital can perform different types of robotic-assisted procedures, including prostatectomies, kidney surgeries and gynecological procedures, such as ovarian tumors, pelvic prolapses and gynecological cancers.