Ochsner Medical Center physician develops EHR add-on for NICUs

Steven Spedale, MD, chief of neonatology for Baton Rouge, La.-based Woman's Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center-Baton Rouge, released his specialty EHR software nationwide earlier this year, The Advocate reports.

Here are five things to know about the software, PediNotes, which is targeted toward neonatal intensive care units.

1. Dr. Spedale told The Advocate he had grown increasingly frustrated with the EHRs on the market. That frustration led him to hire a team of software developers to create add-ons for electronic order, medication and billing services. Today, the system, PediNotes, sits atop existing EHRs like Epic and Cerner, making it interoperable across hospitals.

2. Dr. Spedale launched Tecurologic, a software development company and parent of PediNotes, in 2007. Tecurologic released a commercial version of PediNotes in 2012, which Woman's Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center-Baton Rouge use for neonatal intensive care.

3. Woman's Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center-Baton Rouge constitute the sole users of PediNotes thus far. However, their deployment enabled Dr. Spedale to break even on the personal investment he made to develop the product.

4. Dr. Spedale began marketing PediNotes across the U.S. six months ago, appearing at trade shows and launching a national marketing campaign. His goal is to sign 10 NICUs in the next two years. Dr. Spedale told The Advocate PediNotes would cost a regional-sized NICU approximately $50,000 to $100,000.

5. Dr. Spedale told The Advocate he designed the PediNotes system to mimic existing physician workflows, which gives him an advantage over other vendors. For example, PediNotes displays all relevant health information for a selected condition on a single page to avoid switching between tabs and enables physicians to arrange screens in any order they choose.

"If my software is making someone change the way they practice medicine, then I think that's bad software," he told The Advocate.

More articles on EHRs:
HHS launches campaign to educate patients about rights under HIPAA
Drs. John Halamka, Micky Tripathi: Policymakers invented the 'myth' of information blocking
4 former ONC heads pen op-ed on EHRs' 'path forward' after HITECH

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