iCIMS systems provide the greatest productivity to the work of the clinical team. Clinical team led design ensures that they have an optimal system with the lowest barriers to acceptance, the lowest training requirements yet they create methods and workflow that match the requirements of the professional leaders in the clinical team.
iCIMS systems enable the design to be optimised by the clinicians and not dictated by the software developers. This lowers the barriers to clinician engagement in the design process. It leaves the engineers to look after the software code itself and not be tangled up in user requirements.
iCIMS systems are best suited to clinical settings where the day-to-day work processes are busy and fluid, where access to the clinical record is needed frequently by people in many different roles and so the clinical information system needs to be optimised for the team.
Cancer teams in particular need to share information between many professional groups and collect a significant amount of data over a patient’s journey. The clinical record currently for these patients is divided between many locations of care and is difficult to pull together for multi-disciplinary team meetings. Subsequently, recording the decisions of these meetings and distributing them to all relevant team staff is equally cumbersome.
iCIMS is a web-enabled technology that would allow staff in many diverse locations to access the same data, even at the same time. The data would be immediately available to all staff and the continuous record of care for the patient would always be available.
Nowadays, the duties of any professional clinical team are also defined by their attention to evidence based methods and participation in research studies. An iCIMS system would enable the development of a research database that drew directly and automatically from the patient records held in the team’s CIS. There would be no need for extra data entry. Revision of the data collected would be enabled just by the expansion of the system design, a task that might only take a few minutes for a single item of data in an iCIMS CIS.
Sharing data between clinical teams is a well-known bottleneck in the patient workflow. iCIMS clinical information systems have native interoperability; that is, they share data directly by any CIS being able to refer to data in another CIS by calling its name. The moment the data is collected in the original system, a copy is transferred to the CIS that calls for the data.
Data also needs to be shared with systems that are already in place. Outside of the iCIMS paradigm, communication needs to be provided using industry standard mechanisms. iCIMS is able to communicate with any external system using API or HL7 protocols.
With the coming demands of activity based funding, it is more important than ever to codify the clinical record directly with all the appropriate code details. It is is no longer sensible to wait for up to 6 months of coders to produce an abbreviated set of ICD-10-AM codes that describe only the most significant clinical activities. iCIMS can directly codify the CIS fields using the SNOMED CT coding scheme so that the clinical record is coded in more detail and more accurately ensuring no clinical service is omitted or overlooked. The natural language processing functions in iCIMS also ensure that the SNOMED CT coding is supplied automatically into the clinical interface for text fields, so appropriate coding can be done either in situ by members of the clinical team or alternatively after the fact by coding specialists.