DSS, Inc.

March 26, 2007 12:30 ET

DSS, Inc. Achieves Major Milestone in VistA Implementation at Texas Tech

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.--(Collegiate Presswire - March 26, 2007) - Document Storage Systems (DSS, Inc.), announced today that it has successfully completed the first phase of its implementation of vxVistA at the El Paso, Texas campus of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine (TTUHSC El Paso). The first pilot for the implementation, the Family Practice clinic, has been running on VistA since January 22, 2007. Following this early success, Texas Tech will be moving to the next phase of the project that will include implementations in multiple clinics. The plan is to move the entire medical school to vxVistA by 2008. vxVistA is DSS, Inc.'s commercial version of the Department of Veterans Affairs' VistA Hospital Information System (HIS).

TTUHSC El Paso is the first medical school in the United States to carry out a full implementation of VistA, making this deployment a major milestone in the adoption of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Electronic Medical Record (EMR) in the private sector. VistA, which stands for Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, is known in the industry as a world class system and it runs the entire Veterans health care system (163 hospitals and over 850 clinics). VistA has played a major role in turning the VA medical system into the best in the country.

TTUHSC El Paso is running the ASP version of vxVistA. In this configuration vxVistA runs on a central server and all the users access it from a client system, either a desktop or a laptop, through the network. In addition to all the core components of VistA found in the VA, DSS, Inc. added functionality to better adapt VistA to the Texas Tech environment. Some of the additional modules that DSS, Inc. has implemented include Pediatrics and OB/GYN, as well as an endocrinology module. This will permit TTUHSC El Paso to include the full range of family services that they provide at their clinics in the EMR.

The Family Practice clinic is the primary care location for the medical school's family and community medicine practices with approximately 60 doctors, faculty and residents, rotating through the clinic. Two of the keys to the success of this initial pilot have been the extensive training provided by DSS, Inc. to the staff, as well as the great enthusiasm on the part of the staff for this implementation. Vicky Byers, project manager: "The Texas Tech people have been wonderful to work with. They are very eager to move their healthcare system to an EMR."

Addressing the benefits that VistA brings to TTUHSC El Paso as a teaching institution, Dr. Mary Spalding, Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, said that, "VistA will help us in two main areas: disease registries and in decision support." According to Dr. Spalding, "This will drastically effect our chronic disease management, our research capabilities and will present students and residents with advanced technology in health information systems."

TTUHSC El Paso has close to 1,000 faculty and staff members. It is a flourishing health sciences center and medical center with outpatient clinics located in East, West, Central, and Northeast El Paso. Through community partnerships, TTUHSC El Paso faculty members lend their skills to underserved areas lacking adequate healthcare. The TTUHSC El Paso campus has over 20 multi-specialty ambulatory clinics. The goal of the EMR project is to provide an integrated solution that will facilitate the capture, management and delivery of patient information to healthcare providers when and where it is needed to provide patient care.

According to Dr. Gilbert Handal, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Chair of the Texas Tech El Paso EMR Steering Committee, Texas Tech El Paso made the decision to choose VistA for three main reasons. First, was being able to "leverage the vast resources that the government and the VA have contributed to VistA." Second was their familiarity with VistA. Dr. Handal said, "We were able to take tours of our local VA clinic and it was not hard to find doctors and residents on our staff that had already been exposed to VistA in one way or the other. Third, and very importantly," said Dr. Handal, "we wanted to be owners of the EMR solution. We are very satisfied with DSS, Inc.'s performance," said Dr. Handal. At the same time, "We do have the flexibility to change vendors and manage our risk in the event DSS, Inc. were no longer in this business," Dr. Handal said. He concluded that, "We are not going to be left with an unsupported system, and this would not have been possible if we had chosen a proprietary product."

Texas Tech Background

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine (TTUHSC) is the Health Sciences Center of West Texas. TTUHSC and its Schools of Allied Health, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences make up the fabric of health care for a sprawling region of 108 counties. It has campuses in Lubbock, Amarillo, El Paso and the Permian Basin (Odessa). Each one serves thousands of patients and students and provides employment opportunities for an area larger than the state of New York and all of New England combined. The VistA implementation is being carried out by the El Paso campus of the medical school.

TTUHSC El Paso was founded in 1975 and has experienced steady growth across the board, including substantial increases in the number of students, staff and faculty and the number of patients treated. In addition, TTUHSC El Paso is the region's largest provider of continuing medical education and features one of the largest group physician practices in the Southwest.

Medical students are exposed to a wide spectrum of health care needs and to a more heterogeneous patient base. Medical students attend their first two years of medical school at the Lubbock campus, and then may elect to spend the later two years of medical school in any one of the four regional campuses. Nearly two thirds of every class elects to spend their later two years in Amarillo and El Paso. TTUHSC El Paso is currently in the process of expanding to a complete four year medical school with significant construction efforts underway which include a Research Building and an Educational Building. TTUHSC El Paso's border health initiatives, focusing on diabetes mellitus and its complications, infectious diseases, and environmental health, are spreading the values of the TTUHSC mission statement internationally.

DSS, Inc. Background

DSS, Inc. is headquartered in Juno Beach, Florida. Since 1994 it has been providing integrated clinical and administrative applications for VistA, the award winning health care information system used by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Currently over 1,000 VHA facilities use DSS, Inc. clinical and administrative applications. More information about DSS, Inc. can be found at www.dssinc.com.

Contact Information

  • DSS, Inc.
    Mike Ginsburg