When I first started in the healthcare business, I had never heard of Meditech. Many, many people who visit this website will probably be in the same situation. So I thought I’d take the time to explain for you, dear reader, just what exactly this crazy thing called Meditech is.
Meditech is a Healthcare Information System, or HIS. Basically, it’s software that’s designed to capture, store, and display administrative and clinical data used within a hospital, health system, or medical practice. The most common users of Meditech are generally hospitals and health systems, because it is designed for their needs. It tends to be used by small- to medium-sized hospitals, though there are plenty of larger and academic institutions that choose to use it as well.
So What Does it Do?
Meditech provides a very well integrated suite of applications. Below are some of the groups that people in the Meditech community, and MEDITECH (the company) itself, tend to categorize the applications by:
- Administrative: These are the applications that would be used to register you or admit you when you come into the hospital or ER, schedule an appointment, manage your Medical Records, or even your surgery in the OR.
- Departmental or Clinicals: These are the applications that the clinical staff use to order, manage, document, and report on your actual clinical tests and physician orders. This covers areas like:
- Radiology or Imaging (where you’d get your X-rays, MRI’s, CT’s, Ultrasounds, Nuclear Medicine studies etc.)
- Laboratory services, like blood tests, blood bank, and pathology
- Rehab Services like Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Recreational Therapy
- Cardiopulmonary Services like Respiratory Care, Cardiac Care (including EKG’s/ECG’s, holter monitoring, stress tests), Sleep Studies, and the like
- Emergency Department/Emergency Room
- Patient Care or Advanced Clinicals: These are the applications that nurses and doctors use to document their treatment of you or view your Electronic Medical Record (EMR). This group tends to have some overlap with the Departmental Clinicals above, in that often treating providers in those departments will document and review documentation or results in the Advanced Clinical applications.
- Patient Financials/Revenue Cycle: This group includes the applications used to bill your insurance, send you statements, and manage this portion of the hospital’s business. This group tends to have a large amount of overlap with the Administrative applications above, because that is where the information that is used in these applications is generally entered.
- General Financials: This group includes the applications used to manage the accounting-type functions of a hospital’s business, like their General Ledger, assets, Materials Management, Payroll, Accounts Payable, and so forth.
- Decision Support: Decision Support applications are used to provide the hospital management and administration with consolidated information to help them manage their departments and hospitals. Members of this group range from Budgeting and Forecasting applications, to a Cost Accounting module, to a Data Repository/Warehouse.
- Continuing Care: Facilities that provide non-acute care, such as Long-Term Care, Behavioral Health, or Home Health services have their own versions of the Meditech software that are tailored to their specific needs.
- Technical: The applications that provide system-wide functionality are grouped under the technical grouping, and include things like the report writer, system management, administration and control functions.
Who Created Meditech?
Way back in 1966, a man by the name of Neil Pappalardo was working at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), who needed a healthcare information system. Neil and his collegues created a language called Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System, or MUMPS, for use at MGH, on a computer called a PDP-7 from the now defunct Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).
In 1969, Neil left MGH to found Medical Information Technology, Inc., which is commonly and popularly known as MEDITECH. The software is also refered to as Meditech. I use the capitalized form, e.g. MEDITECH, to refer to the company itself as an entity, and the proper or initial case form, e.g. Meditech, to refer to the software itself.
How do you fit into this?
Since this is my first article on the site, I feel it is only fair that I should introduce myself, what I’ve been doing, and why I know way more about this than any human being should.
In case you missed it below the post title, I am your host, Robert Simplicio. I created this site to share knowledge about the Meditech HIS, other healthcare and technology related topics, and to boldly venture out into the world as an entrepreneur offering Meditech services for hire.
I first started using Meditech in 1999 when the hospital and health system I then worked for needed to upgrade their systems due to their current systems not being Y2K compliant. I was asked to be the Admitting representative on the core team for the implementation of system, and as I got more involved, I expressed my interest in doing more with the system. Shortly thereafter, a core team leader resigned to go back to her clinical role, and I was offered that position.
Since that time I have been working with Meditech more or less constantly for the past 9 years, and have had to wear many hats, so I’ve been fortunate enough to learn most all of the applications that Meditech has to offer, and have been pushed to get in-depth with many of them.
My company, Simplicio Systems Inc., offers Meditech NPR report writing (that report writer I spoke of in the Technical section above), custom Meditech programming, and other services by request to the Meditech community at-large. To request our services, please use the Contact Us form to get in touch today.
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