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Case Study: Houston Methodist Hospital

One hospital gets to the heart of efficient pharmacy order management.

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Houston Methodist Hospital faced challenges when it came to receiving, processing and filling paper-based medication orders that were outside the computerized physician order entry (CPOE) process. Orders were either scanned or faxed from a multifunction printer (MFP) in the nursing areas or hand-delivered on paper to the pharmacy. Then, it was a waiting game — for both nurses and patients. The hospital wanted to:

  • Manage paper-based orders in a cost-effective manner.
  • Eliminate cumbersome data entry from paper forms.
  • Find a new system that mirrored the existing process.
  • Identify a solution that was intuitive for nurses and pharmacy staff.
  • Make disparate systems communicate with each other.

“We’re working with large nursing populations and they just want an easy way to get information to the pharmacy. We needed a solution that was intuitive for nurses and pharmacy staff.”

Julie Atay
System Manager of Pharmacy IT
Houston Methodist Hospital






We envisioned a medication order management and electronic data exchange solution. With both, our team knew it could make information — prescription and patient data, as well as clinical photography and images — flow seamlessly throughout their campuses.

Our automated DocuScripts® medication order management solution supplements the hospital's existing CPOE and electronic health records (EHR) systems. With this solution, hardcopy paper prescription orders can be scanned or faxed by nurses at the Ricoh MFP and sent directly to the pharmacy in electronic format. DocuScripts picks up key information about the order, such as patient name and room number, assigns the prescription to a pharmacist and then delivers the order to the queue to be filled. Orders can be prioritized as needed, and nurses have a convenient dashboard to see all prescription information in one place in real time.

With our Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) solution, DocuScripts and other systems at Houston Methodist Hospital can communicate with each other, removing tedious manual steps such as re-entering patient and clinical information, as well as transferring and identifying medical orders. With disparate systems and architectures in place, our EDE and its HL7 interface was the answer to Houston Methodist hospital’s interoperability challenges — in the pharmacy and beyond.

Houston Methodist Hospital includes a leading academic medical center in the Texas Medical Center, six community hospitals and a pharmacy. Houston Methodist is consistently listed among U.S. News & World Report’s best hospitals.



With our technology infrastructure now in place, Houston Methodist Hospital’s pharmacy has a streamlined solution that allows prescriptions to be entered automatically and processed much more efficiently.

Moving to the new pharmacy e-order solution was equally simple for staff. Houston Methodist Hospital and Ricoh provided instruction sheets at the MFPs, as well as informative emails. All totaled, pharmacists were up to speed in about one hour.

The transition to our EDE was seamless and the solution is now working behind the scenes, enabling Houston Methodist Hospital’s staff to make information work for them like never before. Pharmacists are able to retrieve patient information quickly and easily, and eliminate re-entry of patient admission information into their system.

Beyond delivering dashboard capabilities and reducing paper from the pharmacy’s workflow, the technology provided a nearly $500,000 cost advantage compared to upgrading its previous medication ordering management system.
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