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Newton Medical Center first test site for system that checks patient info against prescription drugs

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, March 22, 2013, at 5:17 p.m.

Newton Medical Center will be the first hospital testing site for an electronic system that cross references patient health information with prescription drugs in an effort to prevent adverse drug reactions, according to Steve Kelly, the center’s president and CEO.

Lead Horse Technologies, a start-up company out of Junction City, created the system, called Medloom.

According to the Food and Drug Administration and the Institute of Medicine, at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events occur in the country each year.

The Medloom project will launch within a few months and be used in the hospital’s emergency department, Kelly said. The system is designed to integrate with the hospital’s current electronic medical records system.

“For a hospital our size to have the technology and leadership to do that in our ER is pretty exciting,” Kelly said.

Ramona Leibnitz, president and co-founder of Lead Horse Technologies, said the company has been in research and design for the past five years. The program uses an artificial intelligence algorithm that cross-checks a patient’s medical information and prescriptions with any new drugs a doctor considers adding. A Medloom alert will tell the doctor what the likelihood is that the medication could cause an adverse reaction based on information in its database.

“We’re starting in an emergency department where doctors get patients they haven’t necessarily seen before,” Leibnitz said. “That’s where Medloom may have its best use.”

Medloom does not store a patient’s identifying information, Leibnitz said.

The system focuses on patient demographics, such as age, current medications and conditions.

But the company hopes to get to the point of analyzing a patient’s full medical history for what Leibnitz calls more “personalized medicine.”

Because the company and medical center are still in negotiations, she declined to say how much Medloom costs but said it is “cost effective” for hospitals.

Lead Horse Technologies is also working with two other hospital systems in other parts of the country to potentially test Medloom, but Leibnitz said she could not disclose which ones those are because of a prior agreement.

Leibnitz said the company also hopes to work with the Kansas Health Information Network, which provides electronic medical records to providers.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com.

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