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OZ Systems and Virginia Launch Electronic Data Exchange Tools to Reduce Critical Delays in Newborn Blood Spot Screening

Virginia Hospitals Currently Participating in Federally-funded Initiative (NewSTEPs 360) to Improve Timeliness in Newborn Screening

ARLINGTON, TX (01/10/17) — OZ Systems announced the onboarding of 3 Virginia hospitals as part of the Virginia Newborn Screening (NewSTEPs 360) Electronic Data Exchange Project. OZ Newborn Admission Notification Information (NANI™) and OZ Newborn Blood Spot Screening (NBS) Telepathy™ are two key newborn screening information technology tools being utilized for the project, which is part of a larger multi-state, federally-funded project awarded in 2016 focusing on timeliness and quality in newborn screening.

The Virginia Newborn Screening (NewSTEPs 360) Electronic Data Exchange Project with OZ Systems currently includes 3 hospital nurseries: University of Virginia Medical Center, Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.

For OZ Systems, this is a multistep process: First, OZ and Virginia work closely to automate an electronic order form based on the specimen card and newborn data requirements that assures that information transmitted by OZ Systems is accurately received by the State. Secondly, OZ Systems works individually with each hospital to ensure all procedures and security policies are followed. With hospital approvals in place, the new process is implemented, ensuring stakeholder buy-in. In a newly initiated hospital in Indiana, the number of steps needed to complete newborn blood spot screening was reduced by more than 70%. The electronic order is printed as a label for the blood spot card. This eliminates the current handwritten information on the card, ensuring all the necessary data arrives at the lab as quickly as possible. The form will also be sent simultaneously as an electronic lab order to the State. This provides dual verification when the blood is received in the State lab. The electronic newborn screening order facilitates timely reporting because it reduces rekeying of information, while hospitals eliminate unnecessary steps in specimen collection. The OZ Systems integrated software is a key component to the project using OZ NANI™ to capture hospital demographics from the electronic medical record and OZ Telepathy™ for the lab order and label printing. When hours and minutes count for newborns with serious conditions, complete information can be securely and accurately transmitted.

OZ Systems is also working to electronically transfer newborn results from state labs back to hospitals, eliminating mail and fax reporting for all newborns, especially those affected by the core conditions that are tested for using the blood spot sample. This is currently underway in several jurisdictions, and in the planning stage in Texas and Minnesota.

Statewide rollout of the remaining 51 Virginia hospitals is anticipated following the NewSTEPs 360 pilot project. There is already a waiting list to be the next in line. Participation in the project allows pilot hospitals to serve as early adopters and leaders in the early diagnosis and care of newborns. Results of the initiative will be shared with other Virginia hospitals and states working on the newborn screening timeliness project.

“Virginia’s Newborn Screening Program saves lives by detecting rare but potentially deadly disorders within days of birth, and any steps we can take to streamline that process will have a lasting impact,” said Wanda “Willie” Andrews, Director of Laboratory Operations at the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services. “OZ’s ability to work directly with many of our pilot hospitals to implement a product that will improve data quality while resulting in efficiencies gained by both the hospital and the Newborn Screening laboratory, have made their involvement key to the success of Virginia’s project.”

“We are excited to be national partners in the NewSTEPs 360 project and that this Virginia project is starting off equipped with OZ NANI™ and Telepathy™,” said Terese Finitzo CEO of OZ Systems. “We know that to effectively reduce mortality and morbidity, newborn screening must occur fast with no time for error and rework. By facilitating electronic messaging using well tested standards and providing workflow assistance, training, monitoring and support, we are directly supporting the aims of the pilot – to improve data efficiency, reduce manual documentation and human errors, reliance on inefficient systems, and ultimately improve the health of our youngest patients.”

OZ Systems has implemented components of this program in more than 200 hospitals in eight states.  Virginia is the ninth state. At the February, 2016 APHL national newborn screening meeting, Minnesota representatives reported that OZ NANI™ messages provided the state more timely information on newborn screening than was previously available. More than 85% of Minnesota hospitals use OZ NANI™.

About NewSTEPs 360
The Newborn Screening Technical assistance and Evaluation Program (NewSTEPs 360) has worked over the past two years to develop a network, collect data from NBS programs and analyze quality practices within programs. After an initial report in January 2014 based on survey data, the Advisory Committee on Heritable Diseases in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC) recommended a series of timeliness activities related to newborn screening. NewSTEPs 360 is the result of a competitive funding opportunity that sought one source to support state newborn screening programs to improve timeliness. Key elements include: 1) reliance on distance-based technology for all team activities; 2) expectation of rapid, on-going communication across all levels of the team; and 3) commitment to ensuring that work processes are transparent.

About OZ Systems
OZ Systems develops and implements the world’s smartest newborn screening technologies - bridging crucial information gaps that support quality care and timely interventions for patients and those who care for them. Recognized for innovation in design and interoperability, OZ Systems has projects with health care providers and public health agencies in 12 U.S. and International states as well as in England’s National Health Service.