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Q&A: Dr. Kristine Courtney

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In December and January, Eli Lilly and Co.’s four employee health clinics became some of the first clinics to be able to send to and retrieve from the Indiana Network for Patient Care, a database of patient medical records from five local hospital systems. To do that, Indianapolis-based Lilly hired Fort Wayne-based Medical Informatics Engineering to build a custom-made electronic medical record system that also syncs up with the clinics’ scheduling software. The process took two years, said Dr. Kristine Courtney, Lilly’s senior director of corporate health services.

IBJ: Most Lilly employees have their own private doctors, even though they occasionally use the Lilly health clinics. Is that why it was so important for Lilly’s employee clinics to be able to exchange medical records with local hospitals and their physician networks?

A: We wanted to be sure other [health care] providers had access to our information and also as a cost-containment measure.

IBJ: How can swapping medical records electronically save money for Lilly?

A: We just know as practitioners that you really need data when you see your patient, and if it’s not there, you tend to order it quickly.

IBJ: What other features of Lilly’s new electronic record system do you think will be advantages over the old system?

A: Although this is not a traditional health record, it does allow patients to view existing records, make appointments, list all their prescriptions. And we’re able to use the system to reply to a patient.

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