Saint Agnes launches new electronic medical record system
During the weekend of September 28, Saint Agnes Medical Center took a giant leap in transforming patient care and safety with the introduction of its state-of-the-art Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system.
With the Emergency Department being the first to "go live" at 2:32 p.m., September 29, other departments began rolling out the new EMR system one by one, with the entire hospital fully electronic by 12:22 a.m., September 30.
The new EMR system replaces paper medical records and streamlines patient care. "This is an exciting transformation for Saint Agnes because it allows us to further enhance the quality and safety of the care we provide," Mark Bateman, Saint Agnes Chief Operating Officer, says. "It also ensures all patient information is readily available at any time, at any hour of the day, any day of the week."
With just a few simple keystrokes, caregivers can now access their patients' complete medical records and evidence-based tools that reduce errors and standardize best practices. Physicians can also securely review their patients' test results remotely, through their home or office, so they can stay updated on their patients' care and quickly change treatment orders based on new tests results.
As a patient, this new EMR technology means that your:
Medical record is electronic and secure.
Information is up-to-the-minute and can be accessed by your care providers at all times.
Health information is immediately available if you ever need to return to Saint Agnes for another visit.
But perhaps the biggest win with converting from paper to an electronic system is the added safeguards it brings, like medication reconciliation. Prescribed medications are automatically checked against the patient's lab results and other key indicators to prevent potential drug interactions and to ensure appropriate medication and dosing.
"It's a whole lot better for patient care," Infectious Disease Specialist Manthani Reddy, MD, says. "Sometimes patients may be taking duplicate medications or have allergy-drug interactions. This system prevents that."
Having an electronic record also reduces the possibility of transcription errors from difficult-to-read handwriting – which account for nearly 40 percent of medication errors. Some studies show that when physicians make orders via computer, errors can be reduced by half or more.
Added efficiencies that come with having an EMR also allow caregivers to have more time to do what they do best – focus on being at the patient's bedside.
"I'm really encouraged," Susan Anderson, RN, a nurse of 30 years, says. "I'm finding I'm able to spend more time with my patients."
And that's another win for patients and caregivers alike.