Electronic Medical Records Benefit Patients
The installation of an electronic medical record (EMR) system is being implemented throughout MidMichigan Health, with MidMichigan Medical Center - Midland going live in March 2011, and MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot planned for later this summer.
The EMR is a tool that will allow clinicians to have access to real-time patient information. With this electronic system, patients have a single, secure medical record across all MidMichigan Health locations, thus enhancing patient safety.
“The EMR further enhances our ability to collaborate across patient care settings and to improve patient outcomes,” said Janet Foor, Medical Center - Gladwin chief nursing officer. "Two of the most the important benefits achieved by an implementation of the EMR and adoption of best practices are increased patient safety and improved quality of care."
"While transformation from paper charts to the EMR is not without challenges, every effort has been made to minimize workflow disruption at the time of go-live,” said Glenn King, MidMichigan Medical Center - Clare vice president.
“With the EMR, patients will have one record that will follow their care,” said Medical Center - Gladwin President Ray Stover. “Patients will soon recognize the new system’s efficiency when their health care providers no longer have to spend time tracking down their chart."
Other benefits of the EMR include one-time provision of registration information entries, rather than having to repeat this information within the same visit to the Medical Center," said Lawrence F. Barco, president of MidMichigan Medical Center - Clare. "Access to the patient’s record is available giving the right information to the right caregiver at the right time.”
- Improved record legibility, accuracy and completeness.
- Allergies and adverse drug reactions prominently displayed.
- Test results are sent directly to the patient’s medical chart.
- Prescriptions can be sent directly to the patient’s pharmacy, electronically.
- Printed discharge summaries, including education and prescription information, are written in layman’s terms and given to the patient upon request.
- Repeating medical history information, medications and insurance information will no longer be necessary.
From the moment a doctor orders a new medication, diagnostic test or procedure, the information is securely handled electronically and available almost immediately to patients. Patient confidentiality is protected by the EMR. The only individuals who have access to a patient’s medical chart are those who must view it to provide care. Additionally, following the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) patient privacy guidelines, EMR access is regularly monitored.
By the end of 2011, the EMR at MidMichigan Health will include the computerized physician order entry which means all patient orders, prescriptions and care instructions will be recorded electronically, by the physician.
In addition to the inpatient EMR, Allscripts, the ambulatory electronic medical record, was launched in May 2010 in the Family Practice Center at the Medical Center in Midland. Plans have been developed to roll out an EMR to both employed and private physicians’ practices by the first quarter of 2012. The total project cost for the ambulatory EMR is estimated at $16.8 million.