2012-12-11 Bassett Medical Center Implementing Inpatient EMR
Bassett Healthcare Network transitioned its outpatient services to an enhanced electronic medical record (EMR) in 2011 and is now implementing the EMR in the inpatient setting at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. Bassett Healthcare Network affiliate hospitals in Little Falls, Cobleskill, Delhi and Sidney will follow suit in 2013. The end result will be more coordinated care, improved efficiency in health care delivery, improved medication safety and an enhanced patient experience.
Electronic workstations on wheels (WOW) are the backbone of the inpatient electronic medical record system. Instead of reviewing a paper chart for patient history or orders, doctors and nurses will tap into these portable electronic workstations right at the patient’s bedside or outside the patient’s room, depending on what’s best for the patient. Everything about that patient is contained in a single consolidated record.
Dr. Gretchen Hodgdon, who leads the inpatient EMR physician advisory group, says some of the changes that will result from the inpatient EMR, like the WOW units, will be obvious to patients. Other changes will be less apparent but no less real. “A great deal of my day right now is spent information gathering and on documentation. I literally go to five different places in the hospital to collect data before I even walk into the patient’s room. With the EMR, all of the information is at my fingertips and that means more time with patients.”
“WOW is the appropriate acronym for what this technology will do for us and our patients,” notes Chief Network Nursing Officer Connie Jastremski. “It puts everyone involved in the care of a patient on the same page with up-to-date, real time information. We will truly be connected in a way we haven’t been in the past, which means even better patient care and the best possible outcomes.”
Other benefits to patients that will result from the EMR include:
• Enhanced coordination of care within Bassett Healthcare Network
• Faster provider access to test results so decisions can be made quicker
• Treatment and medication orders are made directly into the computerized system and alerts generated that warn of any possible drug interaction or allergic reaction
• Barcode medication administration and electronic medication administration minimize the chances of a dispensing or dosing error
• Upon discharge, any prescriptions can be electronically sent to the patient’s pharmacy
• In the future, patients will be able to check their own test results and receive wellness information electronically through a patient portal known as MyChart
Bassett Medical Center went live with the enhanced EMR December 8. Bassett affiliate hospitals, Little Falls Hospital, Cobleskill Regional Hospital, O’ Connor Hospital in Delhi and Tri-Town Regional Hospital in Sidney, will do the same in February of next year. Affiliate A.O. Fox Hospital uses a different EMR; work is underway to allow for information sharing between the two systems.