2013-05-09 – Riverside nearly 100% online with CPSI EHR System
Riverside Medical Center in Franklinton is well on its way toward having all-electronic medical records.
Director of Education Melissa Gilmore, RN, BSN, said the hospital is one of the Northshore’s first to “attest for Stage 1 meaningful use.” Meaningful use, she said, has to do with the amount of medical information that is electronic and computerized. To achieve that status hospitals must meet a number of objectives and criteria established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The shift to an electronic medical record system came about after Hurricane Katrina, when many hospitals lost their patient documentation, Gilmore said.
Riverside began the process in October 2010. Emergency room records have been electronic since October 2011, and the hospital began adding physicians in November 2011.
Riverside’s medical records are now 100 percent electronic in the emergency room, Med-Surg and ICU units. The ancillary departments are almost there too, Gilmore said. The clinical staff and nursing documentation is 100 percent electronic in the ancillary departments. About 80 percent of physician documentation is now online, and she said doctors are still being added a few at a time.
One of the tools utilized at Riverside for electronic documentation is a COW, or computer on wheels. It is taken room to room for patient visits. When a new patient is given a head-to-toe assessment, for example, the machine will be brought into the room and the assessments will be done on the computer, Gilmore said.
Gilmore will be attending CPSI’s Point-of-Care conference in Destin, Fla., on May 14. CPSI, she said, is the hospital’s medical records vendor, and the company developed a patient safety goal known as Med-Verify, or Medication Administration Verification.
“It’s where the nurse scans your armband and then scans the medication,” she said. “The system verifies that it’s the correct drug for the correct patient at the correct time.”
The scanner is part of the computer on wheels unit.
Riverside’s nurses scan an average of 98 percent of drugs dispensed, Gilmore said. The 2 percent not scanned are typically emergency drugs, she said.
Because Riverside’s nurses have earned the distinction of having the highest Med-Verify rate in the company, Gilmore has been asked to serve as a mentor during the conference.
On April 2, the hospital got another device intended to improve patient safety, a Pyxis MedStation 4000. Gilmore said the electronic medication dispensing device gives nurses a warning if it is not the correct time for the patient to receive the medication. The machine, she said, helps prevent medication errors.
“If the patient has an interaction with that medicine or an allergy, (nurses) have to have an override to pull it out of the machine,” she said. “It helps to make sure people don’t get medicines they’re allergic to or that it’s not time for.”
While the hospital’s medication variance rate was never very large, Gilmore said the new procedures have provided an extra assurance that those being treated will be safe.
“It’s decreased our medication errors tremendously and increased patient safety,” she said.