Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Electronic Age of Medicine

Last month I told you a little bit about myself and deferred talking about The Electronic Health Record because one of our employees had discussed it in an earlier entry. I thought now would be a good time to elaborate on it. Paul Palermo had discussed how hard it was to deploy this complex project and gave an example of how it helped one emergency room patient. I wanted to discuss a little more about our electronics in the hospital.

The structure of CareConnect (Electronic Health Record) facilitates the reliable retrieval of data. Its nature enables all the providers to access and review the notes of all the care givers. The entries of physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists, pharmacists, and others are all readily available and legible allowing a true team approach to the patient’s care. This information is readily available no matter where you are in the hospital. Additionally providers can access it remotely, thus a nurse’s phone call to a doctor allows that doctor to review the patient’s information while talking to the nurse. This greatly enhances the interchange. The physician can then enter any orders necessary and helps reduce possibility of an error caused by a verbal order.

As mentioned before CareConnect enables health care professionals to see the entire medical record of our patients, that is not only the data on the present admission, but the records of previous encounters. Thus we have an excellent baseline of the past medical history. We also are able to see encounters from other Texas Health Hospitals. This is a great advantage when patients are transferred from our sister facilities. The care of the patient can be seamless, and in fact the team can anticipate what will be needed before the patient physically arrives.

Because other hospitals in the area such as Parkland are Epic users soon we will be able to access the patient records from those encounters as well, thus minimizing the loss of information when patients utilize different facilities.. We are a participant in a Health Information Exchange in Fort Worth called SandLot. This allows us to see patient data, with their permission, from their doctor’s office. This too greatly enhances the flow of information and makes for more timely and efficient health care.

As we continue to use these products we will become more adept with them and will find more and more uses for the information within them, thereby enhancing the care of our patients.

- Harold Berenzweig, MD

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting, I actually can't wait until more medical software systems are in place. Looking forward to the speed that they give health care providers.