BCH Clinics add new MRI
Over the past nine months, Boone County Hospital (BCH) has implemented a new electronic medical record (EMR) at the hospital and is currently transitioning to an EMR at the BCH clinics. The federal government believes the benefit of the electronic medical record will transform the U.S. healthcare system. They have placed requirements for hospitals and physicians to implement an EMR within a certain timeframe and have tied incentives and penalties based on implementation.
Boone County Hospital went live on Phase I of the EMR implementation in January 2013. Phase I included the billing, scheduling, Emergency Room, inpatient nursing documentation and outpatient ancillary documentation. Currently, the physician clinics—OB/GYN, Orthopedic and General Surgery Clinics at BCH, Boone County Family Medicine in Boone and Ogden, and the Madrid Family Practice Clinic, are implementing the EMR. “The clinic staff has been working hard to build a quality system that will meet the needs of the physicians and other care providers,” says Kim Schwartz, BCH Administrator of Physician Clinics. “Most importantly, they’ve kept patient care the primary objective as they’ve set up the system. Even with lots of careful planning, we anticipate the clinics will initially not be able to see as many patients daily as are scheduled during a typical day. The physician’s schedules have been reduced to allow them time to become accustomed to the new system while still providing quality care to their patients.”
What does this mean for the patients of the BCH Clinics? For any visits after September 1, 2013, the physicians and nurses will be documenting on the computer either during or after a patient visit. When prescribing medications, the physicians will send prescriptions electronically, called e-prescribing, to the pharmacy of the patient’s choice. The benefit of e-prescribing is prescriptions will most likely be ready for patient’s when they go to the pharmacy. After each patient appointment, the front desk will print a summary of the patient’s visit outlining the medical diagnosis and treatment, as well as the patient’s next appointment time, if scheduled.
What’s next? BCH will continue making changes including implementation of a new operating room documentation system, inpatient computerized physician order entry, and a patient portal that will allow patients to have access to their medical information online.
BCH is embracing the changes and feels there are many advantages to an EMR including:
- Accurate, up-to-date, and complete patient information at the point of care.
- Quick access to patient records for more coordinated care.
- Secure information that can be shared with patients and other clinicians.
- Safe, reliable prescribing of medications.
- Legible, complete documentation.
- Enhanced patient privacy and security.
- Increased safety and quality of care.
The hospital and clinics are excited about the new electronic medical record and what it means for staff as well as patients. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we transition from a paper medical record to an electronic medical record.