Electronic advancements for health care

Posted 1/28/10

Dana Moore, chief information officer for Centura Health, said that the process of incorporating electronic medical records has been a journey. …

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Electronic advancements for health care


Dana Moore, chief information officer for Centura Health, said that the process of incorporating electronic medical records has been a journey.

“Our first hospital went live late 2006,” Moore said. “Then the remaining hospitals throughout 2007.”

With 12 hospitals throughout Colorado, Centura Health will offer a team of connected networks and shared resources to deliver accessible, reliable and cost-effective health care across the state.

“Our patient’s safety and medical care always comes first,” Moore said. “We told the board there would be no return on investment (with electronic medical records technology). We are making care safer, to benefit the patient.”

The benefits of electronic medical records technology is vast. This will replace paper-based medical records that can be incomplete, fragmented and sometimes hard to find, not to mention hard to read. The records can provide a single, shareable, up-to-date, accurate, rapidly retrievable information, potentially available anywhere at any time. It requires less space and administrative resources, while streamlining clinical workflow.

“Let’s say a Mr. Dana Moore shows up in an emergency room,” Moore said. “An electronic query is sent out, and information about my allergies, medications and if there are any problems shows up.”

Moore said it will give all patients across the board, a continuum of care and will eliminate errors that can happen in the transfer of care.

“And it will reduce the number of redundant tests,” Moore said.

Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree has 65 percent of its medical records automated.

“Right now, we are rolling out across our entire HCA (160 hospital networks in the United States) software called, ‘horizon patient folder,’” said Linda Watson, director of marketing and public affairs. “The electronic version that connects our clinical systems directly to the physicians’ offices.”

Watson said, through “patient keeper” mobility, physicians can use their iPhones for access to patient medical information, such as labs, X-rays, vital signs and discharge planning.

“Our OB air-strip enables doctors to access fetal monitoring through their iPhones,” Watson said.

The Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, CORHIO, created in 2007, is a nonprofit organization that facilitates health information exchange to improve care for all Coloradans.

“Electronic medical records is a big initiative at CORHIO,” Moore said.

According to CORHIO statistics, there are nearly 100,000 medical errors annually and 30 percent of the health care costs are unnecessary. With health information exchange, it will eliminate inefficiencies and duplicated efforts in the health care system by making information more available, health care quality will be improved and dollars will be saved.

The new $23.6 million facility Centura Health is planning to start building in Castle Rock this year will open with electronic medical records capability, Moore said.


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