Johnson Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Goes Paperless with Electronic Medical Record

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The completion of Johnson Memorial Hospital’s (JMH) expanded Emergency Department is still approximately six months away, but exciting changes have already taken effect.

Not only is it a major enhancement in and of itself, providing a cutting-edge approach to managing patient data and improving safety, but it is just the first in many innovative and exciting changes to take effect in our Emergency Department over the coming year.

The completion of Johnson Memorial Hospital’s (JMH) expanded Emergency Department is still approximately six months away, but exciting changes have already taken effect. The Emergency Department has advanced to a computerized electronic medical record system. This system, called EmpowER™, was designed by Chicago-based IT vendor ECDS (Emergency Care Documentation Systems) - http://www.ecds.md - to electronically capture all patient information and enhance patient flow in the Emergency Department.

Using EmpowER™, members of the Emergency Department team can access patient information at any time rather than having to search for a paper chart. A patient’s visit to the Emergency Department is electronically tracked, which speeds up triage and registration and reduces the amount of time patients spend in the waiting room. The system also mandates risk management in the form of automatic prompts intended to remind clinicians about a patient’s drug allergies or about potential drug-to-drug interactions. This is yet another effective means to ensure that the maximum standard in patient safety is achieved.

Neil Moynihan, M.D., a full-time physician in the Emergency Department, commented, “We are very excited about the transition to a paperless system. All patient information will now literally be available at our fingertips. This is a major step in our continuing mission to increase efficiency, safety and patient satisfaction.”

According to a recent report (http://www.cdc.gov/OD/OC/MEDIA/pressrel/r050315.htm) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than a third of the nation's hospital emergency and outpatient departments have transitioned to electronic medical records. Implementing this system gives JMH a clear advantage.

“The transition to this system is momentous for several reasons,” says JMH President and CEO Alfred A. Lerz. “Not only is it a major enhancement in and of itself, providing a cutting-edge approach to managing patient data and improving safety, but it is just the first in many innovative and exciting changes to take effect in our Emergency Department over the coming year.”

If you would like more information about the expansion of Johnson Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department, please visit the Johnson Health Network website at http://www.johnsonhealthnetwork.com.

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