13 Sep Heart hospital goes digital, eliminates paper records
TULSA, Okla. — Saint Francis Hospital, a Tulsa heart-care center, announced on Monday that with the aid of GE Healthcare it has installed of a new information technology system to handle hospital files. This update creates a completely digital environment, eliminating all paper records and charts within the hospital.
Saint Francis Heart Hospital’s digital workflow is built around GE’s Centricity Clinical Information System, which integrates patient information from every care area and every procedure into a comprehensive electronic medical record. With the system’s installation, all patient record charts, clinical data and financial information is converted onto a computer network, where it can be stored and follow a patient through their entire stay.
Saint Francis Heart Hospital’s infrastructure allows a physician to access patient information, including CT scans, lab results and prescription drug information, from any location in the hospital, the physician’s home or off-site at any time and in a secure manner.
“For cardiac patients, time is muscle,” said Michael Spain, a cardiologist at the hospital. “If I’m at home after hours and get a call that one of my patients is having chest pain, I can call up important, real-time patient information right on my home PC and consult the physician on duty from my cell phone on the way to hospital. If surgery is needed, everything can be arranged en route. This gives our patients an important edge.”
The upgrade to the hospital’s network, which took nine months, also incorporated GE’s computerized physician order entry system, barcoding of medication administration, and the Cardiac Cath Lab suite of blood monitoring technology.
The hospital’s successful implementation of GE’s clinical information technology system follows with President Bush’s recently announced Health Information Technology Plan, which proposes that the majority of American health records be made electronic by 2014 to lower costs and prevent errors.
“Our digital initiative is focused on using IT to help bridge the gap between treating disease and managing information,” said Robert S. Dolan, CEO of the hospital. “Integrated, readily accessible patient information that enables us to know each patient’s medical history and current status empowers [us] to make the right care decisions at the right time.”