Area hospitals complete record transformation - Your West Valley News: Topstory

Area hospitals complete record transformation

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Posted: Monday, November 8, 2010 4:45 pm

Banner Boswell and Del E. Webb medical centers recently completed a large-scale conversion from paper medical records to electronic medical records.

Electronic medical records are a digital version of the traditional medical records that contain a patient’s health history, from immunizations and allergies to surgeries and diagnoses.

Now all patient information in either hospital is documented electronically. Any information that must be written on paper is scanned into the system to ensure a completely digitized electronic medical record.

Each patient’s EMR at Boswell and Del E. Webb includes information such as test and imaging results, medication history and physician notes, in addition to information related to previous care received at other Banner facilities.

Del Webb, in Sun City West, went live with EMRs in September while Boswell, in Sun City, switched over to the system Oct. 21.

“The electronic medical record supports our efforts to provide the highest levels of quality and safety for every patient, every time,” said David Cheney, chief executive officer for Banner Boswell Medical Center.

“Because health information is now in a highly secure electronic format and just a click away, health-care providers will no longer need to search or wait for a patient chart or other information.”

Lorraine Gerraughty, a registered nurse at Boswell, said the process of looking at and entering medical records is much faster.

She said records are put into the system by the physicians, which alleviates possible errors.

“This speeds things up for us now and eliminates us from trying to read any difficult handwriting,” she said.

John Harrington, chief executive officer at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, said EMR is the future of health care.

“Accurate patient health information helps physicians and other caregivers deliver better, safer care that makes an even greater difference in our patients’ lives,” said Harrington. “The EMR resides on secure servers and can be viewed only by authorized personnel.”

Kate Riedel, a registered nurse at Boswell, said the system might seem complicated at first glance. But after a two-day orientation, she hasn’t had many problems.

“The advantage is that it’s very easy to learn,” she said.

“The installation of EMR at Banner Boswell and Del E. Webb medical centers was a major commitment by Banner Health through the purchase of the hospitals from Sun Health,” said Ron Guziak, chief executive officer of Sun Health.

“The Sun Health board of directors is very pleased that this has been accomplished ahead of schedule. EMR is important for patient safety and helps continue the 40-year tradition of providing superior health care to all of our patients. This accomplishment is just another example of how the partnership between Sun Health and Banner Health continues to provide additional opportunities to meet the needs of our community.”

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