Friday, June 1, 2007

An EMR Success Story

The Need

Listowel Memorial Hospital and Clinic sought to enhance patient care by improving clinical and administrative workflow processes. The Listowel Clinic was a typical practice drowning in a sea of paper: illegible or incomplete charts, missing or misplaced charts, duplicated charts (clinic vs. hospital), etc. Because of the clinic’s layout, nurses and doctors often had to put whatever they were doing on hold in order to track a chart down that could be as far as on the other side of the building! In addition, as an integral part of a close-knit community, the Listowel clinic and hospital needed not only a clinical and practice management solution - they were looking for a community Electronic Medical Record (EMR). The need was clear: patient information had to be stored in one place and made available at all times, whether at the clinic or its partner hospital.

The Solution

The Listowel Memorial Hospital and Clinic partnered to find an EMR solution that would help them to better serve the community. Vendor selection took two years and focused on finding a provider that could deliver the following: a user-friendly, flexible, modular, scalable, secure EMR solution that would improve workflow and was already installed in hospitals and clinics with proven results. Furthermore, the EMR had to provide a clinical data repository and interface with existing ADT, PACS, lab, and billing systems. Security, in terms of controlling access to patient information was also a major consideration. The Purkinje EMR fit all of these criteria and more. Implementation began in 2002.

The Results

After the to-be-expected growing pains that always accompany the implementation of a new system, the benefits of the Purkinje EMR became imminently clear. Nurses and Doctors marvel at the immediate availability of patient information - “It’s right there, wherever you are” - and the legibility of the charts, which was a major concern before Purkinje was installed. Everyday tasks now take less time: one receptionist reports that she now saves almost an hour per day when greeting and checking in patients because all of their information is at her fingertips. A nurse concurs, stating that she also saves an hour per day or more making follow-up phone calls. Doctors report that writing or renewing prescriptions now takes seconds instead of minutes. The bottom line: less time is spent waiting, which is good for everyone. Both doctors and nurses describe benefits to patients as well: abnormal results, for example, are now flagged and immediately delivered to a doctor’s Inbox, so that patients are advised up to a day earlier. In the words of one doctor: “When you are dealing with a patient’s lab results, a day is a big deal.” In addition, the Purkinje Prescriber module also tracks drug interactions - essential to avoiding many complications. In short, Purkinje not only saves time, it also saves lives.

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