Little Falls Hospital (LFH) in Little Falls, NY, along with three other hospitals in the Bassett Healthcare Network, has eliminated patient paper charts with the adoption of an electronic medical record (EMR). The four hospitals went live with the EMR earlier in the week. Bassett affiliate hospitals in Cobleskill, Delhi and Sidney have also adopted the EMR. All four hospitals are now connected electronically with Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, which went live with the EMR in December 2012. The end result will be improved care coordination, improved efficiency in healthcare delivery, improved medication safety and an enhanced patient experience across the entire Bassett Healthcare Network.
Instead of retrieving patient information from multiple locations in a paper chart for patient history or orders, doctors and nurses will access this information securely from portable electronic workstations right at the patient's bedside or outside the patient's room, depending on what's best for the patient.
All information for each patient is contained in a single consolidated record, and that information is available no matter where the patient is seen for follow-up care in the Bassett Healthcare Network.
"Whether a patient is seen for follow-up care by a Bassett specialist here at Little Falls Hospital, Bassett's Herkimer health center or needs to go to Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, up-to-date information on that patient is at the doctor's fingertips thanks to the EMR," noted Little Falls Hospital CEO Michael Ogden. "And, because information is entered real time into the EMR, the patient's primary care physician is up-to-date as well."
Other benefits to patients that will result from the EMR include:
- enhanced coordination of care within Bassett Healthcare Network;
- faster provider access to test results so decisions can be made quicker;
- treatment and medication orders made directly into the computerized system and alerts generated that warn of any possible drug interaction or allergic reaction;
- barcode medication administration and electronic medication administration that minimize the chances of a dispensing or dosing error; and
- electronic prescriptions sent to the patient's pharmacy upon discharge.
In the future, patients will be able to check their own test results and receive wellness information electronically through a patient portal known as MyChart. Bassett's outpatient health centers went live with the EMR in 2011.