New Electronic Health Record in LRH's Emergency Department to Improve Patient Safety and Outcomes
Lakes Regional Healthcare (LRH) recently transitioned to a completely electronic health record in their Emergency Department (ED). LRH Director of Outpatient Services Lois Hawn said, “We’ve been planning for and taking steps toward the new system for a few months now. We’re excited about how our new system will benefit patients.”
The biggest benefit of the new record is improved patient safety. For example, the system has a medication reconciliation process built into it so hospital staff will automatically know if medications prescribed in the ER may have an adverse reaction with other medications the patient is already taking. Also, the system will provide patient discharge instructions that are no longer handwritten. This, in turn, will lead to instructions that are much more clearly readable and understandable, which will ultimately mean fewer errors.
Another benefit of the new electronic health record is its efficiency. First, the new system provides a huge reduction in the amount of paperwork and the time it takes to process patient’s health information. For example, ED physicians can now quickly click on orders such as x-rays and lab tests instead of handwriting them. Also, physicians can choose the tests to order from a menu, so important tests are likely to not be missed. LRH Emergency Department Physician Darrel Forslund, M.D., said, “As a physician, you want to spend as much time as possible providing the best care for the patient and less time on paperwork. This new system is perfect at accomplishing those goals. It helps provide more thorough care while being more efficient, plus it has increased the amount of patient education we give because it provides specific information about the patient’s diagnosis and their medications. It’s a win-win system for patients and providers both.”
Hawn said, “We are committed to providing the best in technology, and this is another example of that. We’re proud of the great quality care we provide at Lakes Regional Healthcare and now we’ll provide even better service and care for our patients.”