Grand View Hospital Reaches Milestone in Moving from Paper Charts to Electronic Medical Records
(September 20, 2010) Sellersville, PA – Grand View Hospital has joined an elite group of health care organizations that has been recognized for modernizing patient record keeping from paper to an electronic system. Grand View’s electronic medical record (EMR) improves patient care and hospital efficiency.
HIMSS Analytics awarded Grand View Stage 6 EMR
recognition for reaching six out of seven possible stages for EMR adoption. Only 2.6 percent of all U.S. hospitals – and only four hospitals in Pennsylvania – have achieved this distinction. HIMSS, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), collects and analyzes healthcare organization data relating to IT processes and healthcare delivery trends.
“We are proud to be among the early adopters of EMR,” said Chief Information Officer Jane Loveless, who managed the project. “Using this advanced health information technology is a better way of doing things for both patients and staff. Initially there was hesitation from some clinical staff to switch to electronic entry, but everyone came on board once they used it. They saw it’s easy to use, saves time, eliminates handwriting issues, and improves communication.”
An EMR is a legal record and is complete with insurance information, clinical documentation, physician orders, radiology images, reports, and medications. It also includes additional health information obtained from a patient’s primary care physician. This creates an up-to-date medical record and can be especially important in times of critical need. “An EMR can be life-saving during a health crisis. If someone arrives in the emergency department and cannot provide a relevant medical history, the EMR contains health information useful in treatment. For someone who has granted power of attorney to another person, that documentation is also on hand.”
Recognizing an opportunity to improve patient care and hospital efficiencies, Grand View’s Board of Directors set the adoption of an EMR system as a new strategic initiative. “This was a long, complex process taking 10 years to reach Stage 6,” according to Loveless. “It was a collaborative effort across our entire organization. From our board and senior leadership to our medical staff and Information Systems staff, everyone worked together.”
Replacing paper charts with electronic records is expected to produce significant improvements in patient care and safety. This will also increase efficiencies throughout the Grand View organization. The EMR brings benefits that include:
- Providing information when it is needed, including in an emergency and when a patient is unable to speak.
- Facilitating communication among all healthcare providers.
- Improving patient safety through the use of barcodes.
- Reducing the number of forms patients fill out.
- Protecting patient confidentiality through secure information.
- Providing physicians online access to information.
- Permitting immediate review of images and test results to expedite care, which allows Grand View to provide patient support 24 hours a day.
- Eliminating errors caused by poor handwriting.
- Saving time by eliminating the transcription step.
- Reducing time physicians spend recording medical histories.
- Eliminating time and effort to track down X-rays, imaging, lab tests, and other results.
- Avoiding repeat tests.
- Allowing continuous update of records to reflect the latest information.
- Eliminating the possibility of misplaced or missing charts.
Looking to the future, Loveless said the next step would be to create a completely paperless environment at Grand View.
Grand View Hospital, Bucks County’s first hospital, has provided residents of Bucks and Montgomery counties with comprehensive health care services since 1913. Grand View offers a range of inpatient and outpatient care – particularly emphasizing the areas of surgery and orthopaedics, women's and children's health, cancer treatment, and heart care.
Grand View Hospital received five stars in 2010 for total knee replacement from HealthGrades®, the nation’s leading healthcare ratings organization. Grand View is also the only hospital in Bucks and Montgomery counties to receive a five-star rating in total joint replacement in 2010. This is not the first time that Grand View has been honored by HealthGrades. In 2008 and 2009, HealthGrades® awarded Grand View the Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety™. The American Stroke Association also recently awarded Grand View Hospital its Get With The GuidelinesSM–Stroke (GWTG–Stroke) Gold Performance Achievement Award.