Hospital celebrates going paper lite

03/03/2007 Ruth Campbell Staff Writer Midland Reporter-Telegram

Scanned medical charts, patient histories and barcoded medications are now part of the landscape at Midland Memorial Hospital.

The electronic medical records system is called EDITH (Electronic Data Information for Team Healthcare). It is now the main source for patient care information for all caregivers throughout the hospital, including physicians, nursing staff and other patient care workers.

Work on the system began a year and a half ago and involved everyone in the hospital on the main and west campuses, Senior Clinical Analyst Sharon Nash said.

Medical electronic records, barcoded medication so patients are given the right medicine at the right time and computerized physician order entry have all gone live, Nash said.

“The biggest advantage is retrieval. Doctors can access it from their home or office. A hundred people can get into that one record at once,” she said. However, only one person can place orders.

By 2010, registered nurse Kirk Brogdon said, the government has mandated that all hospitals in the country have electronic medical records. For medication, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also wants every medication barcoded.

“It’s made the documentation more efficient. The thing about electronic medical records is you’ve got an exact record … of a chart,” he said. “In the paper world, things can easily get misplaced. With this, they don’t.”

“EDITH is a birth to death record,” he said, meaning its a continuous patient record, so every time a patient comes to the hospital, a nurse or physician can review the patient’s medical history.

The system was adapted from VistA, used by the Veterans Administration. The hospital allocated $7 million and was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Voluntary Hospitals of America (VHA) Foundation to make the electronic system a reality.

Part of the $7 million paid for a consulting firm, Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Medsphere Systems Corp., for training and implementation, hardware and a wireless network on both campuses.

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