St. John’s Hospital - Lebanon will officially will begin using a new and highly advanced electronic health record (EHR) system May 1. The new EHR will enhance the safety and quality of patient care and give patients and their healthcare providers unprecedented access to healthcare information.
Beginning the night of April 30, St. John’s previous legacy systems will become unavailable as clinicians switch to the new EPIC model. Most won’t notice much has changed, aside from computers at all bedsides and co-workers wearing red polo-style shirts. These “super-users” will provide “at-the-elbow” support throughout the transition.
What patients and visitors will start to notice over the next few months, however, is enhanced patient safety, quality and service.
“This technology is a prime example of what we call ‘the Mercy difference,’ a systemwide focus to improve the three areas of patient safety, personal service and quality,” said Mike Gillen, St. John’s Hospital – Lebanon president / CEO. “Taking this step forward in technology will further enhance patient safety by providing automatic alerts to help prevent negative drug interactions or allergic reactions.”
With a focus on “one patient, one record,” the new system delivers a single, complete continuously updatedelectronic recordfor each patient. In the process, it eliminates the use of bulky paper charts and duplicate records scattered across different locations. Almost all information is recorded and stored using computers. The new system updates technology to provide a more complete electronic record.
The launch of the inpatient hospital EHR follows the implementation in St. John’s Clinic physician offices. Wherever a patient is seen – at a St. John’s clinic, hospital, emergency or urgent care location, healthcare providers have instant access to a complete and electronic view of a patient’s health and health care. In addition, healthcare providers will have a wide range ofinterconnected computerized tools to document patient care, place orders for medications and tests, record and review results, and handle scheduling and billing activities.
“We live in a society driven by technology and connected electronically. More and more, people are using personal computers to communicate, shop, handle banking, and make travel plans,” Gillen said. “Now, we have available highly secure technology to make information about their health and the care they receive far more complete and available 24/7.”
Patients also may access their records via MyMercy, a secure online service that allows them to schedule appointments, request prescription renewals or print their children’s immunization schedules.
MyMercy has become the epitome of convenience for patients who want to be in control of their own healthcare information. No matter how many miles separate patients from their doctors, their medical information is now easily accessible using computers and smart phones.
MyMercy is currently available through Mercy primary care doctors (internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatric) throughout most of Mercy’s four-state region – Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. It is a free service offered to Mercy patients, is extremely secure, and the only technical requirement is a computer or smart phone with Internet access and an up-to-date browser. Across the four-state region, over 97,000 people are already using MyMercy.