As a long-term user of a paper-based medical record system, Kadlec Medical Center (KMC) began to find its emergency department (ED) buried in paperwork,resulting in difficulty to retrieve records of prior visits in a timely manner and other documentation deficiencies.
TeamHealth established a Division of Clinical Informatics under its Patient Safety Organization to promote high quality, cost-effective medical care among its client hospitals by facilitating the use of computers and information technology. TeamHealth’s EDIS task force continuously evaluates the products in the market and provides an annual report on the state of EDIS vendors, identifying market leaders. This team also provides consultative services to clients undergoing the implementation process.
After working with TeamHealth’s EDIS experts to evaluate products, KMC selected the system they felt would best meet their goals of improving documentation accuracy, compliance, and optimizing reimbursement. TeamHealth consultants supported KMC through every step of the implementation process, including providing extensive training for all system users and pairing new staff members with experienced users for speed adoption.
- The ED experienced significant improvements, including higher chart quality and improved ability to quickly find records. Additional advantages included:
- The physician order entry component resulted in decreased time to process orders and improved compliance with quality initiatives.
- Due to the enhanced focus on measured processes and tracking ED performance, the length of stay for patients within the Fast Track decreased from 90 to 60 minutes on average.
- The bedside order entry component positively impacted patient flow, while turnaround time for charts fell significantly, and downcoding was virtually eliminated.
- An unexpected benefit included increased satisfaction of the primary care physicians due to more rapid access to their patients’ record.
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