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Jackson Hospital implements use of secure and electronic medical health records

Hospital news | Monday, January 17, 2011

Montgomery, AL- Alabama's hospitals are committed to improving patient care through the use of secure and effective electronic health records (EHR) and are diligently working to implement these systems. Jackson Hospital continues to be a healthcare technology leader and is among the most advanced providers in the River Region and nationwide.

“We began the process of implementing a comprehensive EHR in 2005, recognizing the need to improve the coordination and safety of patient care,” said Don Henderson, Jackson Hospital president and CEO. “We’re now among some of the nation’s top hospitals nationwide in EHR adoption [based on national adoption models from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)].” Jackson Hospital has made significant progress in meeting upcoming national EHR “meaningful use” (MU) guidelines as required by the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health records (EHR) Incentive Programs, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

“We are confident that we will meet the ‘meaningful use’ requirements and intend to apply for the incentive payments available through the ARRA,” offered Richard Caldwell, Jackson Hospital chief information officer and vice president for professional services. “We have been impressed by the rate of physician adoption of our computerized order entry system and are well over the 30 percent utilization required in the first stage of MU guidelines.”

“Recognizing that the iPad is one of the most user friendly technologies emerging in recent times, we have enabled the use of this tool with our EHR and other applications,” said Caldwell. “We already had secure wireless access in place, so adding support for the iPad made perfect sense.” Indeed physicians are now able to view medical records and radiographic images on their iPad wirelessly within the hospital or remotely. Other Jackson Hospital staff can also access their hospital Outlook email, calendars, and contacts via an iPad or smart phone.

Currently the Jackson Hospital EHR offers: Remote physician access to their patients’ medical record, including access to lab and radiology results, radiographic and cardiac images through the Jackson Physician Portal Remote review of critical care monitors in real time Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) Remote EHR access available via iPad Hospital-wide secure, wireless internet access Employee access to enterprise email and calendars via smartphone EHR enhancements for 2011 underway include:

-Upgrading EHR systems to national MU certified versions
-Implementing bar coded medication administration to minimize medication errors and ensure correct medication, dose, time and administration route.
-Implementing a real time medication administration record (MAR) including remote access by physicians and other providers
-Integration of hospital EHR and electronic medical records of The Jackson Clinic
-Integration of hospital EHR with the Alabama Health Information Exchange (AHIE)

Jackson Hospital applauds the federal government’s recognition of the importance of electronic health records and the need to provide additional funding to hospitals to implement such systems.

“The coordination of a patient’s health record is a major advance in the safety and efficiency of care, Henderson stated. “Jackson Hospital will continue to make these technological advances to help improve the health of our community.”