“Memorial has joined many other health systems…in implementing
what’s called an ‘electronic health record.’ That’s a computerized record at a
central location for all of your health information - your tests, medications,
surgical results, anything that’s connected to your health care is in this
record. The information is entered when you get care within our health system,
whether at your doctor’s office or here at the hospital. It’s the one true
source of information.”
Offenberger says such a massive undertaking has not been easy or
“The hurdles we’ve had are not unlike other systems we’ve talked
with. One is the cost. The federal government has mandated that all hospitals
have an electronic health record by 2015. That’s a large financial investment.
The second (hurdle) is that anytime you transition to a new system it takes
time. Once, though, this is all done, it will be so seamless for our patients
and our caregivers. There are a lot of benefits.”
Federal law requires medical records to be converted from paper to
digital format by 2015.
After a lot of hard work by a lot of health system
employees, Offenberger says the project is 95 percent complete, with offices
and facilities all using it within two months or less.
Offenberger says the new system will provide real improvements in
patient safety and convenience...
“One is safety, with instructions, orders and results being typed
in – not handwritten. Medication interactions and allergies will be noted. It’s
all much easier than reading someone’s writing. There’s just less room for
“Coordination of care will be great because many (health care) professionals
will now have immediate access to all of your information in the same location.
And the same with emergency care. Your records are going to reflect everything
that they need to know, no matter where you need to be treated.”
The digitized health records will be shielded by strong security
Interview conducted by Jamey Styer