FMH to Expand Use of Electronic Health Records
EHRs provide instant and complete patient information to consulting health care providers
January 14, 2011
Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) is joining the ranks of hospitals and health care providers across the nation that are enthusiastically embracing the benefits of electronic health records and other forms of health information technology (IT). Franklin Memorial Hospital like thousands of hospitals and eligible professionals around the country, announced on January 13 that it intends to officially achieve “meaningful use” of electronic health records and register for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
“As health reform unfolds, it’s clear that IT will play an even more important role in emerging health systems. Well wired hospitals help illustrate IT in action—improving efficiency, quality, and safety of care while helping to control costs,” said Rebecca Ryder, FMH president/CEO.
January 2011 marks the first time in our nation’s history that hospitals and eligible health care providers can register their intent to achieve meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHRs) and qualify for incentive payments under the HITECH Act portion of ARRA. This program is accelerating the transformation of health care that was already happening, moving the country closer to nationwide interoperable electronic patient records.
“What this means to Franklin Memorial Hospital is that we can convert the few remaining departments that are still paper systems to EHRs that provide instant and complete patient information to consulting health care providers in medical offices, emergency rooms, hospitals, and other health facilities,” said Ralph Johnson, FMH chief information officer. “Last year, all of our Franklin Health medical practices converted to EHRs.”
EHRs improve patient safety and care by preventing the ordering of unnecessary tests and imaging procedures, and reducing medication errors. Electronic reminders and prompts also alert health care providers to preventive care, such as when a patient should have a colonoscopy, get a flu shot, or get certain lab tests.
Franklin Memorial Hospital has made IT in patient care a priority in recent years, implementing: HealthInfoNet, a statewide system for doctors and other health care providers to share information and improve health care; bedside medication verification; Franklin e-ICU; PACS, which is a system for storing and sharing digital medical images through computer workstations; and regional e-prescribing, which improves access to medications, increases patient safety, decreases medication errors, and increases the number of patients who fill their prescriptions and take their medications according to their doctor’s instructions.
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