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Electronic records step forward for hospital

Friday, 16th April, 2010

* Brock Roberts, a registered nurse, operating the new eMR program. * Brock Roberts, a registered nurse, operating the new eMR program.

Electronic records step forward for hospital

The local hospital has taken an advance towards the paperless management of patients with its new electronic medical records (eMR) system. The hospital is the first facility in Greater Western Area Health Service to launch eMR, which is a system designed to help clinicians and other staff manage patient care more efficiently.

The computerised system includes electronic ordering and results from pathology and radiology, documenting care in the emergency department and operating suite and an electronic discharge summary. Other hospitals in NSW have demonstrated a range of benefits using eMR, including having legible records, less paperwork and improved communication of patient information.

“This is a very exciting and fundamental change in how we manage patients and their records during their treatment,” said Broken Hill Health Service General Manager Rod Wyber-Hughes.“Local staff have been involved in testing the system and being trained in its use in preparation for the launch and transition phase to an electronic system,” he said.

“It is a new system and we are asking (for) the public’s patience as there may be some delays during the initial implementation phase while staff get use to the system,” said Mr Wyber-Hughes. Sue Beahl, the Nurse Unit Manager for the Operating Theatre, said there were numerous benefits to the eMR. “We can schedule patients in quicker, track available resources and utilise staff in the operating theatre,” said Ms Beahl.

The eMR’s also work even when the power is out. Ms Beahl said they change over into a “down time” form which allows them to continue functioning. The city will be followed by Greater Western hospitals at Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo and Mudgee.

An initial focus for eMR will be on emergency departments and operating theatres.

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