Can an EMR, electronic medical record really make that much of a difference?
SJLinked, the name for our new EMR project, will help in us moving to patient centered care. It will mean all the difference in improving communications to allow physicians, providers and patients to connect the dots in coordinating care. Organizations that have gone before us tell us it improves patient outcomes and transitions of care, reduces repeat tests and the costs of care. It gives patients access to the information online they have always wanted. An integrated health record benefits everyone by providing:
- Universal access across our system for providers and patients
- Orders management
- Emphasizing preventative medicine
- Maximizing reporting benefits
- Revenue capture improvements
- Positioning evidence based medicine
Our project is led by clinicians, with strong support from Information Management professionals. Additionally the mutidisciplinary team working on the "build" includes people from many backgrounds across our system, ensuring we get a balanced approach with every perspective being considered. Finally, we have had great support from Epic, the company and product we chose for the foundation of this effort.
The project is 50 percent "built;" now we must begin to prepare for our individual roles. Starting in March we will begin training for every employee, every physician, every provider who touches patient care. It will take time and dedicated effort to learn. As a learning organization it will take us to the next level. Between March and May 1, we will all need to plan on setting aside time for in class sessions, some individual practice, and refreshers.
At Medical Executive Committee this week colleagues stressed to us the importance of having experts available in our practice environment when we go live. We hear those cautions. They will be there, but they cannot take the place of our personal commitment to learning first, and being ready for this transition. At that same meeting the president of our medical staff stated, "While SJLinked staff and Dr. Kenien are leading the project, we all have to own it."
We will keep you updated on our progress at department meetings, and employee forums in November. Thanks for supporting this project with your insights on the build and choices we are making on protocols every day!
Finally on this Labor Day weekend, thank you to everyone who makes up our diverse workforce and for all you do in caring for our community!