The medical field is known to be a leader in technology–except when it came to patient records. The paper system was not only antiquated, but could be dangerous.
Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center is one of the first hospital systems in the country to completely switch over to electronic health records. “Some of the errors in hospitals are frequently associated with doctors handwriting,” said Dr. Rick Turner, Chief Medical Informatics Officer. “This system eliminates all of that.”
Now records can be accessed immediately by providers, from any location. The system will also check for things like drug interactions. Saint Alphonsus says the records are secure and that they use a security system similar to those used by banking institutions.
St. Luke’s is in the beginning stages of transitioning to a similar system. All hospitals in the country will have to transition to electronic health records by 2014, one of the mandates of the federal healthcare law.