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MCH ready to "go live" with new medical record system
March 25, 2013
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It's no joke.  At noon on April 1, Madison County Hospital, in partnership with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, will change to a new electronic medical record system.


The Integrated Health Information System (IHIS) will maintain one health record of a patient's interactions with MCH.  The change will eliminate the use of multiple paper charts.  Instead, qualified staff members will be able to use a computer to document a patient's health information and store it in a single location. 


The system also allows the patient's health information to easily transfer to their physician's office or other healthcare institution.


"This is a momentous day in the lives of the Madison County Hospital family and is a day of important change that further advances the hospital's mission and vision 'to provide exceptional healthcare in a respectful, compassionate and healing environment for the people who live and work in the Madison County area,'" said Michael Browning, interim CEO.


"Our electronic health record allows our physicians and staff to further improve the quality of care we provide our patients and their hospital experiences."


The hospital staff has been preparing for the transition for more than a year.  In early 2012, the initial planning phases began, followed by system building, interface testing and lesson plan development.  This January, several employees completed a four-week Credentialed Trainer course at OSU.  This course provided them with advanced knowledge of the system, qualifying them to teach fellow staff members.


Since then, employees from clinical and ancillary departments have attended multiple training classes and open practice sessions.  The IHIS "Playground", an educational module designed to simulate the live version, offered them the capability to independently practice using the system outside of scheduled class time. 


"The best preparation is for our employees to take initiative in their learning," said Jennifer Clarke, Director of Education.  "Hospital staff who have already been through an electronic medical record adoption informed us that practice makes the transition much easier."


Many new pieces of equipment will also be visible around the hospital and coincide with the implementation of the system.  Electronic information boards have been installed in the emergency room and surgical unit.  The boards can inform authorized visitors where their patient is in their care process. 


A fetal monitoring system is in place in the maternity department as well.  It provides the physicians and nurses the ability to observe multiple patients from a central location.  Physicians can also monitor both mother and baby from outside the hospital.


Another notable upgrade is the addition of mobile carts.  The carts allow nurses to be more mobile and gives them the capability to access a patient's chart at their bedside. 


With all of the advances in technology, questions may be raised concerning the protection of a patient's information.  MCH has an auditing process that reviews admittance to each patient's records to ensure they were accessed appropriately.  The new system is able to track everyone who accesses a patient's information to make sure they have permission.


IHIS is also regulated by the security sections of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Joint Commission.  There is also hardware technology installed that prevents outside viruses from entering the system.


"The new technology provides a medium in which to move a patient's information and clinical data quickly and securely to their caregiver - locally or from a remote location," said Dennis Vogt, Director of Information Technology.  "Utilizing the information in such a manner increases the quality of care."


As the "go-live" date draws near, there is a sense of excitement and anticipation among hospital staff and the support team from OSU.  Although many long hours of training and practice have prepared them, patients and visitors should "pardon our progress".  This transition further enhances the initiative to provide quality care for each patient.

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Madison County Hospital
210 North Main Street
London, Ohio 43140
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